ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The trial for a former Albuquerque Police Department officer accused of roughing up a homeless man was supposed to start Tuesday. Instead, the former cop made a request that blind-sided courtroom and brought the trial to a halt.
A judge was supposed to decide his fate Tuesday, but the trial was unexpectedly rescheduled after Greer requested a jury trial.
“I don’t remember the word jury ever coming up,” said Judge Chris Shultz.
Cedric Greer is accused of beating a homeless man and then not providing lapel video of the incident.
Investigators said Greer and another officer didn’t turn on their lapel cameras until after they arrested the man for marijuana possession and trespassing.
Tuesday, the judge questioned Greer’s attorney about the sudden request.
“Every notice that has gone out has said bench trial on it and I would really hope Mr. D-Amato would have conversations with Mr. Greer before this morning about whether or not he wants a jury,” said Judge Shultz.
Greer’s attorney said while he did plan for trial, it was Greer who made the last minute decision.
The judge granted his request then quickly moved on to another.
“We believe he’s not competent to testify for his lack of personal knowledge,” said Greer’s Attorney, John D-Amato.
D-Amato told the judge that during a pre-trial interview, the homeless man couldn’t remember what happened in that parking lot.
Prosecutors insist he remembers now.
In the end, the judge said the homeless man could testify for now.
Greer is charged with aggravated battery for pushing the man to the ground and punching him in the face and chest.
The jury trial is now set for May.
APD fired Greer quietly over the summer, three months after he was charged with the misdemeanor crime.