In May of 2014, Albuquerque Police Officer Jeremy Dear, whose body camera was unplugged when he killed a woman, claimed he was in fear for his life because she had pointed a gun at him.
Albuquerque police say Officer Jeremy Dear was chasing Mary Hawkes, a suspected car thief, on foot when she turned and pointed a .32-caliber pistol. Dear opened fire and Hawkes died.
According to KOAT: The police report shows that there were no fingerprints or DNA on the gun Mary Hawkes reportedly pointed at an officer before that cop shot and killed her. The report goes on to say that APD had previously looked into that gun and traced it to a man who had exchanged Facebook messages with Hawkes. It was enough for APD to believe that was the gun Hawkes pointed at Dear. When asked if he had lapel camera video of the shooting, Dear said it was unplugged.
A lawsuit filed by Hawkes’ family claimed that there were no fingerprints and no evidence to tie Hawkes to that gun. Nearly 1,000 released pages say officers knew days after the incident that there were no fingerprints.
According to PINAC News: Dear was fired for failing to have his body camera on during this incident and several other incidents but was rehired after an appeal.
In 2011, Dear later told investigators he thought he saw a gun being carried by an unarmed man named Alan Gomez who was shot by another cop but his body camera recorded him saying he was unable to see Gomez’s hands.Gomez’s family sued and received $900,000 in December 2013.
According to Albuquerque Journal:
Kevin Angell, a former Florida police officer who consults law enforcement agencies on on-body camera technology and policies, said when he reviewed Evidence.com video files of the Hawkes shooting, he could tell that at least five of the videos had been edited prior to being uploaded to the cloud-based storage system used by the Albuquerque Police Department.
The altered videos came from Officer Tanner Tixier, Officer Daniel Brokaw, and three from Officer Sonny Molina.
Former Albuquerque police records custodian Reynaldo Chavez’s said in a sworn affidavit, “So you upload a video clip to Evidence.com. That becomes a parent. At that time, you go in and do whatever operation you want to that original. You – then it becomes the orphan,” he said in the deposition. “So you store that file. You can go in at the same time, close everything up, and the one that was the parent, actually go ahead and do the deletion, come back, (take) your orphan, upload it as if it were a new piece of evidence.”
An audit trail report shows that two videos Dear and Molina made several hours before Hawkes was shot were deleted six months after the shooting.