Three years after Albuquerque police officers shot and badly wounded a suspected car thief who they said was trying to run them over, his mother is now suing the city.
In May 2015, then 20-year-old Rodrigo Garcia, who was no stranger to police, was trying to flee from officers in a stolen Tahoe near Central Avenue and Old Coors.
APD said Garcia rammed an officer’s patrol car the night before and got away.
When police caught up with him the next evening in the same SUV, they surrounded it in a westside yard. Garcia tried to take off again. Lapel video captured the stolen Tahoe plowing through a fence and bushes.
Police said Garcia injured an officer as he tried to make his getaway. That’s when officers opened fire at the SUV.
At the time, APD said nearly 50 bullets hit the Tahoe.
Now, Garcia’s mother, Loretta Garcia, is suing the department along with Former Police Chief Gorden Eden, claiming officers violated her son’s civil rights and used excessive force.
According to the lawsuit filed last month, Loretta said her son was hit by seven of the shots, including a wound to his head.
She claims Garcia never hurt any officer that day, and that police never found any weapons in the SUV.
She also argues officers continued to yell commands at her son while he laid there “motionless and incapacitated, covered in blood.”
The lawsuit states officers waited two hours before pulling him from the SUV and treating any of his injuries.
Now she wants the city to pay up, saying nothing her son did that day warranted 10 officers firing more than 70 shots.
Garcia originally faced criminal charges in the case. Those have been dismissed because of his condition since the shooting.