ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - It's a picture that should have never been taken; an officer's private cell phone picture of the body of a man killed by cops. Tuesday the State Police Chief is responding to his officer's actions and the shock and anger of the dead man's family.
Tuesday state police admitted that one of their officers took the photo and sent it out on his cell phone. That admission had the chief apologizing.
"What if it was your son your daughter and the police did that to you, how would you feel," Daniel Pauly, Sr. said.
Pauly Sr. is devastated by the picture of his son Samuel.
The picture shows Samuel with a bloody wound to his chest, dead on the floor of the house he shared with his brother Daniel.
Police went to the brothers' Glorieta house last October to investigate a road rage incident. The family lawyer says the boys didn't know it was police and fired a warning shot. Police opened fire, killing Samuel.
Chief Robert Shilling won't name the officer who took the photo; sources say it was Officer Mario Vasquez, who was not involved in the shooting.
"The photos were sent to one person and they were not another officer of this agency," said Shilling.
The Pauly Sr. can't understand why?
"Is this like a trophy picture that they are doing?" he asked. "What good does that do for the public?"
He worries it's been passed on.
"How do we know that their friends didn't send it to their friends, who sent it to their friends, and it's not on YouTube right now?" Pauly Sr. said.
The Chief says he ordered an internal affairs investigation after learning about the photo a few weeks ago. Turns out the department does not have rules against this.
"We don't have policies regulating common sense," Shilling said. "The reality is sometimes I have to legislate common sense… We are currently in the process of revamping some policy to deal with this issue."
Something Pauly Sr. wants. He says he prays for the officers and has forgiven them. Pauly Sr. says his faith is getting him and his family through this difficult time.
"I love the police and I am grateful for them but I am really sad about this, this is absolute horrendous and terrible," he said.
When asked what the chief would say to the Pauly's about the incident, the chief offered an apology.
"Well, first and foremost the buck stops with me," Chief Shilling said. "I am responsible for the day to day operations of this agency and the actions of all the personnel employed by this agency. It's unfortunate and I apologize."
The Pauly family has suffered another blow recently, just 10 days ago Daniel and Samuel's mother died of cancer.
Officer Vasquez is still on the job and the Chief wouldn't say what discipline he could face. A grand jury is still investigating whether the shooting of Samuel Pauly was justified.
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