ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – News 13 has video never seen publicly of a deadly APD shooting that the feds say should not have happened.
The U.S. Department of Justice used this case as an example of what it called “Albuquerque police officers’ own recklessness [leading] to their use of deadly force.”
The DOJ report said police were not justified in killing a suspected car thief named Mickey Owings four years ago.
Now, this case is being brought back to life with a lawsuit filed Thursday over what an Albuquerque attorney said was a bad shoot.
At first glance, surveillance video shows what looks like a normal day outside a busy west-side Walmart in March 2010.
Until you follow an SUV, 26-year-old Owings, a suspected car thief with a violent history, is driving.
He pulls up next to another SUV police believe he stole.
He and his passenger get out but then he gets back in.
As he starts to back out, undercover cop cars box him in.
Trying to escape, Owings slams into them.
Det. Kevin Sanchez runs up, pulls his gun and shoots Owings, who then hits two empty, parked cars, knocks them aside and zooms out of the lot.
Owings quickly loses consciousness and dies on a nearby road.
“Officers obviously were endangered, as was the public,” former Chief Ray Schultz said at the scene.
But the U.S. Department of Justice and now Attorney Shannon Kennedy, who’s representing Owings’ three children, disagree.
“You can see the officers on the video created the danger themselves,” Kennedy said. “They’re the ones driving recklessly to block him in.”
In its April report on APD, the DOJ said Owings was not armed, did not pose a threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or anyone else and he was driving straight into unoccupied parked cars when he was shot.
The city’s independent review officer ruled the shooting was justified but Kennedy filed a lawsuit against the city on Thursday.
“All we have the power to do is to sue for money damages,” she said. “That’s the only consequence we can fight for is justice for these children to pay that debt to these children.”
KRQE reached out to APD. A spokesperson said she could not comment because it was too late in the day.
APD policy at the time allowed officers to shoot at moving cars, a policy the DOJ report criticized.
APD has since banned that practice.