ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The re-vamped Civilian Police Oversight Agency finally took a vote Thursday night. They recommend Albuquerque Police Chief, Gorden Eden, fire the lieutenant who shot and nearly killed his fellow officer.
But as it turns out, the Albuquerque Police Department won’t get the chance. KRQE News 13 learned late Thursday night that Greg Brachle filed for retirement on Monday.
At Thursday night’s meeting, the Police Oversight Board, or POB, agreed that Brachle made enough mistakes when he shot an undercover detective, to lose his job with APD.
It happened during a drug sting that nearly cost APD Detective Jacob Grant his life.
“This was just an extremely unsafe and tragic situation,” said Beth Mohr, Police Oversight Board member.
Thursday night, The Civilian Police Oversight Agency, or CPOA, determined Grant’s own lieutenant at the time, Brachle, violated standard operating protocols the day of the shooting in January 2015.
“I find the use of force in this case to be unreasonable,” explained CPOA Executive Director Ed Harness.
Grant was undercover in a Lexus near Tramway and Central during the drug sting. The plan was to buy about $60 worth of meth from two drug suspects.
However, at some point, Brachle moved in on his own.
Grant said Brachle shot him nine times at point-blank range.
“Lt. B yelled “gun, gun, gun” and one second later, according to lapel video, he began firing his weapon into the driver’s side rear of the 2007 Lexus,” Harness read from his report.
Harness presented his findings of the case Thursday night to the POB, after reviewing an internal investigation.
He and board members are independent from APD.
In his report, Harness states Brachle did not attend a briefing for the sting.
Harness also pointed out, Brachle should have known it’s standard for the undercover officer to sit behind the driver, and that Grant would be armed.
The report also states Brachle knows what Grant looks like, since he’s worked with Grant for more than two years.
In addition to standard protocols, the report points out that the two suspects in the car with Grant were black males.
“The fact also really bothered me that he opened fire without giving any commands,” explained Beth Mohr, referring to Brachle’s decision to shoot.
“He yelled ‘gun’ three times and opened fire without telling the person possessing the gun to do anything,” Mohr added.
In the end, board members voted 6-1 in favor of firing Brachle.
As it turns out, Brachle beat APD to the punch and filed for retirement on Monday.
Last month, Police Oversight Board members asked for more time to carefully review this case file and lapel video from that day.
It was clear at Thursday night’s meeting that board members were not made aware Brachle had filed for retirement earlier in the week.
If Brachle had not retired, APD Chief Gorden Eden would have had 30 days to respond to the CPOA’s recommendation.
In a statement Thursday night, Chief Eden said, “Allowing the Civilian Police Oversight Agency and Police Oversight Board to review cases and make recommendations is an important part of this process and adds transparency and independent input.”