Rogue Cop Fired for lying about Body Camera and not killing an unarmed 19 year old
I use the label rogue not because I know the cop personally but because he has been allowed to get away with actions which would have gotten most people fired long before he was allowed to take the life of a 19 year old girl. To many this is a prime example of being judge, jury and executioner because as with Michael Brown and Dillan Taylor, Mary Hawkes had a few run-ins with the law. The title of the piece was called “Cop Finally Fired After Refusing to Turn on Body Camera When He Shot Woman” by an unknown writer and in it the article reports that “An investigation that began back in April determined that Officer Jeremy Dear’s camera was intentionally disabled right before he shot and killed Mary Hawkes, 19. Now, Albuquerque Police Chief Eden has fired Officer Dear, as part of what is being called a “zero tolerance” policy on police camera use during citizen interactions. Officer Dear says that he is being treated unfairly, but in three separate incidences, Dear has claimed that his body camera has malfunctioned. In each of these incidences the Albuquerque cop has used force against a suspect. This latest case involves the shooting of a 19-year-old teenage girl. The personnel file for Officer Dear says that in January 2013, his camera “malfunctioned” during the course of him “breaking up” a fight, in which Dear “did strike (the 22-year-old suspect) several times in his facial area with a closed fist.” Officer Dear said the man was “resisting arrest.” He wanted his supervisors and the people of Albuquerque to believe that this was just a strange coincidence that his bodycam malfunctioned during the fight, even though it appeared to be in perfect working order upon inspection. His camera was never turned on during the encounter. Procedure is to turn on the camera when engaging in such a contact with citizens. He says he tried to turn it on but it just didn’t seem to work. Only one month after this, Officer pulled a man over for speeding. That man filed a complaint, saying that he was kicked in the groin by the officer who dragged him from his vehicle. He also said that he deliberately put on handcuffs too tight, causing injury to him, even when the suspect protested and explained the pain he was in from the abusive use of the handcuffs. But now Officer Dear has once again experienced technical difficulties during his shooting and killing of 19-year-old Mary Hawkes. After a foot chase on April 21, 2014, Hawkes was said to have pointed a gun at Officer Dear. That sounds like he was in the right to use lethal force against her. But the problem is – once again – his bodycam mysteriously malfunctioned. To complicate things, the autopsy report says that all three gunshots were fired on Hawkes from a downward trajectory, indicating that officer Dear was actually standing over the teenage girl when he killed her”.
My thought is why it took a life to make those in authority finally take action. Was it not apparently clear then that Mr. Dear was operating in a rogue manner? This is the problem with those who are placed in a position of authority but are too weak to exercise that authority to keep the citizens safe. Many times we look to people from outside of our community to cause the loss of life to those within, when we need to clean up our own home before trying to tell others how to clean up theirs. I still say that we need to closely examine the duty belts of police officers to insure that the proper tools are there to follow more closely the escalation of force. For the few duty belts I have seen, I do not see the baton which is supposed to be used prior to pulling your weapon unless you know or see the subject with a gun. If this had been used instead of shooting, we may still be talking about a rogue cop but at least Mary Hawkes would be alive.