City Councilor Pat Davis must resign; when he was a D.C. cop, Davis shot a black man; endangered peo
(Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Pete Dinelli's blog. He's given us permission to republish it.)
Here are the highlights:
-- City Councilor Pat Davis Needs To Step Down To Atone For His Own “Black Lives Matter” Moment And Violations Of Peoples Civil Rights As A Police Officer. Davis, the council's leading progressive mouthpiece, shot a black man when he (Davis) was a Washington, D.C., cop.
– The earliest case where court documents were provided is a 2004 officer involved shooting case where Davis use deadly force against an African American during a traffic stop. Court documents were also provided in 2 civil cases, one filed in 2007 and one in 2008. Davis was sued along with others he was working with, for civil rights violations, false arrest and imprisonment, and negligence while he was a UNM Police Officer relating to unlawful searches of private residences for marijuana and illicit drugs.
– The cases reflect that Pat Davis as a police officer had a very troubling pattern of violating people’s civil rights and used deadly force during a traffic stop of two African Americans. It is fortunate that the person shot by Davis survived from his injuries. The “Black Lives Matter” movement and voters need to decide if the new found desire of APD police reformer Pat Davis as a city councilor is sincere or is it opportunism to garner political support and favor from the progressive movement in Albuquerque.
-- 1. The shooting happened after a routine traffic stop for the drivers failure to signal a left turn and the passenger failing to wear a seat belt.
-- 2. The driver and the passenger were both male African Americans.
-- 3. It was Pat Davis who escalated the traffic stop by lunging into the vehicle to get a gun he had seen that the driver was trying to hide in the vehicle console or glove compartment resulting in a struggle.
-- 4. The driver did not crash the car but drove off injured and it was only much later that he was found and taken into custody after Davis identified him.
-- 5. Davis did not say he was threatened by the driver with the gun nor did Davis say the driver pointing the gun at him.
-- 6. Davis fired his service revolver into the moving vehicle escalating the incident instead of backing off or standing down.
-- 7. The driver was charged by the police with “Assaulting, Resisting or Interfering With a Police Officer With A Dangerous Weapon” but the federal grand jury Davis returned a “NO BILL,” meaning it declined to charge the driver with the felony and resulting in the case being dismissed against the driver who he had shot.
-- Pat Davis’s conduct as a police officer in the Bell case coupled with his litigation history in New Mexico, reflects a clear pattern and practice of unconstitutional policing, “use of force” and “deadly force” and an attitude that he embraced a police “culture of aggression” and violations of civil rights that the reforms are designed to prevent.
-- Davis drove drunk in a minority neighborhood, thus threatening people of color. In 2014, Davis pleaded guilty to DWI.
Here is Dinelli's complete story:
“For far too long we’ve seen people of color targeted by police and underserved by those in power. Seeing the brutalization and death of individuals at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and serve is a disgrace to our nation and I’m glad to see so many people stand up, say “Black Lives Matter.” … As former police officer myself, I acknowledge that … I also made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today.”
Albuquerque City Council President Pat Davis, June 2020 , APD Reform Survey, using the “Black Lives Matter” logo.
“[I was a] “zero-tolerance cop – the kind you wouldn’t want to pull you over. … I came from a conservative background. … If you broke the laws, there are consequences for that.”
City Councilor Pat Davis, February 6, 2017, Albuquerque Journal, “ABQ councilor seeking police reforms has an insider’s perspective”, acknowledging his own police officer shooting as a DC Police Officer.
“While on patrol, the officers observed a red … Nissan … occupied by two black males. The passenger in the vehicle was observed without his seatbelt on, and the vehicle also failed to use a turn signal while making a left turn. … [A]t that time, [officers] conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. … Davis approached the driver’s door of the vehicle and observed the driver with a semi-automatic pistol in his hand attempting to conceal the handgun in the middle of the console area of the vehicle. … Officer Davis reached inside the vehicle and attempted to grab the handgun from the driver and a struggle ensued. … The driver of the vehicle then sped off at a high rate of speed with Officer Davis partially inside of the driver’s window struggling with the driver and being dragged by the vehicle. … Officer Davis, fearing for his life, fired his service weapon into the vehicle. … Officers continued to canvass the area and … located the defendant … hiding under a stairwell … The defendant was suffering from a gunshot wound to the left shoulder. … . ”
United States Federal Judge John H. Bayly, adopted “FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW”, September 30, 2004
This blog article is a detailed in-depth report on 3 known court actions that have been resolved. The cases involve actions of City Council President Pat Davis as a police officer before his election to the Albuquerque City Council. The cases are no longer pending with two settled and charges dismissed in another. The article provides the caption and cause numbers of the cases with all the court filings public record and includes analysis. Both Federal and State litigation are involved.
