Albuquerque detective shot by supervisor in low-level drug bust eyes lawsuit against city



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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — An Albuquerque undercover officer was shot multiple times at point blank range by his supervisor in January, the officer's attorney says in a claim against the city.

Even after officer Jacob Grant was shot at least twice and slumped in his seat posing no threat to Lt. Greg Brachle, the supervisor repositioned himself and emptied his gun, attorney Alex Gabaldon said in a four-page letter released to media outlets Thursday.

Previously unknown details of the incident, which took place during a low-level $60 drug bust near an Albuquerque McDonalds restaurant, emerged in the letter.

Authorities have said Grant and another undercover detective were in a vehicle with two drug suspects in the parking lot Jan. 9. Police say something happened inside the car that forced Grant to reveal himself as an officer during the undercover sting and that one of the men he was buying drugs from produced a pellet gun that resembled a real gun.

That's when Brachle fired the shots into the vehicle, police said.

Gabaldon said Brachle knew Grant well. Brachle has not made a statement about the incident, and it's unclear whether he intended to shoot Grant, but he doesn't face any charges.

"... Rather than consider the situation and determine that no viable threat existed, (Brachle) instead continued to fire upon Mr. Grant multiple further times" inflicting grave and unnecessary injury on the detective, Gabaldon said in the letter.

The letter is a claim seeking undisclosed damages from the city and urging an amicable settlement to avoid a trial.

Grant's injuries will affect him and his family for the rest of their lives, Gabaldon said.

His client will "no longer be able to hold or carry his children with both arms, tend his land, work on his vehicles, hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors, or return" to duty.

The police department acknowledged in a statement the difficult situation for Grant and his family.

"We take Detective Grant's attorney's claims very seriously," the department said. The claims are under review by the city's legal department and the police chief's office.

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