Albuquerque Cop Faces Misdemeanor Assault Charges

Albuquerque police have become notorious for misconduct and brutality over the last few years, and justifiably so. After a cadet blew the whistle on an officer who turned off his body camera just before beating up a woman, that officer has been arrested by state police and is facing assault charges.

We’ve learned one of the Albuquerque Police Department officers accused in the March 20 beating of a person – Officer Cedric Greer, 24 – was arrested by New Mexico State Police Friday evening.

State police say Greer “battered an individual during a call for service that he was conducting at a local Albuquerque hotel. He struck the individual’s head several times with a closed fist and then delivered several strikes to the individual’s chest causing bruising. Witnesses claimed the individual was cooperative with Mr. Greer before and after the battery.”

Sources also tell KOB there is video evidence that Greer turned his lapel camera off before the alleged beating, then turned it back on afterward. His lapel camera captures his finger turning the camera off.

An arrest warrant was issued for Greer on misdemeanor aggravated battery charges.

Only misdemeanor charges? That’s outrageous. Police officers should face harsher punishment for assault than the general public because they are entrusted to enforce the law, not violate it. This is the case where the officers were turned in by a police cadet, who probably just killed his career by crossing that (not so) thin blue line. It also shows that if you’re going to have body cameras, which every single police officer in the country should be required to have, you cannot allow them to be turned off by the officer. They should not have that capability at all.

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  • Chiroptera

    This is the case where the officers were turned in by a police cadet…

    Whoa! The police apologists are right! There is a good cop!

    …who probably just killed his career by crossing that (not so) thin blue line.

    Or was.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    The charge level should be, at the minimum, the same as that of resisting arrest. If it is illegal for a civilian to unlawfully strike a police officer, it should be just as illegal for an officer to unlawfully strike a civilian.

  • dugglebogey

    Based on most of the cops I see these days, you’re right it should be called “The Fat Blue Line.”

  • eric

    I always wonder what the frak motivates these officers. Here you’ve got a woman complying with the officer. What makes you decide that, instead of just cuffing the person and walking them down to the car, you’re going to go out of your way to beat up on them first?

    This is the case where the officers were turned in by a police cadet, who probably just killed his career by crossing that (not so) thin blue line

    If he/she is lucky. If unlucky, they’re going to get some off-camera action.

  • caseloweraz

    Ed: It also shows that if you’re going to have body cameras, which every single police officer in the country should be required to have, you cannot allow them to be turned off by the officer. They should not have that capability at all.

    Unfortunately, there is no practical way to make this happen. The officer can stop the camera record in several ways, in most cases being able to plausibly claim it was an accident.

    * “The power cord was torn by the suspect.”

    * “Mud got on the lens.”

    And so on.

  • Childermass

    ” It also shows that if you’re going to have body cameras, which every single police officer in the country should be required to have, you cannot allow them to be turned off by the officer. They should not have that capability at all.”

    Ed, that would be crassly illegal. Are you telling me that a cop is supposed to be filmed in the bathroom? And while off duty?

    The simple reality is that there simply must be such a function. It would not be hard to determine if it is turned off inappropriately. I assume the cameras have a time stamp for the video. And I am sure not hard to determine that the door where the cop turned off his camera for two minutes is the men’s room.

  • D. C. Sessions

    After a cadet blew the whistle on an officer who turned off his body camera just before beating up a woman, that officer has been arrested by state police

    You had me going, Ed. I was sure that the whistleblower was the one arrested.

  • D. C. Sessions

    We’ll have to see where the case law lands, but a mysterious eight-minute gap that just happens to begin with the victim OK and ends with the victim beat to a pulp might be presumed to indicate not only that the officer deliberately did the beating but also tampered with evidence and had prior intent to do the beating.

    I’m not holding my breath.

  • eric

    Are you telling me that a cop is supposed to be filmed in the bathroom? And while off duty?

    For the first, don’t the cops themselves do that to people accused (but not yet convicted of) a crime? I.e., in jail cells? Horror of horrors, they may get treated to the standard that they use to treat others!

    For the second, I don’t think anyone is suggesting off-duty requirements. Its perfectly reasonable that the camera goes on and off as the badge/gun/uniform goes on and off.

