Seconds before Albuquerque police officer John Hill shoved a handcuffed inmate face-first against a wall in February, he turned to other officers and told them to keep their lapel cameras turned off.
Hill apparently was not anticipating the overhead security camera to do him in, resulting in the cop losing his job. He was also charged with one count of misdemeanor charge of battery.
Last week, he was sentenced to unsupervised probation after pleading no contest. Now he is appealing to win his job back.
Chris Duda, the cop who stood by watching and did not intervene, was also disciplined but he is expected to become a “role model for other officers,” Chief Michael Geier wrote in an email to investigators.
According to the Albuquerque Journal:
(Jackson) Howe, a transgender woman, was brought in for disorderly conduct, trespassing and attempted battery charges after reportedly causing a disturbance at a university-area church. Once at the police station, Howe became belligerent with the female officer who arrested her, calling her a racial slur and saying the officer’s mother had been raped. Hill told Howe to “shut the (expletive) up” and escorted her to a holding cell. Duda told investigators Hill said “something along the lines” of “make sure your camera is off.”
Duda said Hill was “very serious” and looking at Howe with a “1,000 yard stare.”
As Hill and Duda approached the cell with Howe, Hill turned and told the other officers “I got this, I’m good.” Inside the cell, officer Duda told Hill he was going to turn on his lapel camera and Hill replied “No, don’t go live.”
Then Hill pushed Howe into the wall, grabbed her collar, and said “you don’t talk to girls that way” before shoving her onto the bench. After the incident, Hill told Duda he had pushed Howe and said “don’t cover for me.”
Officer Chris Duda was suspended for 80 hours for not intervening, not turning on his lapel camera and not reporting the unnecessary use of force to a superior.
“Hopefully he will become a role model for other officers as a result of the take-aways and lessons learned from this experience,” Chief Michael Geier wrote in an email to investigators.
The Journal also reported that both officers have “been involved” with previous officer-involved shootings which is not surprising considering New Mexico regularly leads the nation in cops killing citizens.
Watch the shortened video above that includes a slow motion clip of the incident and the full unedited video below.