Petition to investigate Han death gaining momentum

Posted at: 09/12/2013 6:59 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Mary Han
Mary Han

This week, a petition demanding more investigation into the death of well-known civil rights attorney Mary Han is gaining momentum.

Organizers say they have about a quarter of the signatures they need to get a grand jury to look at the case. If they succeed, the Albuquerque Police Department could face an investigation.

Petition organizer Colin Baugh never believed Mary Han could have committed suicide. He knew her well.

“Mary Han basically raised me in a lot of ways, I grew up with her and she mentored me in a lot of great ways,” Baugh said.

But he says now, even people who didn’t know her are asking questions. He says more than 2,000 people have signed a petition accusing APD of wrongdoing and asking the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office to have a grand jury look into her case.

“People want to see an investigation organized by the community in response to an issue based in civil rights,” Baugh said.

The State Constitution says a judge must convene a grand jury after the filing of a petition signed by two percent of a county’s registered voters. In Bernalillo County, that would be around 9,000.

The 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s office won’t comment on the petition yet, but the state Attorney General has already said the case needs more work.

The city of Albuquerque called the state’s involvement suspicious, but Baugh says this petition is just about getting to the truth.

“They haven't heard any real concise answers that would satisfy them and they're saying, let's keep going,” Baugh said.

Meanwhile, Han’s family is still fighting APD in a civil case.