The cases reflect that Pat Davis as a police officer had a very troubling pattern of violating people’s civil rights and used deadly force during a traffic stop of two African Americans. It is fortunate that the person shot by Davis survived from his injuries. The “Black Lives Matter” movement and voters need to decide if the new found desire of APD police reformer Pat Davis as a city councilor is sincere or is it opportunism to garner political support and favor from the progressive movement in Albuquerque.
Pat Davis has been appointed to positions of trust and confidentiality by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, the Albuquerque City Council and the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Two of those positions affect the New Mexico Bar, the criminal justice policy in Bernalillo County and the selection of judges. The past actions as a police officer by Davis, and his arrest for Aggravated DWI, should have disqualified Davis from the appointments, presuming he disclosed them before the appointments were made. (See POSTSCRIPT below for information on the DWI charge and how it was disposed.)
WORK HISTORY OF PAT DAVIS
Discussion of the work history of Albuquerque City Councilor President Pat Davis is in order to “connect the dots” of his past conduct as they relate to his current actions on the Albuquerque City Council and positions of trust he now holds.
In December 2004, after about three years with the Washington D.C. Police Department, and several months after his officer involved shooting, Pat Davis was employed as a lieutenant on the University of New Mexico (UNM) Police Force. He left the UNM Police and around 2009 he became a spokesman for Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg. He left the District Attorney’s Office and founded ProgressNow and became its Director. ProgressNow New Mexico is a non-profit progressive advocacy group working on public policy campaigns, including efforts to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and to defend women’s ability to access healthcare. ProgressNow is known for opposition research on conservative issues and candidates for office. He was the Chair of the Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers Program but resigned when he was arrested on July 28, 2013, for aggravated DWI after he was found to have a blood-alcohol concentration of .19 and .18 respectively.
ELECTIVE OFFICE SOUGHT
Pat Davis was a candidate for Bernalillo County Sheriff in 2009, and twice a successful candidate for city councilor in October, 2015 and November, 2019. In 2018, Davis was an unsuccessful candidate in the Democratic Primary for the United State Congress. In January, 2020, Davis was elected by the City Council as their President.
In 2019, Davis was appointed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham as the chairman of her marijuana legalization task force. The Governor has appointed Davis to serve on the Judicial Selection Commission to nominate attorneys to fill court vacancies in the state courts.
Davis is the current Chairman of the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (BCJCC). The BCJCC is a 13 member commission consisting of the Chief Judges of the District Court and Metropolitan Court, the District Attorney, the Public Defender, the President of the NM Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Bernalillo County Sheriff, the Albuquerque Police Chief, a Bernalillo County Commissioner, a City Councilor, the ABQ Chief Administrative Officer, the Regional Administrator of New Mexico Probation and Parole and the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts.
The purpose of the BCJCC is to serve as a forum concerning the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice, which includes identifying issues and their solutions, proposing actions, and facilitating cooperation that will enhance public safety and reduce crime in Bernalillo County, advance the fair and timely disposition of cases, maximize the efficient use of criminal justice resources, and ensure justice and improved outcomes for those accused of crimes and the victims of crimes.
DAVIS GETS INTO THE ACT OF APD REFORM AND “DEFUND THE POLICE”
The “Black Lives Matter” movement is now sweeping cities across the country as is a movement it started referred to as “Defund the Police”. Major recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement emerged in the wake of the killing of African American George Floyd, 46, who was killed by Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck to subdue him. “Defund the Police” can be defined in simple terms as meaning taking funding away from police forces and invest or reallocate those funds into social programs to address the real causes of crime.
On Friday, June 13, Pat Davis announced that he and the city council have a plan to overall the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). The city council proposal would change multiple levels of the department, from reorganizing the police budget and officers’ jobs on the street to emphasizing behavioral health assistance and studies to determine the best route for community engagement. Davis said he believes the city can rededicate $1 million of APD’s $207 million budget to community organizations and social services. Davis is also suggesting a 24/7 dispatch line for calls regarding the homeless that would be answered by those in a public health role and not by the APD reducing APD’s volume of 911 emergency calls. Davis also announced that the council will meet with the community in July to gain input into possible changes to APD’s budget, police operations and other avenues where funds could be placed to better the community.
PAT DAVIS MAKES ADMISSIONS OF MISCONDUCT AS POLICE OFFICER
City Councilor Pat Davis initiated and conducted a citywide survey on policing strategies. In announcing the survey, Davis had this to say on the city web page:
“For far too long we’ve seen people of color targeted by police and underserved by those in power. Seeing the brutalization and death of individuals at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and serve is a disgrace to our nation and I’m glad to see so many people stand up, say “Black Lives Matter,” and work to reconfigure our systems in ways that work for all.
