City of Albuquerque pays over $300K in lawsuit settlements

Politics - Government

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A former officer with the Albuquerque Police Department, a grandmother, and Black Lives Matter protesters are some of the people the City of Albuquerque paid out legal claims to in the last three months of 2020. City council is getting a closer look at all the civil cases and settlements paid out.

An APD officer who was fired for repeatedly failing to turn on his body camera has several lawsuits against the police department. Jeremy Dear was fired in 2014 after shooting and killing a suspected truck thief, Mary Hawkes. Dear’s camera was not on at the time of the shooting and he was ultimately fired. Former Chief Gordon Eden said Dear lied and wasn’t following the rules. Now, the city has paid Dear $85,000. It was part of a settlement after Dear claimed the city was not responding to open records requests involving his lawsuits.

Also on the list, a woman who was at the BioPark with her granddaughter in March 2016. She was exiting the farmhouse and walking down some steps when the woman fell. Her lawyers said it resulted in permanent painful impairment. The city settled with the woman for $75,000.

Another person getting a payout, Frankie Grady who was very visible during the Black Lives Matter protests last summer. At one of the protests, Grady and Laquonte Barry were detained and cited for unlawful carrying of a firearm. The citation was eventually dismissed. The two filed tort claims with the city claiming they were unlawfully detained. Both claims were settled before lawsuits were filed. Grady and Barry were given $40,000 each.

The city paid out more than $300,000 in settlements in eight cases in the last three months of 2020. One case was settled involving no money. Two others won rulings dismissing the cases but one of them is being appealed.

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