Lawsuit claims Albuquerque officers should be held responsible for car crashes they cause

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man, through his attorney, says he wants the Albuquerque Police Department to pay the price after an officer crashed into him two years ago. His attorney believes the officer was going at least four times the speed limit.

Jesse Robertson pulled up to the intersection of Marquette and Alvarado in January 2019. “Looked both ways and saw nothing coming, went to pull out, and all of a sudden, bang,” says attorney Cloyd Hinkle.

Cloyd Hinkle is Robertson’s attorney. He says his client was going east on Marquette when APD officer Derek Taylor crashed into him, going north. The impact of the crash even knocked over the light pole.

The speed limit on the street is 18 m.p.h., but Hinkle believes Officer Taylor was going way faster than that. “I’d say he was probably going 60 to 80 miles an hour,” he said.

According to an APD report of the crash, the investigating officer found Officer Taylor was at fault and was driving too fast. The report even notes that Officer Taylor was on his way to a “Code 3” back up call, where other officers were looking for a suspect on the loose. “Regardless of what call you’re responding to, it doesn’t do any good if a crash like this ensues,” says Hinkle.

That’s why Hinkle’s client is suing APD and Officer Taylor. “Driving at such a high speed on a street like this would be considered reckless driving, and rightfully so,” he says.

Court records show the officer was never charged in this crash. Data presented to the Civilian Police Oversight Agency shows APD had 46-preventable crashes from October 2018 to January 2019.

With this lawsuit, Hinkle is hoping the department can start to hold officers responsible for crashes they cause. “I’m a proponent of using common sense and common sense dictates that on a street like this, you don’t haul a**,” said Hinkle.

KRQE News 13 asked APD if Officer Taylor had any previous crashes and if he faced any consequences for this specific crash. An APD spokesperson says the department will respond once they receive the lawsuit in court.

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