ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – There are still unanswered questions about whether APD Officer Jeremy Dear turned his camera on before he shot and killed a 19-year-old suspected truck thief, Mary Hawkes, who he claim pointed a gun at him.
KRQE News 13 has learned Officer Dear has been caught not turning his lapel camera on before, and he’s been on APD’s watch list because so many of his arrests end in violence.
News 13 has APD records that show Dear has been flagged for use of force at least 11 times over the past two years.
Lapel video from Officer Dear’s partner from January of last year shows pieces of what happened after the two broke up a fight downtown.
Dear’s camera was not on.
A police report said a 22-year-old suspect was trying to hit Dear, so Dear punched him in the face several times and had his hand on his throat.
Later, in the ambulance with Dear, the suspect starts yelling in fear.
“Then let him leave please. I don’t like him.” the suspect said. “Just don’t f***ing let him touch me.”
Dear’s partner said his lapel was running when he saw the fight and that it must have turned off or malfunctioned during the struggle, but video APD gave News 13 only shows the aftermath, in short clips with parts missing in between.
More than two weeks ago, Chief Gorden Eden announced there was no video from Officer Dear’s lapel camera when he fatally shot Mary Hawkes.
They are trying to figure out if Dear turned it on like he said he did or if it malfunctioned.
“That is information we don’t know,” Chief Eden said. “That’s why we sent it to the experts.”
News 13 obtained APD records on Dear’s past.
While the department redacted a lot of it, they do show a month after that downtown skirmish where Dear didn’t have lapel video, he was reprimanded for another use of force incident for not turning his camera on.
KRQE tried to obtain the police report for the details, but APD’s records unit said it was gone.
Last June, a memo confirms APD reminded Dear to record all interactions with the public, and a sergeant was told to show up on Officer Dear’s calls.
Still, despite Dear being flagged for a string of use of force cases and citizen complaints, a commander said in a letter from December, he “found no issues of concern” with Dear.
APD said TASER, the company that makes its lapel cameras, is still trying to figure out if Dear turned his camera on before shooting Mary Hawkes.
Of course, the Department of Justice report criticized APD for taking it too easy on cops who show a pattern of not turning their cameras on.
KRQE reached out to APD for comment. APD declined.