APD chief overrules suspension recommendation for officer after accidental shooting

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – What should happen to an Albuquerque police officer who accidentally fired his gun, shooting an innocent man in the back? According to Albuquerque’s police chief — nothing.

The citizen’s group that looks into police shootings and use of force cases recommended the officer be suspended for 11 days. The chief was having none of that.

It was back in December 2014. Officer Tamas Nadas was climbing through a broken window in an apartment near East Central looking for a burglar. He stumbled, firing off a bullet through the floor, hitting a dad in the upper back in the apartment down below.

The Civilian Police Oversight Agency investigated, and the executive director recommended an 88-hour suspension for Officer Nadas, primarily for having his finger on the trigger without a target or any intention to shoot.

But KRQE News 13 has learned Albuquerque Police Department Chief Gorden Eden overruled that, opting for a written reprimand instead, saying while he agrees the officer violated that trigger policy, he has not shown a pattern of problems with his gun in the past.

The Civilian Police Oversight Agency — or CPOA — cannot appeal the chief’s final decision on punishment.

Documents from the CPOA show another Albuquerque police officer recently received a verbal reprimand for accidentally firing his gun at home when he fired a shot through his kitchen window and into his neighbor’s house. No one was hurt.

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