ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The family of a 19-year-old suspected truck thief who was shot and killed by an Albuquerque Police officer two years ago is suing the City of Albuquerque.
They say APD bought their officer’s “implausible” story about what happened without taking a good look at the evidence.
At least two officers at the scene said they saw Mary Hawkes pointing a gun. One of them was former Ofc. Jeremy Dear, who fired his gun and killed her.
This lawsuit questions the officers’ claims, saying there’s no evidence Hawkes was armed.
Without lapel video from the camera of Dear as he shot Hawkes, her family is forced to piece together other evidence to find out what happened.
“The suspect stopped turned and pointed a handgun at close range,” Chief Gorden Eden said on April 21, 2014, the day of the deadly shooting.
That preliminary information was based on what officers said took place.
Days later, Chief Eden even brought out an example for the press, showing a handgun similar to one found at the scene.
However, Hawkes’ family argues that was not physical evidence that Hawkes pointed a gun and that Eden “placed officer loyalty over a search for the truth,” not only that but he gave that loyalty to an officer who had already been caught breaking the rules and was eventually fired for lying.
While video shows a gun next to Hawkes, the family said her DNA was not found on it.
It is all outlined in a civil wrongful death lawsuit the family filed on Tuesday.
Other than Dear, only one officer said he saw Hawkes point a gun.
Ofc. Tanner Tixier said he saw it in the spotlight of his patrol car as he drove up to the scene.
However, the suit says evidence shows otherwise, that Ofc. Tixier pulled up after the shooting.
The lawsuit says the only one who could have seen what happened was Ofc. Isaac Romero, who never saw a gun in her hands.
The suit claims Ofc. Romero “failed to activate his lapel camera.”
The City of Albuquerque said it has not even been served with the lawsuit yet.
When it is, officials will evaluate the claims.
The 46-page complaint also shows about six months after killing Hawkes, Dear was on duty talking with a citizen about the shooting and referred to Hawkes as a “f***ing b****.”
The family says if the city does have to payout because of this lawsuit, it plans to donate a lot of that money to non-profits and churches that help mentor troubled teens.