[VIDEO] Misdemeanor arrest costs ABQ student a testicle

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In early April, the US Department of Justice found that the Albuquerque Police Department engages in a “pattern and practice” of excessive force. While the report focused primarily on the circumstances that resulted in deadly force, it also made several key findings regarding all types of force used by officers across all types of encounters:

“Albuquerque police officers often use unreasonable physical force without regard for the subject’s safety or the level of threat encountered. Officers frequently use takedown procedures in ways that unnecessarily increase the harm to the person.”

US DOJ report to City of Albuquerque, Apr. 10, 2014, p.3 “Summary of Findings”, Item 2


Just a few days later, an Albuquerque police officer stopped a pickup truck just after midnight after observing it pass a stop sign. The subsequent encounter between the apparently intoxicated suspect and officer resulted in the officer launching a groin kick to the subject.

The officer did not request back up during the more than 2 minutes he spent giving orders and escalating the threat of force he used against the suspect.

After first being alerted to this incident, we obtained the police report and shared it with KOB-TV. Their first story reported the tragic result and prompted APD to launch an internal investigation.
After obtaining the lapel video, we are sharing it and asking if the circumstances seen on tape match the report and whether the incident deserves further scrutiny.

The officer eventually grabs the suspect by his tie and forces him into the tailgate of the pickup truck so hard it left a dent. He simultaneously struck the suspect’s groin with a knee causing the suspect to scream out and further resist in apparent response to the pain as the officer throws him to the ground facedown.

Watch the video here.

See the full 13 minute video here

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May 19, 2014: See KOB-TV’s story using our video here.


May 19, 2014: KOAT: Man says police kicked him so hard he lost a testicle


May 19, 2014: KRQE: Video shows arrest before man lost testicle


The officer’s report never mentions this use of force and the man was never taken to the hospital for care [View the officer’s report embedded below or on Scribd here]. Upon arrival at the metropolitan detention center several hours later, he was sent to an area hospital where doctor’s removed one testicle.

 Though the suspect’s name is publicly available from other sources, we have chosen to refer to him by his initials until judicial proceedings are completed.


State training guidelines for use of force, obtained by public records request by ProgressNowNM, direct officers to avoid strikes with personal weapons to sensitive areas like a groin:

Avoid Strike Area: Head, neck & torso (groin to the collar bones, front and back). Lower potential for control, higher potential for permanent or serious bodily injury
. Head and neck, collar bone to the groin (front, sides and back) should not be targeted with a baton unless deadly force is warranted and necessary. Recognize that fights are dynamic and although not aiming for the head or neck, strikes to these areas may be unavoidable due to the movements of the attacker. (emphasis in original)

-New Mexico Department of Public Safety law enforcement officer training curriculum, Mechanics of Arrest, Restraint and Control, Obtained 2014.


The same curriculum teaches officers to use knee strikes in response to “empty hand assaults” by suspects.

Knee Strikes

1. Use in the event the attack is too close and too quick to get away from safely and effectively

-New Mexico Department of Public Safety law enforcement officer training curriculum, Mechanics of Arrest, Restraint and Control, Obtained 2014.


Officers encounter intoxicated persons every day and are trained to handle those situations with reasonable efforts, including negotiations and low-level compliance techniques.


“As a former police officer, I was deeply disturbed when I watched this video. It appears to demonstrate exactly what the Department of Justice says is indicative of the department’s problems with force.


“The officer had several minutes to request assistance instead of escalate force and the resulting force seems far to excessive for the level of resistance an intoxicated twenty-something presented,” says Patrick Davis of ProgressNow NM. He served as a police officer for 9 years, four of those as a supervisor. “The apparent lack of appreciation for the seriousness of the injuries that resulted from his actions is even more problematic.”


ProgressNowNM is asking the police department and public to give the incident greater scrutiny.

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POLICE REPORT: Misdemeanor arrest costs ABQ student testicle