ALBUQUERQUE (CN) – An Albuquerque police detective’s own supervisor shot him nine times on a drug bust, because the lieutenant hadn’t attended the planning meeting for the operation, the detective claims in court.
Police Det. Jacob Grant sued Albuquerque, its Police Department and police Lt. Greg Brachle, on Aug. 26 in Bernalillo County Court.
It’s the latest in a string of cases accusing Albuquerque police of incompetent, excessive and inappropriate use of force.
After a 1½-year investigation, the Department of Justice concluded in April 2014 that the Albuquerque Police Department’s use of lethal force “was excessive and constituted an ongoing risk to the public.” The city in November agreed to lengthy reform and monitoring procedures imposed by the Department of Justice .
But less than two months later, on Jan. 9 this year, Lt. Brachle shot Grant nine times with a .45 caliber handgun while Grant made an undercover $60 drug buy, according to the complaint. Grant nearly died. Almost all his internal organs were injured and he lost 80 percent of his blood.
Grant says Brachle shot him from less than 5 feet away, in broad daylight, during a planned operation involving other police officers with whom Brachle was communicating. It was in a MacDonald’s parking lot at about 11 a.m.
Several layers of precautions guaranteed that the officers could recognize Grant and his fellow officer as undercover detectives, ranging from their clothing to where they sat in the car. But Brachle, who had missed the morning briefing for the sting, approached the vehicle after both suspects had been removed and taken into custody and shot him nine times, Grant says.
He claims that Brachle made a point of shooting him as thoroughly as possible, firing two shots into the center of his body, then repositioning himself and shooting him seven more times as Grant tried to crawl away, asking his boss to “please stop shooting.”
Grant seeks punitive damages. His 27-page complaint cites a laundry list of regulations and rules that had to be broken for the police lieutenant to shoot his own detective.
Attached as an exhibit is the U.S. attorney’s 46-page letter to the mayor of April 10, 2014, rehearsing the constitutional violations revealed by the federal investigation, including “structural and systemic deficiencies – including insufficient oversight, inadequate training and ineffective policies.”
Albuquerque police have shot more than 40 people since 2010, and killed at least six no fewer than six fatal officer-involved shootings in the 16 months since April 2014 letter. Two officers have been charged with second-degree murder for the March 2014 killing of James Boyd, a homeless man.
Grant’s attorney Alex Gabaldon did not respond to a request for comment Monday. The Albuquerque Police Department declined to comment.
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