ALBUQUERQUE (CN) - Albuquerque will pay $6.5 million to a former police detective who was shot nine times by his own lieutenant during an undercover bust of $60 worth of drugs.
Det. Jacob Grant was shot during a drug buy on Jan. 9, 2015. Lt. Greg Brachle missed the morning briefing on who would be sitting where in the car where the bust would come down, and what clothes each officer would wear. Brachle shot Grant in nearly every major organ.
Grant sued Albuquerque, its Police Department and Brachle in August last year, citing all of the regulations that had to be broken for the lieutenant to shoot his own detective.
Brachle filed for retirement in March, three days before Albuquerque's Civilian Police Oversight Agency voted 6-1 to fire him.
The Albuquerque PD has faced intense scrutiny for two years, after a Justice Department investigation found that its use of lethal force "was excessive and constituted an ongoing risk to the public ." In November, the city agreed to extensive reforms and monitoring.
The city announced its settlement with Grant on March 30.
"The city has reached a settlement with Jacob Grant in the amount of $6.5 million. In addition, the city will cover Jacob's medical expenses for his lifetime as he continues his recovery. This settlement will resolve all claims under workers' compensation and any other potential claims against the city," the statement said. Grant also will receive retirement benefits.
Grant released a statement the same day.
"My family and I wish to express our profound gratitude to the community, my fellow APD police officers, Chief [Gorden] Eden, and to my medical staff for supporting us during this very painful and difficult time," he said. "Your prayers, thoughts, encouragement and financial support came to us during our deepest and darkest moments. Rather than become bitter, we feel blessed to be part of such a generous and wonderful community.
"The city recently made an offer to settle my case, and my family and I have decided to accept this offer. This lawsuit has been very stressful on my family, and we believe it is much better to devote our time and energy to raising our children and working on my recovery. In bringing this matter to a close, my family, which includes the community and APD, can now move forward and concentrate on our future instead of our past. While we cannot change or undo what has occurred, we are hopeful that this incident will be positively used to improve law enforcement training, practices, policies, procedures, accountability, and community relations. The funds that were generously donated to us will be used to help other injured police officers, needful fellow citizens, and to various charities. We will also be donating my remaining injury, sick, and vacation leave time to other city employees so that they too can take care of their family, medical, injury, or other needs. Once again, we cannot express how much your tremendous kindness and overwhelming support has meant to us."
On March 31, APD released Brachle's lapel camera footage of the shooting. In doing so, Chief Eden called the shooting a tragedy that deeply affected the police as well as the community at large.
"As hard as it is to watch and review this video, it is imperative we learn from it," Eden said. "We immediately upgraded undercover officers' training and equipment following this operation and improved supervision, communication and our procedures."
The district attorney's office is reviewing the video and other evidence to determine whether Brachle will face criminal charges.
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