As former police officer myself, I acknowledge that among the many good things I did for those I served, I also made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today. As President Obama’s 21st Century policing task force says, we have to move policing from a warrior to guardian mentality.
The link to the survey with the full statement is here:
The survey was conducted and made available by email and online from Friday, June 13 through Monday, June 15, 2020. According to the survey city web page, 10,053 completed the survey by June 15. On June 16, Davis announced the results of the survey on the city web page and said:
“Our country is coming to a reckoning with the systemic racism inherent in our policing systems, and our city is not immune. In a time when options for in-person dialogue is limited, we have to work even harder to include community input into the decisions elected leaders will be called to make in the coming months. That’s why we created this platform for input and why I’m proud to share the results with our City”
CATALYST FOR COURT DOCUMENTS TO BE PROVIDED
One reaction to the on line survey was confidential sources coming forward with information regarding the civil litigation where Pat Davis was named as a defendant for his conduct as a UNM Police Officer and in a Washington, DC criminal case and his involvement in an officer involved shooting where he shot someone.
The earliest case where court documents were provided is a 2004 officer involved shooting case where Davis use deadly force against an African American during a traffic stop. Court documents were also provided in 2 civil cases, one filed in 2007 and one in 2008. Davis was sued along with others he was working with, for civil rights violations, false arrest and imprisonment, and negligence while he was a UNM Police Officer relating to unlawful searches of private residences for marijuana and illicit drugs.
ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL REPORTS ON DAVIS 2004 POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING
In December 2004, after about three years with the Washington D.C. Police Department, and several months after his officer involved shooting, Pat Davis came to Albuquerque and became a lieutenant for the University of New Mexico campus police. It was in October, 2015 that Davis was elected to the City Council
On February 6th, 2017, the Albuquerque Journal published a story on the August 31, 2004 police officer shooting by then DC Police Officer Pat Davis.
Following are relevant portions of the report:
HEADLINE: ABQ councilor seeking police reforms has an insider’s perspective
BY RYAN BOETEL / JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
Monday, February 6th, 2017 at 12:02am
“The officer, Pat Davis, now a city councilor in Albuquerque, drew his weapon and fired into the car twice, striking the suspect in the shoulder. Davis fell to the ground and the car ran over his leg. The driver crashed the car and was taken into custody.
The shooting occurred about 2:30 in the afternoon outside of a low-income Lincoln Heights housing project in the nation’s capital in August 2004.
The driver, Moses Bell, would later represent himself pro se in a civil rights lawsuit against Davis, his supervisors, the police department and others. A federal judge ultimately dismissed the case.
Davis, who is also the executive director of ProgressNow New Mexico, which advocates for progressive policies and issues, has introduced legislation on the City Council to change the way Albuquerque police respond to and investigate officer-involved shootings.
Davis’ legislation would call for an agency other than the Albuquerque Police Department to take the lead into shootings by APD officers and in-custody death investigations. It also calls for the city to try to get the Attorney General’s Office or a district attorney outside of the 2nd Judicial District to review the investigations and decide whether charges are warranted.
Davis said he relied on the experience he had going through a police shooting and his years as an officer when crafting the bill, which hasn’t been considered yet by the full council.
He described himself as a “zero-tolerance” cop – “the kind you wouldn’t want to pull you over,” he said – and added that he often led the D.C. police department in arrests, wrote lots of tickets for traffic and marijuana violations and was involved in the previously mentioned shooting.
“I came from a conservative background,” he told the Journal in an interview. “If you broke the laws, there are consequences for that” and added that he often led the D.C. police department in arrests, wrote lots of tickets for traffic and marijuana violations and was involved in the previously mentioned shooting."
At the time of Davis’ shooting, the Metropolitan D.C. police were in the middle of a reform effort instigated by a U.S. Department of Justice investigation, which found the department too often used excessive force, including in police shooting cases. The department responded to the shooting in a way that was outlined in the settlement agreement between the DOJ and D.C. police, Davis said.
Albuquerque police are currently involved with a similar reform that also was brought on by a DOJ investigation into Albuquerque police use of force.
He said that gives him a unique perspective on the reform process underway in Albuquerque.
Davis said that after his shooting he had to take a mandatory three months of administrative leave and complete therapy sessions.
He said it took him about a month to realize the gravity of the situation and to realize that he needed additional time to decompress.
Davis said a group of D.C. officers trained by the DOJ completed the investigation and submitted the case to a federal grand jury, which produced a report on the shooting before Davis returned to work.
OMISSIONS IN ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL REPORT
The version and details given of the August 31, 2004 shooting by Pat Davis and reported by the Albuquerque Journal are significantly different than what was found by a Federal Court Judge in the criminal case. (See below case study)
What the Journal news report failed to report on the incident are the following:
1. The shooting happened after a routine traffic stop for the drivers failure to signal a left turn and the passenger failing to wear a seat belt.
