Rio Arriba deputy who tased teen was subject of 2013 tasing lawsuit

New Mexico

The northern New Mexico deputy under scrutiny for tasing a teen with special needs has been in hot water for using his taser, before. It was with a different agency and resulted in a lawsuit, KRQE News 13 has learned.

Now-Rio Arriba County deputy Jeremy Barnes was formerly with Grants Police.

In May, there was an incident involving Barnes, during which he tased a 15-year-old student at Espanola Valley High School. It was captured on lapel camera.

The troubling incident is now under internal review. 

Meanwhile, KRQE News 13 has learned this is not the first time has Barnes has been criticized for his use of a taser. In 2013, while he was a Grants police officer, Barnes allegedly tased a man with warrants who was running from police.

That man was Leroy Gallegos.

A lawsuit filed by Gallegos claims he was handcuffed and wasn’t resisting at the time. He also claims he was wrongfully injured in the incident.

The suit ended up being settled for an unknown amount of money. It’s unclear if Barnes was then fired or resigned from Grants Police. KRQE News 13’s calls to GPD on Friday were not answered.

The Rio Arriba County Sherriff’s Deptartment said that they did not know about the 2013 tasing lawsuit until after this most recent tasing incident with Barnes and the teen.

KRQE News 13 is told RACSO questioned Barnes about the lawsuit, but he claimed he did not do the actual tasing of Gallegos.

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