ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two days, two lawsuits for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department.
The department has been in the spotlight this year for a wave of shootings and not wearing cameras. They’re accused of some bad behavior.
It’s been a year of deputy-involved shootings for BCSO, nine to be exact.
In the middle of dealing with the scrutiny stemming from those shootings, BCSO has been hit with two lawsuits this week.
“We have sued the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office for its unconstitutional policy and practice on targeting motorists on basis of skin color,” attorney Laura Schauer-Ives said.
Schauer-Ives says BCSO deputies pulled over her African American client, who’s an ICE Deportation Officer, three times in less than a month earlier this year, while she was here on business.
The three traffic stops resulted in zero citations and Schauer-Ives calls it racial profiling.
Meanwhile, Frank Davis says his client, Edward Gonzales, was beaten by a deputy back in June of 2017.
“There was some communication between the Sheriff’s Department and Mr. Gonzales that resulted in Mr. Gonzales being the victim of excessive force,” attorney Frank Davis said.
He says BCSO initially responded to a call regarding his client’s son, but beat up his client, leaving him with major injuries.
Both attorneys agree the department needs to undergo some major changes.
“Part of our claims are aimed at negligent training and supervision so hopefully we can get some systemic changes from this lawsuit,” said Davis.
“The department really needs to consider its policies, consider training of officers, and it needs to do better going forward or the department will end up going where [Albuquerque Police] ended up,” said Schauer-Ives.