APD denies claims of police brutality

Posted at: 06/26/2013 6:30 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Albuquerque Police Department is firing back at allegations of police brutality.

APD showed KOB Eyewitness News 4 what it says is proof officers weren’t out of line when they stopped a man.

“He's in the upright standing position," said Southwest Area Commander Harold Medina as he pointed to his computer screen.

The APD lapel camera video shows part of the story but not all of it. It doesn’t show the moment officers approached Marcos Alderete.

The 22-year-old was walking along Tom Tonorio Park when he claims APD officers came out of nowhere and tackled him.

“Right here is where they tackled me from the back. He wasn't a small cop neither. They're big cops. They hurt me pretty bad," said Alderete in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

It turned out cops stopped the wrong guy. APD was looking for a different suspect with a similar description.

Alderete has a criminal history that includes residential burglary, larceny, conspiracy to commit residential burglary, and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer. APD’s database also describes him as an active gang member.

He also had a $50 bond misdemeanor warrant, which police gave him a break and let him go Tuesday afternoon.

Medina says the officer with the lapel camera didn’t realize his camera was off, until Alderete was in custody.

"I think it would be very unfair to the officers for us to look and say: wow, was there something beforehand that was hidden? That is completely unfair because the evidence that we have at hand everything indicates that this individual wasn't ruffed up,” he said.

In the video provided so far, you don’t see Alderete’s clothes dirty like you would if he were tackled.

Pictures APD took of the man at the hospital also don’t show marks on his body.

"I'm just hurt because I didn't even do nothing,” said Alderete. “I expect something with me doing something. But me not doing nothing I shouldn't have gotten hit the way I did"

“I think it's important that as a police department we must always uphold our officers and hold them to the highest level of professionalism. We must always make sure that we hold them accountable for their actions,” Medina said. “But at the same time when our officers are falsely accused of doing something which they did not do I think it's important that we make sure that these individuals do not use that as a way to injure, hurt or otherwise discredit our officers who who've done nothing wrong."

APD is investigating the allegations. If it turns out Alderete lied and filed a false police report he could be the one facing charges.