APD investigation into red light runner comes up empty

Posted at: 03/17/2014 10:26 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An Albuquerque Police Department internal investigation into video showing a police cruiser blowing through a red light has produced no definitive conclusions.

In February, the KOB 4 On Your Side team obtained video showing a black and white Dodge Charger police cruiser revving its engine while barreling through the intersection of Paseo del Norte and Eagle Ranch in Northwest Albuquerque while running a red light.

What adds to the fury is the fact that this is the same intersection where former APD Sgt. Adam Casaus is accused of also speeding through a red light and slamming into a vehicle, killing passenger Ashley Browder.

Then-APD Chief Allen Banks stated the video was disturbing, but he couldn’t positively confirm if the cruiser belonged to APD because the quality of the video didn’t allow the naked eye to make out any numbers or letters on the vehicle.  In fact, at the time, Banks said the cruiser could possibly belong to either the Santa Fe or Rio Rancho Police Departments.  After the story aired, spokespeople for those two police departments confirmed they could account for their small number of black and white Dodge Chargers in their fleet and none were in Northwest Albuquerque.

In February, Banks promised he would look into the claims and hold any officer accountable for their actions.  Today, KOB 4 On Your Side pressed APD for that promised follow up.

"We have this video that you've shown and we've looked at it, and you've looked at it and we've exhausted all efforts based on the evidence that we do have at hand---up to and including analyzing that video using software," said APD spokeswoman Officer Tasia Martinez.

Officer Martinez said their video software has not been able to clearly identify any markings on the cruiser.    

“We did take (the issue) seriously enough to launch an investigation into the video,” Officer Martinez said. 

When KOB video editors zoomed into the vehicle, the image became blurry and grainy, leaving little answers to which officer blew the red light and making it impossible to hold anybody accountable.  Officer Martinez adds the department has also looked into schedules and the area commander tried to figure out who was on the road that night, but nobody could make a determination. 

Officer Martinez said the internal investigation is not closed, but shelved until new evidence is produced.