Prosecutor: Albuquerque police aren't providing details on officer shooting investigations



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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — A district attorney who recently filed murder charges against two Albuquerque police officers said police aren't sending her information to review on other shootings.

In a letter sent to Police Chief Gorden Eden on Monday, District Attorney Kari Brandenburg asked about 13 investigations into police shootings.

"We have been told in the past that we can expect completed investigations within four to six months following the incidents," Brandenburg wrote in the letter. "However, there are some cases in excess of 17 months old, and we have not received completed reports on any of the listed cases."

In response, police posted Brandenburg's letter on social media and said detailed accuracy and transparency are priorities.

"It is the responsibility of the Albuquerque Police Department to ensure we investigate these cases thoroughly, and this process is time intense," Albuquerque police spokeswoman Celine Espinoza said in a statement.

Brandenburg's letter also asked why her office hasn't been invited to recent briefings by the chief on shootings.

The letter was sent as criminal charges were filed against an officer accused of kneeing a University of New Mexico law school student in the groin and deleting a video of the attack.

Court documents filed Tuesday show that Officer Pablo Padilla will face counts of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and tampering with evidence in connection to the April 2014 traffic stop.

Sam Bregman, an attorney for student Jeremy Martin, said his client was forced to undergo an emergency surgery after he was kneed.

Brandenburg and Albuquerque police are locked in a public battle over her January decision to charge Albuquerque SWAT team member Dominique Perez and former Detective Keith Sandy in the March 2014 shooting death of homeless camper James Boyd.

Charging officers involved in a shooting is a rare move by a district attorney.

Lawyers for the two officers argued that bribery allegations made by Albuquerque police against Brandenburg tainted her efforts to proceed without the appearance of bias.

Brandenburg has been accused of reimbursing burglary victims to protect her son, 26-year-old Justin Koch, who has been implicated in the theft cases. Brandenburg has denied any wrongdoing and called the police investigation retribution.

The allegations have been forwarded to the New Mexico attorney general's office, and officials have not commented on the case.

Albuquerque police and the U.S. Justice Department recently signed an agreement to overhaul policies and practices of the force amid more than 40 police shootings since 2010.

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