ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – More than three weeks after News 13 exposed undercover Albuquerque police officers had blended into an APD protest and video-taped it, the department is finally releasing that video, or at least some of it.
It appears they shot more than they said they did.
APD released two clips on Thursday totaling about five and half minutes of video.
Some of it appears to be focused on Kenneth Ellis, the father of a man killed by APD.
APD says just one DVD with two video clips is everything that was recorded by their disguised Criminal Intelligence Unit officer.
“The videos (which are not clips as they have not been edited from any recordings) released today are the only videos the sergeant took at the event,” said APD spokeswoman Janet Blair in a written statement to News 13 on Thursday.
The video starts when a shirtless man in black pants and a cowboy hat gets unruly with protestors who were setting up a stage in Roosevelt Park. It’s unclear why the man was upset, but through the course of the video he continues to argue with event organizers.
It’s the only video that APD says was taken during the hours-long protest.
“There is no other video,” said APD spokeswoman Janet Blair.
But KRQE News 13 saw the undercover officer pointing his camera at protesters at other points of the day. News 13 asked APD Thursday what the sergeant was doing with his camera during those periods of time. APD responded with the following statement:
“We cannot respond to a question which doesn’t provide times or locations. There is no way we can identify what these anonymous journalists are referring to.”
In late June, News 13 asked the city’s Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry if the officer was recording the rest of the time and if we could get access to the memory cards in the officer’s camera.
Perry responded, “I’m going to try to give that to you, because I think you’re probably going to want that to confirm what I am telling you, and I get that, yeah.”
But on Thursday, APD only provided one DVD with copies of the specific video.
APD spokeswoman Janet Blair responded to the memory request late Thursday afternoon, saying:
“The data sticks and memory cards contain information which is not public record and is exempt from disclosure.”
While most of the video focuses on the unruly man, at one point in the second clip, the video shows the undercover officer keeps his camera on Kenneth Ellis II and a woman from the protest group “A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition” for about 20 seconds, even while the unruly man is yelling off camera.
Kenneth Ellis II has been a vocal critic of APD since 2010. That’s when an officer shot and killed his son, Kenneth Ellis III, in a 7-11 parking lot at University and Central as Ellis III held a gun to his own head. Ellis III was an Iraq war veteran who suffered from PTSD.
Ellis told News 13 Thursday that the video made him feel like he was “a target.” News 13 asked APD why their officer held this shot for so long. APD spokeswoman Janet Blair responded with the following statement:
“APD disagrees with Mr. Ellis’ statement. As has been stated before, APD’s role was to ensure the safety of the public.”
Kenneth Ellis responds
News 13 showed the video clip to Ellis II on Thursday. Ellis believes the video shows APD has an eye on him.
“Why zoom in on me and Gloria? We’re not the subject matter there, we’re.. you know , we’re peaceful, you know?” Ellis said. “It makes me feel very uncomfortable it makes me feel like I have a target on me, you know.”
Even though the city says undercover officers were only at the protest to keep everyone safe, Ellis says he doesn’t buy it, nor does he believe that the 5 and half minutes is all that was shot.
“It speaks volumes them only releasing you know a few minutes of video out of a three hour protest 08:56 You know, you know darn good and well there’s more video there than this,” said Ellis.