2. The driver and the passenger were both male African Americans.
3. It was Pat Davis who escalated the traffic stop by lunging into the vehicle to get a gun he had seen that the driver was trying to hide in the vehicle console or glove compartment resulting in a struggle.
4. The driver did not crash the car but drove off injured and it was only much later that he was found and taken into custody after Davis identified him.
5. Davis did not say he was threatened by the driver with the gun nor did Davis say the driver pointing the gun at him.
6. Davis fired his service revolver into the moving vehicle escalating the incident instead of backing off or standing down.
7. The driver was charged by the police with “Assaulting, Resisting or Interfering With a Police Officer With A Dangerous Weapon” but the federal grand jury Davis referred to in the Journal article returned a “NO BILL”, meaning it declined to charge the driver with the felony and resulting in the case being dismissed against the driver who he had shot.
The first case is a 2004 officer involved shooting in Washington D.C. where Police Officer Patrick Davis shot and seriously injured an African American after a minor traffic stop for failure to signal a left turn and a passenger not wearing a seat belt.
The next two cases are civil actions filed in 2007 and 2008. One case involves the execution of a “sealed search warrant” for marijuana by 21 law enforcement personnel, including Pat Davis as a UNM Police officer, who stormed a home, broke in and caused $20,000 in property damaged searching the home. The next case involves the unauthorized search of 2 homes without search warrants where the homes located in Corrales were occupied by single women. UNM Police officer Pat Davis along with two other UNM Police officers essentially coerced both woman to allow searches of their homes without court approved search warrants.
All 3 cases combined reveal an alarming pattern of violating people’s civil rights and unconstitutional policing practices by Pat Davis as a police officer. As City Council President, Pat Davis is calling for major changes and reforms to the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). Davis is questioning and challenging police practices, policies, procedures, training and funding of APD.
COURT DOCUMENTS REVEAL DETAILS OF 2004 “OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING” INVOLVING PAT DAVIS AS WASHINGTON, DC COP
Davis in his February 6th, 2017 Albuquerque Journal article described himself as a “zero-tolerance” cop, “the kind you wouldn’t want to pull you over”. and is quoted as saying “I came from a conservative background. … If you broke the laws, there are consequences for that.” Washington, D.C. resident Moses Bell, who is African American, found out the hard way that Davis was indeed “the kind of cop you wouldn’t want to pull you over.”
On September 30, 2004 United States Federal Judge John H. Bayly, Jr. for the Superior Court for the District of Columbia , Criminal Division, filed adopted “FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND ORDER OF DETENTION PENDING TRIAL” in Case No. F-5513-04, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA VS. MOSES M. BELL.
The court order contains the following introduction and “findings of fact”:
“This matter came before the Court on September 13, 2004, upon the motion of the United States to hold the defendant without bond pending his trial within one hundred days pursuant to 23 D.C. Code§ 1322(b)(l)(A). Having considered the factors enumerated in 23 D.C. Code§ 1322(e), the Government’s proffer of the defendant’s prior record and indicia of risk of flight, and the arguments of counsel for the defendant and Government, in accordance with 23 D.C. Code § 1322(g)(l), the Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:
… There is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the offense for which he is before the Court, that is, Assault on a Police Officer While Armed. At the defendant’s detention hearing, the Government called Det. Stephen McDonald of the Metropolitan Police Department as a witness.
Det. McDonald testified that on August 31, 2004, at approximately 4: 10 pm, Officers Patrick Davis and David Tucker of the Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) were on routine patrol in the area of Minnesota Avenue and East Capitol Street, Northeast, Washington, D.C. Both officers were in full uniform and operating a marked MPD cruiser. While on patrol, the officers observed a red in color 1986 Nissan 300ZX bearing Maryland registration LPJ-588 occupied by two black males. The passenger in the vehicle was observed without his seat-belt on, and the vehicle also failed to use a turn signal while making a left turn onto the unit block of Ridge Road, Southeast. Officers Davis and Tucker followed the vehicle which turned onto 37th Street, Southeast. Officers observed the vehicle pull over in front of 301 37th Street, Southeast, and at that time, conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle.
Upon approaching the vehicle on foot, officers observed a black male subject exit the passenger side of the vehicle and remain on the sidewalk near the vehicle. Officer Davis approached the driver’s door of the vehicle and observed the driver with a semi-automatic pistol in his hand attempting to conceal the handgun in the middle of the console area of the vehicle. Officer Davis reached inside the vehicle and attempted to grab the handgun from the driver and a struggle ensued.
