ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A woman at the center of a domestic violence case that got the head of Albuquerque’s police union in trouble has spoken out.
The woman said Officer Stephanie Lopez tried to talk her out of pressing charges against her boyfriend, one of Lopez’ fellow APD officers.
The woman said her 911 call was a cry for help, and the response left her in a different kind of fear.
“I was intimidated and afraid,” the woman said. “’Who was going to believe me?’”
KRQE agreed to protect this woman’s identity as she spoke out about what happened at her home last year when she called police on her boyfriend, Chris Cordova, who worked for APD.
“I was really distraught, really sad, just crying and I was in fear because, I mean, he choked me and said he wanted to see me die,” the woman said.
That is what one officer detailed in the police report. However, Albuquerque Police Officers Association President Stephanie Lopez wrote, the woman “advised he was not [choking] her she was upset and frustrated.”
The victim said Lopez admitted to being friends with Cordova.
“She’s like, ‘Chris wouldn’t have done this. I’ve known him for years. We’re really good friends,’ and I told her this is not the first time it’s happened. This is just the first time I called,” the woman said.
Throughout the interview, the woman said Lopez tried to talk her out of pressing charges against Cordova.
“She completely made it feel like it was my fault and made me feel guilty about it,” the woman said. “She said, ‘Look what you’ve done, the situation you put him in.’”
Police arrested Cordova that day for aggravated battery.
When the department later looked into Lopez’ conduct, they found she interfered with an investigation, allowed personal feelings or friendships to influence her decisions and did not avoid contact with someone she knew was under active criminal investigation.
Lopez could have been fired.
Then-Chief Ray Schultz suspended her for two weeks.
Lopez has refused to do an interview with KRQE News 13, but did send a send statement about her disciplinary history.
The statement said in part, “I believe that I and other APD officers will benefit from more training on how to manage the many unique situations we find ourselves in as officers.”
Charges against Cordova have been dismissed for now, but the District Attorney’s office couldn’t tell KRQE News 13 why on Friday afternoon.
APD couldn’t say Friday afternoon if Cordova is still working for the department.