  • Donnie

    @ Childermass

    Ed, that would be crassly illegal. Are you telling me that a cop is supposed to be filmed in the bathroom? And while off duty?

    The simple reality is that there simply must be such a function. It would not be hard to determine if it is turned off inappropriately. I assume the cameras have a time stamp for the video. And I am sure not hard to determine that the door where the cop turned off his camera for two minutes is the men’s room.

    I believe that these types of situations are red hearings. An easy solution is to have a SCIF type locker where the Police Officer removes the camera, locks the camera in the lock box, does the duty in the bathroom, washes hands , and retrieves the camera from the lock box. /Simple.

    Same for the squad room, roll call room, etc.

    Entering homes, these issue can be more complicated, but I say keep the camera on with the camera footage kept separate from other recordings. Footage is review by independent panel (I know, I joke), or maintained until no future need, and destroyed. The importance of keeping the camera rolling versus personal information being capture does not outweigh the evidencary usefulness of the raid. Depending upon the type of raid, and any resulting issues of conduct (against either the civilian and/or police officer) the footage can be destroyed earlier than scheduled.

  • Donnie

    Also, in requirements gathering / computer coding, use the 80/20. Design the system that addresses the most important / pertinent issues, and address the more complex issues in separate routines or more aptly, in subsequent versions. Get the system out the door with 80% of the required functionality allowing time to address the 20%. Else, the system will never get out the door.

    Same with body cameras on police officers. We know that the incident of false accusations between both civilians and police officers go down, drastically, when everyone knows that the police officer is recording the interaction. Hit the main goal, accountability and work on the exceptions and adjust as required.

  • Michael Heath

    The article Ed quotes:

    We’ve learned one of the Albuquerque Police Department officers accused in the March 20 beating of a person – Officer Cedric Greer, 24 – was arrested by New Mexico State Police Friday evening.

    [Heath bolded]

    I don’t think the vast majority of people who are 24 years old have developed the emotional maturity necessary to be an effective police officer (to my standards).

    The law enforcement industry probably sees the mental development of 24 year-olds as a feature rather than a bug.

  • moarscienceplz

    Cops often use public bathrooms while on duty, so it is also the right to privacy of innocent civilians that would be affected by lack of an off switch.

    I think we need laws that imposes harsh penalties for intentionally turning off a body cam to hide a crime, and for those cases of, “Oops, I got mud on the lens”, place the presumption of guilt for any misconduct explicitly on the cop and make him/her prove their innocence. Plus, automatic loss of job if camera failures happen 3 times in any five year period, or something similar.

  • moarscienceplz

    Also, the on/off switch should be activated by a key, so accidental disabling would be basically impossible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thewilliamg williamgeorge

    Us filming them is the only good way to go about it.

  • observer

    I don’t know what the recording capacity of the body cameras is, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it can’t record through an entire shift. It’s possible that it has to be manually turned on and off for each interaction.

  • observer

    Nevermind my above comment. It turns out they can record up to 36 hours.

  • eric

    @14: that’s a good idea. Another idea would be that they must call into a dispatcher, explain why they want it turned off, then the dispatcher does it remotely. The dispatcher then calls back in 3-5 minutes to discuss turning back on. That way there’s a record of not only when they turned it off but why.

  • cthulhusminion

    Ed he was arraigned on felony charges and bailed out but they are claiming it was a “booking error”. I suspect shenanigans to get the charges thrown out.

  • http://onhandcomments.blogspot.com/ left0ver1under

    Attempted murder is more like it. This is why I say Cops who commit crimes should be deemed automatically guilty. If they are really “serving the public good”, they can do it by saving taxpayers the cost of a trial.

    This is also why cops should get stiffer sentences. If criminals get longer sentences for crimes against cops than against civilians, then cops should get longer sentences because they know the law and are entrusted to uphold it. A cop committing a crime is far worse than a criminal doing the same thing.

    This is the case where the officers were turned in by a police cadet, who probably just killed his career by crossing that (not so) thin blue line.

    He hadn’t been corrupted yet. Just wait a year or two, he’ll be exactly like the rest of them.

    “If you’re afraid of getting a rotten apple, don’t go to the barrel. Get it off the tree.”

    – Malone (Sean Connery), “The Untouchables” (1987)