The driver of the vehicle then sped off at a high rate of speed with Officer Davis partially inside of the driver’s window struggling with the driver and being dragged by the vehicle. The driver said to Officer Davis, “Get off my shit.” Officer Davis, fearing for his life, fired his service weapon into the vehicle. Officer Davis was able to untangle himself from the driver, and he fell backwards onto the street. The vehicle then fled the scene south on 3 7th Street and made a left tum onto Ely Place, Southeast.
Officers Davis and Tucker radioed for assistance, and at 4:31 pm officers canvassing the area located the Nissan 300ZX, parked and unoccupied, in the rear parking lot of 3 710 Ely Place, Southeast. Further examination of the vehicle revealed apparent blood stains on the driver’s side door of the vehicle and a bloody Ruger 9mm semi-automatic pistol on the pavement just outside of the driver’s door.
Officers continued to canvass the area and at 4:39 pm located the defendant, later identified as Moses Bell, hiding under a stairwell in the rear of 405 Ridge Road, Southeast. The defendant was suffering from a gunshot wound to the left shoulder. Officer Davis responded to the 400 block of Ridge Road, Southeast, and positively identified the defendant as the person with whom he struggled over the gun, and who drove away, dragging Officer Davis along.
The defendant was transported to Howard University Hospital where he was treated for his injuries. A WALES check revealed that the defendant is also currently wanted for Kidnapping While Armed on USW#l 723-03 held by the D.C. Superior Court.
COMMENTARY AND ANAYLSIS
There are a number of questions that arise when you analyze the fact scenario of the shooting found by the federal judge in his adopted “Findings of Fact”.
The first question is whether Officer Davis was looking for a reason to pull over the 1986 Nissan 300 ZX. The routine traffic stop was justified in part because the passenger was not wearing his seat belt and the driver failed to make a left turn signal, both minor traffic offenses. The minor traffic offenses observed were grounds to stop the two individuals and to further investigate them. Nothing is mentioned if Davis nor his partner knew anything about the criminal background of the two passengers or if any outstanding arrests warrants were pending. In other words, at the time of the traffic stop all they knew they had were two minor traffic offenses and nothing more.
Only Davis and his law enforcement partner know if the traffic stop was a pretense to investigate the two African Americans. The court’s findings of fact are verbatim from the charging document that states “two black males” and “a black male subject exit the passenger side of the vehicle.” It is troubling that the charging language makes two references to “black” and not to suspects. Ethnicity has nothing to do with the misdemeanor charges. This distinction was ostensibly important for Officer Davis and his partner to place in the charging document. Otherwise, they he would not have done it.
The second question is whether Officer Davis took the appropriate action under the circumstances to protect himself, his partner and for that matter the suspects from any injury. When Davis saw Mr. Bell trying to hide the handgun, the courts findings of fact are made clear by what was not found by the court. First, Mr. Bell is not aiming the handgun at or trying to shoot Officer Davis. Second, Bell was not described as agitated and was not yelling or making verbal threats to Davis. Third, and most importantly, Mr. Bell is seen trying to hide the weapon in the console and is not threatening anyone with the handgun. This was a critical point in time. Officer Davis had the choice to either de-escalate or to escalate the situation to a confrontation.
Had Davis chosen to de-escalate the situation, Officer Davis would have stepped back along the side of the car, away from the car door and into Mr. Bell’s “blind side”, ordered him to first take his hands off the gun, turn off the vehicle, and place his hands on the steering wheel first and then step out of the car, and once out of the car, step away from the vehicle, removing himself from the proximity of the car and the handgun. Tragically, this did not happen and it can only be speculated if Mr. Bell would not have been shot and killed.
Instead, Officer Davis escalated the situation by reaching into the vehicle apparently not saying anything in order to get a surprise advantage and he tried to grab the gun from Mr. Bell resulting in a struggle to retrieve the handgun. This act alone was a likely violation of police standard operating procedure. By reaching into the car, Davis placed himself in a completely vulnerable position and endangered his own life and the life of his assisting officer. Davis reaching into the car as he did resulted in Bell reacting. Bell decided to drive off while Davis was partially in the vehicle dragging Davis along.
The third question and most concerning action is the unnecessary use of deadly force that Officer Davis decided to use against Mr. Bell. While Davis was partially in the vehicle, he was able to withdraw his service revolver and shoot Bell. There is no indication that Officer Davis ordered Mr. Bell to stop the vehicle or that he would use potential lethal force against him. There is also no indication that Officer Davis was willing to let Mr. Bell escape and then find him later. The car was not stolen and Officer Davis had already taken down the license plate information. Instead, Officer Davis shot Mr. Bell in the shoulder at almost point-blank range. At this point, we can only speculate just how close Officer Davis came to shooting Mr. Bell in the head or heart to kill.
