Updated: Wednesday, 16 Nov 2011, 7:10 PM MST
Published : Wednesday, 16 Nov 2011, 7:06 PM MST
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Albuquerque's chief of police has fired two officers videotaped kicking, kneeing and punching a suspect on the ground.
One of the officers kicked the man 12 times.
The video was released to KRQE New 13 on Wednesday. It shows what took place during the February arrest of Nicholas Blume, who was in a stolen truck at the time and had numerous warrants out for his arrest.
The video shows Blume tackled by Albuquerque Police Department Officer Robert Woolever. Woolever knees him and strikes him once.
Moments later his partner, John Doyle, enters the frame and delivers the first kick. The video shows Doyle kicked Blume up to 12 times to the head, neck and ribs.
During this time the suspect is not handcuffed. Around the fifth kick the video shows the suspect’s left hand covering his head, but there are questions about where his right hand is.
On Tuesday, a disciplinary hearing was held, and the next day both officers were fired.
Doyle's attorney, John D’Amato, said it was a bad call.
“Oh yeah, I think this is more political than anything,” D’Amato said. “The right hand could have contained a firearm.”
D’Amato does not believe what Doyle and Woolever did was excessive force. He said Blume was a dangerous man, and Doyle had been briefed about him.
“His history with police, battery on police, running from police, being armed, being a threat to the (APD) Southeast Heights Area Command,” D’Amato said.
D’Amato said Doyle's kicks were distraction techniques taught to officers.
“It could have been one kick; he could have pulled his hand out it would have been over,” D’Amato said.
He said there was no celebration after Blume was arrested. He said the two officers embraced and asked if each other was doing OK.
Police suspected Blume had a gun on him. However, it turned out he didn't have a gun on him, but there was one in the stolen pickup truck he crashed and abandoned during the chase.
D’Amato said they will appeal Chief Ray Schultz's decision.