Yesterday, an Albuquerque judge ruled that APD Officer Pablo Padilla will stand trial for kneeing a driver so hard during a traffic stop that the man lost a testicle.
A jury now gets to decide the officer’s fate, but the hearing to get there almost didn’t happen – until we stepped in.
-ABQ Journal, Dec. 10, 2014
On April 25, 2014 Padilla pulled over 24-year-old Jeremy Martin for running a stop sign. Lapel camera video, obtained and released by ProgressNow New Mexico, showed Martin refusing to sit down on the curb, angering Padilla.
Padilla is shown slamming the student into his truck, swearing at him, apparently kicking him in the groin and then deleting video that Martin’s passenger had taken of the incident. Martin’s testicle had to be surgically removed after the altercation.
Twice, APD put Padilla back to work. Once after supervisors investigated on the day of the arrest, and again after public outcry prompted a second investigation. Even after the second investigation found that Officer Padilla violated policy nine times and then deleted evidence to cover it up, Chief Gordon Eden only issued the officer a suspension.
Thankfully, you helped us move this forward.
In December, the state’s Law Enforcement Academy Board revoked Officer Padilla’s certification, then District Attorney Brandenburg filed criminal charges for the assault.
APD’s internal process for accountability is broken and it requires all of our support to fix it.
Without concerned citizens who sounded the alarm when they heard this story, and without our experienced researchers to dig the video out of APD’s vaults, this story would have never come to light.
On a day like today – 9/11 – when we are reminded how much we rely on our first responders, we are also reminded of our duty to be vigilant in insisting that everyone who holds a badge of public service serves with integrity.
Even though the situation is tragic, ProgressNow members who stood up and spoke out helped to bring justice to this case and move a serious conversation forward.
As a former police officer myself, I appreciate your help.
And all of us at ProgressNow want you to know that you did that.