A major red flag is what community members thought of how Officer Pat Davis conducted himself in regards to Mr. Moses Bell. The court record indicates that on October 13, 2004, the Grand Jury declined to indict Mr. Bell on the charges of “Armed Kidnapping” (pulling Davis along in the vehicle) and “Assaulting, Resisting or Interfering With a Police Officer With A Dangerous Weapon” (the scuffle over the handgun). The Grand Jury were not willing to indict Mr. Bell with two very serious felony charges, Armed Kidnapping and Assault on a Police Officer With a Dangerous Weapon. This means the grand jury felt there was “no probable cause” to charge Mr. Bell. The grand jury essentially did not believe what Officer Pat Davis was alleging, which was he was “fearful for his own life” .
THE TWO CIVIL LAWSUITS
Following is a summary of 2 civil lawsuits where Pat Davis was sued along with other law enforcement sworn police.
In the first lawsuit is a civil “COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS”.
The second lawsuit is a civil “COMPLAINT FOR FALSE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT, NEGLIGENCE AND CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS”.
In both cases, Davis was sued in his individual and personal capacity and in his official capacity as a UNM Police Officer. Both civil cases were settled with thousands paid in taxpayer money to the Plaintiffs for damages. In one case, the amount of taxpayer money paid to settle is disclosed. The specific amounts of the settlement paid in the second case and the terms of any release of claims is not known likely because the release of claims was not filed with the court to keep it confidential from the public.
AARON FLORES, ARTURO FLORES AND CECLIA FLORES vs PATRICK DAVIS, ET AL, “COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS”, NEW MEXICO SECOND JUDICIAL COURT, CV-2008-03890
In 2008, CV-2008-03890 was filed in the Second Judicial Court, County of Bernalillo, by Plaintiffs AARON FLORES, ARTURO FLORES AND CECLIA FLORES naming as a defendant PATRICK DAVIS, in his individual and personal capacity and in his official capacity as a University of New Mexico Police Officer.
This lawsuit names as defendants 14 Albuquerque Police Officers (APD) and 7 Bernalillo County Sheriff Officers (BCSO) in their individual and personal capacities and official capacities.
The alleged facts of the civil complaint relate to the execution of a court “sealed search warrant” on December 17, 2007 of a private residence owned by Arturo Flores and Celia Flores as husband and wife who resided elsewhere in another home they owned. The home searched was occupied by their son Plaintiff Aaron Flores along with a recent tenant who was a friend from high school of Aaron Flores and was renting one room of the home. According to the facts alleged in the complaint, a search warrant was secured for the home with the tenant boarder as the “target” of the warrant and who was alleged to be a marijuana drug dealer.
FACTUAL BASIS ALLEGED IN FLORES CIVIL COMPLAINT
On December 17, 2007, at approximately 9:10 pm in the evening when no one was at home at the residence, the 21 named defendant law enforcement officers stormed the residence to execute a “sealed search warrant”. Three “flash bang” grenades were hurled into the home causing damages to the walls and which started a fire that required the Albuquerque Fire Department to be dispatched. According to the complaint, the defendants, which included Davis, broke in two front doors, wrought iron works, broke windows and interior doors, broke a car window, broke a sliding gate to the home and “”trashed” the interior of the home including breaking furniture in a search for evidence of a crime, but no evidence of any crime was found against the plaintiffs nor their renter.
A neighbor called Arturo Flores about what was happening at the rental home and Flores immediately went to the residence. Arturo Flores was told by the defendants “a lot of traffic came to and from this house”, and that it was a “drug house” an allegation which was false. At least $20,000 in damages to the home were alleged making it un occupiable and needing extensive repairs. The theft of personal items including a laptop belonging to Aaron Flores was reported. It is not known if any inventory of what was seized under the warrant was filed.
On November 14, 2008, the civil lawsuit filed against Pat Davis, in his individual and personal capacity and in his official capacity as a University of New Mexico Police Officer was settled for the sum of $25,000 for a full and final release of any and all claims against him as alleged by Aaron Flores, Arturo Flores and Cecelia Flores. No information is available as to what the claims against the remaining 20 law enforcement officers were settled for nor when.
BROOK BENDER AND JOAN HUGHS vs BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERITY OF NEW MEXICO and PATRICK DAVIS, ET AL, “COMPLAINT FOR FALSE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT, NEGLIGENCE AND CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS” , UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO, CIV No. 08-C433 MV ACT
On April 29, 2008, CIV No. 08-C433 MV ACT was filed in United States District Court for the District of New Mexico by Brooke Bender and Joan Hughes naming the Board of Regents and the University of New Mexico d/b/a as University of New Mexico Police Department and UNM Police Officers Patrick M. Davis, John Doe Pacheco and Jane Does I and II, in their individual capacities and as employees of the University of New Mexico Police Department.
