Officer involved in crash that killed child takes on new role

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The Albuquerque Police Department officer who was fired after crashing into a family and killing a young boy has a new job. He’s now with an organization that works to improve the image of law enforcement. 

In April 2017, the lives of an Albuquerque family and an APD officer collided, as Officer Johnathan McDonnell flew down Eubank on his way to a call. 

McDonnell suffered a broken leg. The crash killed 6 year-old Joel Anthony Mumaw. 

McDonnell was eventually fired. With five preventable crashes already on his record, the city settled with the boy’s family for $3.8 million. 

“My speed was excessive,” said McDonnell in a deposition. 

Now, McDonnell is representing a national organization called “The Wounded Blue.” Part of its mission is to “advocate for the positive public perception of law enforcement.” 

“Tragic, it is. I wouldn’t want to live with that,” said Lou Golson.  

KRQE News 13 sat down with former APD Officer Lou Golson to weigh in on McDonnell’s new role. He too was wounded in the line of duty, shot four times. 

“I think him being found at fault was politically motivated,” said Golson.  

The Wounded Blue’s founder confirms McDonnell provides peer support as a volunteer, lending an ear to other wounded officers. 

“He’s got answers on how to go through this process,” said Golson. 

In the past, the attorneys for Joel Anthony’s Mumaw’s family have criticized McDonnell for refusing to take the blame for the crash.

“Grievously continues to claim that he is actually the victim,” said David Jaramillo, an attorney for the family in a past interview. 

KRQE News 13 asked Golson what he’d say to McDonnell’s critics.

“He’s gone through a lot. This helps him as much as it does anyone else,” said Golson. 

The founder of The Wounded Blue would not comment on McDonnell specifically, other than confirming he is a volunteer. He says they have peer support volunteers like McDonnell based all over the country. 

The organization has a documentary coming out next week focusing on officers who feel like they were betrayed by their departments. It’s unclear if McDonnell is featured in the film.
 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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