ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city has settled a lawsuit against the Albuquerque Police Department over the Mary Hawkes shooting. The 19-year-old suspected truck thief was killed by officer Jeremy Dear, who was then fired for repeatedly failing to turn on his camera.
Jeremy Dear insisted the teen pointed a gun at him following a chase in 2014. A lawsuit disputes that, and without any video, the city can’t prove he’s telling the truth.
Wednesday, the city confirmed it has reached a preliminary settlement with the Hawkes family for $5 million.
After the shooting, then-Police Chief Gorden Eden said only Dear saw Hawkes turn and point a gun before he gunned her down. Of course, he did not have his lapel camera on, which was a pattern for Dear.
Another officer also claimed he saw Hawkes point the gun as well, but in the lawsuit, the Hawkes family claimed that officer’s video shows he arrived after the shooting.
The city was also sanctioned by a judge for failing to preserve videos from the night of the shooting. The Hawkes family wanted to test the videos to see if all police video had in fact been uploaded and if cameras malfunctioned like some officers claimed.
The family also wanted Dear’s DNA to see if he planted the gun by Hawkes’ body.
Just last week, a judge ruled the city had every right to fire Jeremy Dear for failing to turn on his camera.
The attorney for the Hawkes’ family, Shannon Kennedy, released the following statement Wednesday:
The loss of Mary continues to be a tragedy that the Hawkes family suffers. Jeremy Dear took all that Mary could have been away from her and from those who loved her. Like any family that has suffered tragic loss, the Hawkes have lived with the burden of wondering what they could have done to save their daughter and sister. The family is very grateful that the city also recognizes that burden and is moving forward in the same spirit of accountability.
In the Hawkes family’s quest for answers about Dear’s killing of Mary on April 21, 2014, they have sought the truth and to ensure no family suffer a similar loss. The Hawkes are confident that this administration will work to improve the culture of our police department, protecting both officers and the public, so that similar tragedies are prevented and, in the rare instances where they are not, any investigation seeks to uncover the truth.
The family supports law enforcement and they hope to collaborate in the future with anyone who shares their support. To facilitate overdue change, the Hawkes are committed to donating a significant percentage of the settlement to organizations that prioritize crisis intervention training for law enforcement and that support the transition of foster children into adulthood.
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