Breaking: APD Launches IA Investigation Into Child Abuse Case of 7-year-old
The Albuquerque Police Department has launched an Internal Affairs investigation into why its officers apparently ddid't spot signs of child abuse in the case of a 7-year-old girl whose parents have been charged with prostituting her.
In a news release, APd said Chief Michael Geier ordered the investigation on Friday.
Here's APD's news release on the matter:
ALBUQUERQUE – The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) launched an Internal Affairs investigation last Friday to provide a more complete accounting of the department’s interactions related to a November 2017 incident involving James Stewart, Terri Sanchez and their children.
APD Chief Mike Geier ordered a formal Internal Affairs investigation to provide him, and the Mayor, with a complete picture that details the steps taken or missed by officers and detectives during interviews with family and school personnel. The investigation will also explore any other actions by APD personnel who had a role, or should have had a role, before a determination was made about allegations of child neglect or abuse.
“The initiation of a formal internal affairs investigation reflects my desire to bring a new culture at APD that stands for nothing less than a rigorous and transparent review of all involved in the handling of this case, especially when it comes to protecting children in Albuquerque,” Mayor Keller said. “Since our initial look into this, much new information has come to light and we are going to get to the bottom of what happened and hold the department accountable for what should have been done.”
“After our initial assessment, the information I received did not sit well with me, and I was not satisfied that the department did all it could,” Chief Geier said. “If we are truly going to change the culture at APD, we need to be honest and transparent about our shortcomings. And we need to embrace change so we are doing everything we can to protect the people we serve, especially vulnerable children.”
Chief Geier will join Mayor Tim Keller this afternoon to take questions about the investigation. The media availability is scheduled today at 3:30 p.m. in the Chief’s Conference Room at APD headquarters, 400 Roma N.W. The Mayor, city and APD leadership are also planning a public update on various policy changes associated with the investigation next week.