Driver questions APD officer’s actions after traffic stop incident

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque driver wants answers from APD after she says an officer pulled her over, then left her waiting on the roadside before a sheriff’s deputy showed up at her window.

The situation unfolded Sunday night on Paseo del Norte in the northeast heights. After being pulled over by an Albuquerque Police officer, Julia Roeseberg says that officer never got out of his car to speak to her, then left the scene after handing the traffic stop over to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department.

“In some ways, I feel like I was guilty and detained without any kind of explanation,” Roeseberg said to KRQE News 13 in an interview Tuesday.

An APD spokesman declined an on-camera interview about the incident with KRQE News 13 Wednesday, but said the department takes the incident “seriously” and says the Civilian Police Oversight Agency is expected to investigate the situation.

After working a 14-hour shift at her job Sunday, Roeseberg says she was driving home, heading eastbound on Paseo del Norte around 9 p.m. when she was pulled over just east of Eubank.

Shortly before the officer initiated the traffic stop, Roeseberg says she and the APD officer had both stopped at the same Paseo and Eubank traffic signal.

“Both of us pulled up because the stoplight turned red at Eubank and Paseo,” said Roeseberg.

After the light turned green, Roeseberg says she accelerated through the intersection. Within moments, she says the officer turned on his emergency lights.

“I pulled over to the shoulder immediately and sat for a really long time,” said Roeseberg.

Julia says the APD officer who stopped her never got out of his car to speak to her.

“I actually took my hand and stuck it out the window to show I had nothing in my hands and I was kind of motioning like, ‘why did you pull me over?’” said Roeseberg.

As she waited, Roeseberg says she began to feel scared. She eventually called 911 dispatchers to confirm if a real police officer had stopped her. In the meantime, Roeseberg says a second APD car arrived on scene, then a BCSO patrol car.

“And I kept waiting and waiting and nobody came to my door,” said Roeseberg. “It was terrifying.”

Roeseberg estimates it was around 45 minutes before a BCSO deputy came to her window.

“The Bernalillo County Sheriff (deputy) told me that APD said that I had driven through a red light and that I have taken a very long time to exit off the road,” said Roeseberg.

BCSO eventually released Roeseberg without a citation, while the APD officer who initiated the traffic stop left the scene without speaking to Roeseberg.

“No explanation what-so-ever from APD officers,” said Roeseberg.

A spokesman for APD, Gilbert Gallegos told KRQE News 13 Wednesday the department’s records indicate APD officers cleared the scene “within 13 minutes.” Gallegos told KRQE News 13 the officer who initiated the traffic stop took a longer amount of time because the officer called BCSO, thinking that the traffic stop was in the sheriff’s department’s jurisdiction.

“If you’re going to pull somebody over on the side of the road for a violation, you owe that person the right to come to them and tell them why you pulled them over,” Roeseberg said. “And that never happened for me.”

In a statement sent to KRQE News 13 Wednesday, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office confirmed APD initiated the stop and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office assisted during the investigation.

Roeseberg has since filed a complaint about the incident with APD’s Civilian Police Oversight Agency. She believes the incident was not handled properly.

“I recognize that (APD’s) job is very difficult, they also have a lot of power and they need to use that power appropriately,” Roeseberg said.

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