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Albuquerque Officer Fired for Not Turning On Body Camera Before Shooting

December 04, 2014  | 

Officer Jeremy Dear (Photo: Albuquerque PD)
Officer Jeremy Dear (Photo: Albuquerque PD)

Albuquerque police officer Jeremy Dear, who fatally shot a 19-year-old woman suspected of stealing a truck in April, was fired Monday for insubordination and untruthfulness, according to Albuquerque Police Department Chief Gorden Eden.

The department has a policy requiring all officers to record every time they have contact with a citizen. Eden said in an emailed statement that Dear was under that order and didn’t comply.

Dear’s attorney, Thomas Grover, contends APD unfairly targeted Dear for violating its lapel camera policy – and that the policy is impossible for any officer to fully comply with.

“I think he made a good faith effort to use his lapel cam as much as he could,” Grover said. “If they did an audit of every field officer who has a lapel camera, I think they would find 100 percent noncompliance. It’s just not possible to use the camera all the time. You’re going to have a margin of error.”

An Albuquerque Journal review of his personnel file shows that, before the Hawkes shooting, Dear didn’t record two other use-of-force incidents nor two other citizen complaints.

Grover said Dear’s appeal, which was mailed Monday morning, alleges that the department has no evidence to support its claims.

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Bill @ 12/4/2014 12:28 PM

This is still an emerging issue. Why would a department enforce a zero tolerance policy on something so new?

krisnlc @ 12/4/2014 3:25 PM

Maybe there is more to the officers history then is being shared here right now! somewhere along the line he has pissed off some people...and this mistake was the last straw.

TheRookie @ 12/4/2014 4:57 PM

krisnic, I would hope so. With these cameras being implemented by agencies at a moments notice it's questionable if this case is justifiable. There's such a thing as Officer discretion, but that just don't exist any longer. That's one reason why I got into L.E. & loved it. I couldn't take a job where I'm micro-managed. Also, with the technology these days why isn't there a self activated camera system? One that automatically activates when an Officer stands-up. It's so new they don't have a true idea of what they want the cameras and/or Officers to truly do.

Erick @ 12/4/2014 5:11 PM

The fact is he had 4 prior incidents of not turning his camera during use of force/citizen compliant incidents. If he was disciplined (reprimands, suspension etc) for these incidents, management seems to have followed the concept of progressive discipline and dismissal would be warranted. On the the other hand, if they did not discipline him for the other incidents and fired him for this incident, progressive discipline was not followed and he may have his day in court depending if they have a contract (is NM a right to work state?) and/or NM labor laws (maybe they have a LEO bill of rights statute). Most important, read policy and follow it the best of your ability and you should stay out of trouble!

Carlos @ 12/4/2014 7:50 PM

I wonder what the "insubordination and untruthfulness" charge is all about. Sounds like there was more to this than what is in the article.

kevCopAz @ 12/4/2014 9:53 PM

If the past discipline is correct, and the "untruthfulness" allegation is also correct, then this cop should have his badge taken away. Obvious (if those are true) that he turns the camera off purposely. We don't need folks like that in our profession, end of story.

TopCop2 @ 12/5/2014 5:20 AM

We started using personal cameras over 5 years ago, way before they became the new BUZZ word. And I can tell you these cameras have saved more officers in our department (on citizens complaints) than got them into trouble.
It is the old saying, if you are not doing anything wrong You have nothing to worry about! We take into consideration that Police are human also and can make mistakes. But there is a big difference between a mistake and something that is done on purpose.
The new age is here, either roll with it or get out of the way. Because it is coming fast!

steve @ 12/5/2014 8:59 AM

There is nothing much worse than a dirty cop! But for you to use "you all" is going to lose you sympathy votes real quick! I've been in law enforcement for 40 years and have defended and treated minorities with respect my whole career, sometimes when they didn't deserve it.
If you have first hand knowledge of a cop doing something illegal contact the Chief of that agency and report it. He can't address it if he doesn't know.
And your comment about crime being down 50%...did you ever think that was because there were so many officers out there keeping crime down. It sure isn't the thugs that are burning and looting! Unless you plan on defending yourself after all the law enforcement officers walk off the job for lack of backing, you probably should evaluate these incidents one at a time and quit throwing us all into the same category.

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