The factual background of the case alleged in the complaint relate to a January 8, 2008 law enforcement investigation undertaken by the Defendants against plaintiff Brook Bender at her home in Corrales, Sandoval County, New Mexico and a separate and distinct law enforcement action taken against Plaintiff Joan Bender, also at her home in Corrales.
BENDER’ S FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS IN CIVIL COMPLAINT
The complaint alleges that on January 8, 2008, the Defendant Pat Davis, along with other UNM Police went to the home of Brook Bender looking for a person named Richard Hughes and telling Bender they needed to search her home. According to the complaint, the officers did not identify themselves until Bender noticed a UNM Police Badge. The complaint alleges that Davis and the defendants told Plaintiff Bender that they knew she worked for UNM because they had found her UNM employee identification in her car next to some contraband and told her she needed to “work with them” or they would inform UNM officials about the alleged contraband found.
According to Bender’s allegations, she responded to the threats by allowing Davis and the other defendants into her home and asked to see a “search warrant”. They told Bender they did not have a search warrant, that they could easily obtain one and if she insisted on a search warrant they would “rat her out” to her UNM employer.
Bender told the defendants that Richard Hughes did not live at her home. According to the complaint allegations, Defendants insisted on searching the residents and ordered Bender to stand in her kitchen with her hands behind her back as they “tossed” the entire residents emptying out drawers and cabinets and leaving the residence in disarray. After the unauthorized search without a warrant, Bender alleges that she told Pat Davis and UNM officers she knew where the mother of Richard Hughes lived in Corrales and offered to take them to that residence. Defendants escorted Bender to their police car and assisted her into the police vehicle. Bender sat between two UNM Police as she showed them the Hughes residence. No one was home and Bender was taken back to her home by the UNM Police Officers.
HUGHES FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS IN CIVIL COMPLAINT
The Bender-Hughes civil complaint alleges that on the morning of January 9, 2008, at approximately 10:30 am, Davis and the UNM police returned to the home of Plaintiff Joan Hughes, made contact with her and announced that they were looking for her son Richard Hughes with Pat Davis providing Plaintiff Hughes with his business card.
Hughes told the Defendants that her son was in jail in Grants, New Mexico, which the defendants later confirmed, and that her son had not lived with her for several years. Davis none the less told Hughes that they had to “search her house”. Davis and the other defendants had no search warrant for the home and did not ask Hughes for permission to search her home. According to the complaint, Davis and the 3 other officers entered the home and ordered Hughes to sit on her couch while two of the defendants watched Hughes and while the others conducted and extensive searched of her home which lasted for about one hour.
According to the complaint, one defendant UNM Police Officers found pistol cartridges in Hughes bedroom, asked Hughes where the gun was and she notified them it was in her kitchen. Davis or another defendant retrieved the gun and made a call to see if it was stolen, and it was not. The complaint also alleges that Defendants found marijuana belonging to Hughes’s boyfriend. The defendants confiscated the gun found in the home and the marijuana. On January 11, 2008, Hughes secured the return of the gun from the UNM Police.
Confidential sources have disclosed that the Bender and Hughes case was settled for at least $75,000, but no verifiable court pleading nor “release of claims” in the case to confirm the date and amount of the settlement was provided by the confidential source.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
On November 27, 2014, the City and the Department of Justice entered into the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) mandating 276 reforms. APD is one of 18 municipalities in the United States under a Federal Court consent decree for excessive use of force and deadly force. The link to the CASA is here:
For the last 6 years, APD has been struggling to implement all 276 reforms. The city has spent virtually millions to implement the reforms, change and write use of force and deadly force policies, provide training to all personnel, recruit and hire more sworn police, implement community base policing and training in mental health crisis intervention. The Federal Court Appointed Media has written and filed 11 Federal Monitor’s report. The Court Approved Settlement Agreement was to be fully implemented within 4 years and it has been almost 6 years and the case has not been dismissed
SOUNDS OF SILENCE
Each time the Federal Court appointed Monitor presented his critical reports of APD to the City Council, Pat Davis remained silent. He declined to demand accountability from the prior Republican Mayor and hold the APD command staff responsible for dragging their feet on the reforms. Davis failed to attend any one of the federal court hearings on the consent decree. Now that APD is once again embroiled in controversy with the handing of the recent protests, Davis steps in and advocates changes and reforms to APD’s structure and management.
City Councilor Pat Davis did nothing during the last 5 years when it comes to Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reforms. Not once did Pat Davis challenge the previous Republican Berry Administration and the former APD command staff in any meaningful way demanding compliance with the Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree and all the CASA reforms.
The litigation history of Pat Davis , especially his officer involved shooting, speaks volumes as to why for the last 5 years Davis has not challenged and has remained silent regarding the Department of Justice reforms, until now and since the murder of George Floyd.
