APD academy commander fired following allegations of threatening cadets

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department has fired the Commander in charge of training cadets to be good officers as a result of her own bad behavior.

APD says now-former Academy Commander Angela Byrd threatened cadets who tried to come forward about her misconduct, by sending an e-mail to APD’s Human Resources.

Voice of Byrd: “Steve, I need to know who it is. Because somebody sent it on behalf of the class. Did everybody know about this?”
All: “No ma’am”
Voice of Byrd: “Raise your hand if you did not know about this. Well, it had to come from somebody it says it’s from APD class 122.”

Someone secretly recorded Byrd as she spoke to a cadet class, after being made aware of the e-mail sent to HR.

Voice of Byrd: “Okay. Then somebody in this class, tell me how come somebody sent an email to HR saying that my staff and I discriminate?”

APD says it first learned of the allegations at the Academy in April. Soon after, someone sent that anonymous e-mail Byrd was enraged about.

The email spurred an independent, outside investigation that found Byrd did retaliate against academy staff and threatened to keep cadets from graduating if the person who sent the whistleblower email did not come forward.

Voice of Byrd: “You got me so pissed off. I don’t have to graduate any of you, right? I sign the certificate. They tell me you’re not ready you ain’t goin [sic] anywhere. To do this is wrong.”

Throughout the recording, Byrd repeatedly denies that she condones harassment, sexism, racism, or retaliation.

However, she does insinuate that cadets need to “toughen up” before patrolling what she calls some of the “most violent streets in America.”

Voice of Byrd: “If you can’t deal with some of this stuff, how are you going to deal with people calling you every name in the book? Every single day you’re out there? They don’t like you. Better get used to it cuz [sic] it’s gonna happen.”

Interim Police Chief Harold Medina fired Byrd on Friday for reasons that also include retaliating against an officer whose girlfriend sent an e-mail to the Governor reporting a PPE violation, as well as for making inappropriate gestures at work and violating the city’s tobacco use policy. You can read the full memo here:

According to APD, over the last year, former Chief Michael Geier required Commander Byrd to report directly to him instead of deputy chief. Geier also personally transferred officers out of the academy.

Before Byrd took over as APD’s Academy Commander under Chief Geier in 2018, she was the Police Chief in Bosque Farms.

Read the full press release below:

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