BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) — A March traffic stop in the East Mountains is what put Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputy Patrick Rael on paid administrative leave. Body camera video shows Rael pulling Gregory Buchanan and his wife over for speeding, tasing him twice, even when Buchanan seemed to be cooperating. The video shows Buchanan putting his hands behind his back as his wife records on her cellphone.
The deputy of 20-plus years was put on paid administrative leave shortly after the incident. However, as of a few weeks ago, Rael is no longer employed with the sheriff’s office at all.
“I can’t get into the specifics of it, but what I can tell you is that there was an internal affairs investigation, and once that was completed, the sheriff reviewed that and made the determination to terminate employment with the deputy,” stated BCSO Undersheriff Aaron Williamson.
Sheriff John Allen determined the investigation supported the allegations of excessive use of force. The day the deputy would have been terminated, Rael filed retirement paperwork. As of July 26, he is no longer employed with the agency.
“At the end of the day, the most important thing is that we have the trust of the community, and I think this is an example of an individual that violated that trust, and the sheriff basically said, ‘We’re not going to tolerate that type of behavior,'” Williamson said.
The driver and his wife in the traffic stop back were both arrested, but all of their charges have been dropped.