ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - As the Albuquerque Police Department reviews how a barricaded suspect escaped through flying bullets and a sea of officers, it won't be studying video of the incident because there isn't any.
KRQE News 13 has learned not one of the field and SWAT officers turned on a lapel camera until after their wanted man backed a stolen car into the street and got clean away.
"Well, the lapels you have to understand are limited in what they can do," said Deputy Chief Steve Warfield.
It was the Dec. 19 when police officers surrounded a home on Shirley NE near Candelaria and Juan Tabo. Inside, 20-year-old Chris Sosa. The SWAT standoff last for hours until Sosa got into a car in the garage, backed out of the driveway and took off. How did that happen?
Sosa, wanted for armed robbery and other alleged crimes, was arrested three days later after another SWAT standoff.
The only police video of the scene is from after the escape when SWAT officers checked the empty home.
So what does the brass have to say about the lack of video?
"The lapel camera was never meant to replace the police report," explained Warfield. "Would we have loved to have that video? Absolutely. But these officers showed exceptional decision capability by making decisions on a second and making decisions not to accelerate the situation."
As Sosa escaped in the stolen car, an officer at the perimeter opened fire on him, as neighbors stood around watching. Nothing was recorded.
"We don't know what he's doing. Events unfold very quickly, and to be quite frank with you I want my officers to have the ability to protect themselves and the public prior to worrying about a camera," said Warfield.
The idea behind the lapel cameras was to help settle citizen complaints and in the worst cases, show if shootings are justified. But this is just the latest case where officers failed to turn on their cameras.
The Chief had made it clear, any officer who didn't turn on his lapel when he was supposed to would be in trouble. But Deputy Chief Warfield tells us he doesn't know of any officer who has been punished for not recording an incident.
"So is anybody in trouble for not turning their lapel on?" News 13 asked Warfield.
"It would be really inappropriate for me to discuss about discipline," he responded.
Warfield says the entire situation is still under investigation.
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