NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A New Mexico police officer charged with choking a woman is back on patrol after the case was dismissed. His felony arrest prompted KRQE to dig into the officer’s past. Records from previous departments he worked for reveal a pattern of misconduct as he jumped from agency to agency.
KRQE obtained body camera footage showing the Albuquerque Police Department’s response to the woman’s request for help in November 2021. Her allegations would lead police to criminally charge the police officer.
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She told one officer, “It was scary when he was choking me.” The officer asked if she lost consciousness. The woman responded, “No. I didn’t go unconscious; but I mean, I could feel myself — I couldn’t breathe.”
The woman explained to the responding officers she almost did not report the physical abuse because of the man’s job as a police officer. Worried about calling 911, she ended up stopping an officer she saw parked outside an Albuquerque Walmart in November.
“I’m sick of this. I’m sick of this. He is abusive,” the woman told the officers.
Her alleged attacker is Officer Tyler Marney with the Bosque Farms Police Department. Because he’s an officer, APD called in a supervisor. The Lieutenant asked to see where the alleged abuse occurred, so the woman took them to her home.
When they arrived, Marney was there. He shared his side of the story. “Got in an argument about 2 a.m. over a text message,” he said. Marney is asked if it got physical. “At any point did you place your hands around her neck?” the officer asked. “No,” Marney said. “At any point did you headbutt her?” the officer questioned. “No,” Marney replied.
Inside the home, the woman was showing the Lieutenant where and how Marney allegedly physically assaulted her. “There’s my drag marks. See you can see (inaudible) ’cause I was standing here,” she explained. “That’s when he grabbed me and he dragged me, slammed me up against this.” Then, she said, after pushing up the bill of the thin blue line hat he was wearing, “…headbutted me twice with his bare forehead.”
The video shows marks on the bathroom wall from the woman’s makeup. Those were photographed as evidence, along with blood blisters on her fingers and marks on her neck.
The Lieutenant walked outside to Marney and explained he has enough evidence to bring a felony charge. “I do have reason to believe that a battery occurred,” he said. Marney responded, “Okay.”
The cuffs are put on and Officer Tyler Marney is taken to jail for aggravated battery.
Marney’s current police chief from Bosque Farms, Andrew Owen, arrived at the home to retrieve Marney’s police gear. An APD officer’s bodycam footage recorded the Chief talking to the officer at the scene. “We gotta do what we gotta do regardless of who it is,” he said. That afternoon, Chief Owen texted his department about “the incident,” asking them to “squash all the rumors about one of our own. Keep Tyler in your prayers.”
The Chief would not speak with KRQE on camera but said he took action after Marney’s arrest. He explained the department placed Marney on paid administrative leave, opened an internal investigation, and alerted the Law Enforcement Academy Board, an agency that is familiar with Marney.
The LEA Board has been investigating Marney’s police certification since December 2019. The latest report in the agency’s file accuses Marney of “dishonesty and fraud” and having a “lack of moral character.”
“There is nothing more important than the continuity and protection of public safety through trust within the folks that we ask to deliver that,” said the Department of Public Safety’s Ben Baker who manages the Law Enforcement Academy. He would not speak specifically about Marney’s file.
But, public records from DPS reveal Albuquerque Police submitted a misconduct report on Marney two years ago while firing him for lying on his application. APD’s then-Deputy Chief said Marney “should have never been hired” and “is not fit” for the job.
“The reality is that it took a few years for the City to find that out because Mr. Marney concealed it from the City,” Assistant City Attorney Ian Stoker said at a Personnel Board meeting in May 2020. At that meeting, the Board officially fired Marney. APD had uncovered trouble Marney had at a previous stop in Portales.
Records show Marney resigned from Portales before the Department could fire him. He was criminally investigated there — according to Marney’s file — and accused of giving a “stolen police radio” to a “suspected female drug dealer” who he “was having a sexual relationship with.” In connection to this, DPS suspended Marney’s police certification for 60 days in 2012.
Tucumcari hired Marney shortly after that, before he made his way to Albuquerque.
APD also claims Marney did not disclose on his application that he had been accused of domestic violence in the past. KRQE found a restraining order request by an ex in a court filing from 2010. She accused Marney of physical abuse.
Despite these serious accusations that DPS says could lead to Marney losing his certification, Bosque Farms hired Marney in October 2020. Chief Owen said the LEA Director told him Marney’s certification was in “good standing” at the time he reviewed Marney’s application. But even when he learned of the allegations, the Chief kept Marney on, citing he’s “innocent until proven guilty.”
At a court hearing in January 2022, the woman asked prosecutors to drop her case against Marney. She did not want to testify. “She has indicated to the state that she is not cooperative in this matter. Therefore, the state will nolle,” Tyler Tuminski with the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office told the judge.
With the criminal charges dismissed, Chief Owen told KRQE that Marney is back on the job, patrolling Bosque Farms.
“Absence of conviction does not mean innocent of a violation of one’s licensure requirements,” Baker commented.
The misconduct investigation connected to Marney’s arrest moves forward, as the one APD filed in 2019 is expected to come to a close this month. The latest report that the Law Enforcement Academy Board will use to decide the fate of his certification questions Marney’s “future ability to perform the duties of a police officer.”
KRQE did reach out to Marney for a comment. He declined.
If the woman changes her mind about her case, the charges can be refiled against Marney. When asked about the case’s dismissal and how the DA’s Office is unable to proceed when a witness no longer wants to cooperate, Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office provided this statement:
The nature of domestic violence is that it frequently takes place behind closed doors without other witnesses such that guilt cannot be established without a victim’s cooperation. It also creates a cycle of violence that, unfortunately, may occur several times before a victim chooses to participate in the prosecution. We want victims to know that we have a dedicated team of Victim Advocates who can provide many resources to support them and make them feel more comfortable while navigating through the criminal justice system.Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office