Pat Davis’s conduct as a police officer in the Bell case coupled with his litigation history in New Mexico, reflects a clear pattern and practice of unconstitutional policing, “use of force” and “deadly force” and an attitude that he embraced a police “culture of aggression” and violations of civil rights that the reforms are designed to prevent.
No amount of opportunistic soul searching by Pat Davis to impress the Black Lives Matter movement will erase his past conduct.
PAT DAVIS NEEDS TO RESIGN HIS APPOINTED POSITIONS OF TRUST IF HE IS TRULY REMORSEFUL FOR HIS CONDUCT AS A POLICE OFFICER
All of Pat Davis’ political opponents over the years, as well as the local news media, have never fully investigated, reported on nor confronted Pat Davis in any meaningful way about the civil litigation he has been involved with as a Defendant relating to his actions as a sworn police officer here in New Mexico and in Washington, DC. His actions have cost taxpayers thousands in settlements paid.
Given what is known about City Councilor Pat Davis, his actions as a police officer, his litigation history, his credibility is in serious doubt as are his political motives. The real Pat Davis, and his lack of respect for constitutional rights are revealed by his pattern of conduct he engaged if for years and was sued for as a UNM Police Officer and his conduct as a DC Police Officer. Pat Davis has no business making decisions regarding police reforms, law enforcement policy let alone be involved in the process deciding who is fit to be a judge.
If Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis is sincere and truly wants to make amends for his past conduct as a police officer, he needs to show some degree of honesty and integrity and step down and remove himself as City Council President, resign from any Judicial Selection Commission he has been appointed to by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham as well as resign as chairman of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. All 3 appointed positions are positions of trust and influence in our criminal justice system. His constituents can decide if they want him to continue as their city councilor.
The very last thing that is needed is for Pat Davis to serve in any one of the 3 appointed positions as someone who has “made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today” and who has engaged in “brutalization … of those who [he was] supposed to protect and serve.”
PAT DAVIS AGGRAVATED DWI ARREST
On July 28, 2013, Pat Davis, then age 35, was the chair of the Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers and the Executive Director of Progressive Now when he was arrested by BCSO Sherriff’s Deputies around 12:30 a.m. on the 1300 block of Broadway under suspicion of drunk driving. Deputies arrived at the minor accident where Davis had ran into another vehicle to find Davis who appeared drunk, had slurred speech, bloodshot watery eyes and the smell of alcohol on his breath.
On the police audio tape, Davis was told by the BCSO Deputy he could smell alcohol on Davis and asked Davis if he had consumed any alcoholic beverages that evening. Davis is heard to say “no” on the tape, said he had not been drinking and what the officer was smelling was SCOPE mouthwash. Davis referred the officer to a mouthwash bottle in his car. When asked about his slurred speech, Davis can be heard on the audio tape telling the deputy “My speech is not usually slurred. I have a southern accent and been a cop for 10 years.” Davis was born in Georgia, and was claiming he still had an accent. The investigating deputy found a travel-sized bottle of SCOPE mouthwash in Davis’ vehicle but at the license revocation hearing the sheriff officers could not say if and when Davis may have used it the night of his arrest. Davis was administered a field sobriety tests which he failed. Davis submitted to 2 separate alcohol breath tests that showed his blood-alcohol concentration was .19 and .18 respectively.
Under New Mexico law, DWI is driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. Aggravated DWI occurs when .16 BAC or above is found or when there is refusal to take breath or blood test, or being involved in a crash that caused bodily injury while DWI. The mandatory minimum jail time for a first time Aggravated DWI/DUI is 48 hours in jail. The 1st offense carries a basic sentence up upwards of 30 days in jail with an additional mandatory 2 days jail without suspension.
Davis plead guilty in February 2014 to a first-offense driving under the influence of alcohol and fought the Aggravated DWI charges. Davis was given a deferred sentence with no jail time if he completed 6 months’ probation and 6 months of having an ignition interlock system in his car with random breath alcohol tests and random urinalysis and was given no jail time.
On November 6, 2013 after an administrative law hearing before a hearing officer with the Department of Taxation and Revenue, which issues drivers’ licenses, the driving privileges of Pat Davis were suspended for 6 months and he was ordered to install an ignition interlock in any vehicle he drove.
The caption and cause number are: STATE OF NEW MEXICO TAXATION AND REVENUE DEPARTMENT IMPLIED CONSENT ACT, IN THE MATTER OF THE PROPOSED REVOCATION OF THE NEW MEXICO DRIVING PRIVILEGES OF PATRICK DAVIS NOTICE OF REVOCATION NO. 20677985) Davis completed the 6-month suspension of his license.