ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque police pursuits have been a hot topic because they’ve left innocent people injured or killed. One person injured from a chase is now suing the city.
It was July 2016 at the Sportsman’s Warehouse on Renaissance when a loss prevention officer spotted a man on surveillance video breaking into a car in the parking lot. The security officer called police as the suspect, Corderro Jefferson, drove away.
Police say he pulled into an I-Hop near Sportsman’s when police spotted him and began a chase. A short time later, Jefferson crashed a gold Porshe Cayenne headfirst into another driver.
The car went up and over another vehicle behind them. Police say they had been following the suspect from the air and put out spike strips at Avenida Cesar Chavez near Fourth Street to stop his car.
“At certain points, we have to pick and choose where we’re going to try and disable or end this car,” said Albuquerque Police Officer Tanner Tixier shortly after the crash in 2016.
The man who had to be cut out of his vehicle is now suing APD. When the crash happened, he said he was headed to his first day at the fire academy for the Bernalillo County Fire Department. His lawyers go on to say APD negligently set out spike strips and chased the suspect, which caused Jefferson’s car to veer into the opposite lane of traffic, hitting the victim and leaving seriously injured.
This isn’t the first time APD’s pursuit policy has been questioned. In 2017, police were chasing a carjacking suspect when the driver hit a couple in their car at Menaul and Eubank, killing the passenger.
During another chase with a man in an RV, the suspect hit and killed an 80-year-old man. Another driver hit by APD during the chase later sued for injuries he suffered from the crash.
Although APD’s policy says officers can initiate pursuit only when an offender presents a clear danger, the man filing this most recent lawsuit says they put the public in harm’s way.
The City of Albuquerque usually doesn’t comment on pending litigation. KRQE News 13 has a call into them and are waiting to hear back.
A judged recently dismissed the case against Corderro Jefferson stemming from this crash. The District Attorney’s Office said the victim of the car he broke into wasn’t cooperating.