NM police officer involved in use-of-force incident fired from last job for lying

Politics - Government

BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) – Three Bernalillo police officers are off the force after an alleged excessive force incident. The mayor of Bernalillo confirms that officers Gabriel Waters, Adalida Lopez Esquibel, and Anthony Jaramillo were involved in an incident that they’ve asked state police to investigate.

The mayor says he can not say any more because of the ongoing investigation, which state police say started earlier this month. State Police aren’t commenting any further.
KRQE News 13 was able to confirm Anthony Jaramillo, who was hired in June 2019, was recommended by the Town of Bernalillo for termination, Officer Waters, who was hired in September, was terminated and Officer Lopez Esquibel, who was also hired in September, opted to resign.

News 13 had been working on a story about one of those officers, and how she was hired by Bernalillo Police even though she’d recently been fired from her last job as a police officer. Adalida Lopez was fired by the Rio Rancho Police Department in December of 2019. Nine months later she had a new job. Now, eight months later she’s out of a job again.

During a chaotic scene in October 2019, then-Rio Rancho Police Officer Adalida Lopez admitted to punching the passenger side window after initially lying to her supervisors about it, claiming it was someone else.

Rio Rancho Police responded to a public records request about the incident, with videos that blurred out Lopez’s face. While she was on duty, Lopez met up with her boyfriend Nathan Esquibel, who’s now her husband, at the Rio Rancho Fire Station where he works.

Lopez told the responding officer they got into an argument. Lopez says she got a call from dispatch so she tried to leave but says her boyfriend wouldn’t let her.

In an interview with police, her boyfriend admitted to grabbing her wrists and blocking the door to her police car.

Nathan was arrested, Lopez was put under investigation for lying, and was fired two months later. Her officer certification was suspended for 90 days by the state board that oversees police officers in November 2020 for the incident. Lopez was still able to start her job at the Bernalillo Police Department in the same month.

Town officials say she was hired in September before her license was suspended. The current chief was not in office when Lopez was hired, so he couldn’t answer why the town hired someone who had recently been fired and who was under investigation by DPS.

KRQE News 13 also called the Rio Rancho Fire Department to see if the officer’s now-husband Nathan Esquibel was disciplined for the domestic violence arrest but haven’t heard back.

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