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The video of two Albuquerque police officers beating up a suspect is making national headlines, and it's something the police chief can't ignore. On Thursday night, he spoke out about the incident.
"I've never seen something like this internal to the department of this level -- obviously shocking to me," said Albuquerque Police Department Chief Ray Schultz.
Schultz said there's no question that the men involved used excessive force, and that's exactly why he fired them, he said. Schultz said the men's behavior in the video is disturbing and criminal.
Surveillance cameras in the parking garage off Louisiana Boulevard captured the beating after car theft suspect Nicholas Blume was tackled.
Police said Officer Robert Woolever is shown holding Blume down, while Officer John Doyle kicks Blume repeatedly in the head. After the suspect is restrained, the officers are shown in the video walking away and celebrating with a chest bump.
Schultz said he immediately launched an investigation into the February incident. He said the two officers should be criminally charged, and it's something prosecutors are looking into.
"The level of force could be construed as a civil rights violation," Schultz said.
Meanwhile, thousands from across the country have seen the video, something of which the police chief said he's aware.
"When something like this comes out and goes public, everyone's looking at you a little bit differently," he said.
Schultz said he's taking a lot of heat for it, too.
"I've received calls from people saying 'completely unacceptable,' something we agree with," he said.
However, the chief said he doesn't want the public to watch the footage and lose faith in the APD. He said he wanted to pass along a message to his entire force: This behavior won't be tolerated.
"You've got to make sure every decision you make is the right decision, and if you make a wrong decision, you'll be held accountable for it, and that may include losing your job," the chief said.
A special prosecutor in Socorro is reviewing the case and said he should make a decision on whether to file criminal charges within the next month.
In: Regional News
Tags: caught on tape, raw video, cctv, surveillance, cops, police, fired, beating, brutality
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved, featured
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