Albuquerque Police Chief speaks on affidavit claims

Gorden Eden
(AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department’s top brass says he’s going to the District Attorney.

Chief Gordon Eden told council members he plans to work with the District Attorney’s Office to clear the department. This, after its former records custodian alleged APD deleted videos in several high-profile cases.

This is the first time the chief has spoken out about these recent allegations from the former records keeper. Chief Eden told councilors his department started an investigation and is willing to cooperate in any way they can. He and the city attorney also answered chain of custody questions.

“There are built-in protections to make sure once it’s recorded, it’s on that camera until it is uploaded to the system,” said city attorney Jessica Hernandez responding to City Councilor Pat Davis.

Davis wanted to know whether the department always keeps the original lapel cam video, despite any duplicates made, and that there’s always a paper trail.

Chief Eden explained the process of how the videos are captured, then uploaded to the evidence database. He and Hernandez told councilors there is no chain of custody issue because of the way their database is organized.

Hernandez said that includes video in those cases the former records custodian brought into question, like the Mary Hawkes officer-involved shooting. But Davis said he’s still concerned.

“It paints the picture that every time we make a step forward with APD, we seem to be taking two steps backwards,” said Davis.

Hernandez and Chief Eden said they are now working to track down those videos in question. They said they are also investigating Chavez’s other allegations.

Councilor Davis said a recent discussion with the DA indicates defense attorneys are challenging videos in routine cases because of Chavez’s accusations.

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