Attorney files second lawsuit against sheriff, this time in federal court

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Since a deadly shooting last November, Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales has always defended his deputies calling it “justified,” but now the county said it won’t defend the shooting, offering to settle the lawsuit

The county has had eight months to look over a wrongful death lawsuit in the case involving Martin Jim.

Jim was sitting in the back of a stolen truck behind a driver who refused to stop for deputies during a chase. BCSO Deputy Joshua Mora, the undersheriff’s son, opened fire killing the 25-year old and one other man.

The original lawsuit, filed December 19, 2017, alleges there are a lot of problems within the sheriff’s department stemming from hiring practices, training and supervision of deputies. They’re problems Albuquerque attorney Sam Bregman alleges led up to the shooting and killing Jim. 

Bregman is representing the family in the suit.

Sheriff Gonzales has always defended his deputy in the shooting, but last week the county filed a motion in the case. It’s trying to put a halt on the lawsuit, saying it’s willing to settle the case with a pay out that their attorneys say should be legally capped at $750,000.

But, now with Bregman’s response, it could cost the county even more.

Bregman responded Wednesday, July 26, 2018 by filing a separate wrongful suit, and this time in federal court. It has similar allegations presented in the first suit.

He’s again accusing Sheriff Gonzales of allowing his “policies and procedures to go unchecked.” He said that has created a culture within the department that’s resulted in excessive use-of-force cases and excessive deadly shootings within the last year.

If the case moves forward in federal court, there could be no caps on damages.

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