City Councilors Protecting One Of Their Own Looking The Other Way; Take Another Vote To Decide If Davis Should Remain As President
By Pete Dinelli
The news media has picked up the story on ProgressNow New Mexico calling for the resignation of City Council President Pat Davis from the City Council, the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council as well as the Judicial Selection Commission and citing in part to the Dinelli June 22, blog article entitled “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.”
Albuquerque City Council President Pat Davis issued a Statement to KOB Channel 4 in response to the calls of ProgressNow demanding that he resign from the City Council. Davis makes it clear he has no intention of stepping down. Pat Davis issued the following statement to KOB Channel 4 news:
“In two elections, voters have sent me to City Hall because I talked authentically and honestly about the problematic training and culture of policing that I was introduced to. I left that job to fix it, and no one will disagree that I’ve been effective implementing changes to do that. My evolution, from an officer trained to fight the war on drugs and criminalize communities of poverty and color, into a policy leader who has decriminalized marijuana, passed sanctuary city legislation, and passed laws giving sweeping new civilian oversight powers over APD, is exactly the type of culture change we want to see in policing across the country, and especially here in Albuquerque.
It is unfortunate that a blogger’s misrepresentation of the facts is gaining attention and being shared, when court records and subsequent legitimate news stories that can be easily factchecked outline a different pattern of facts and conclusion. Among the discrepancies, the blogger claims a DC defendants case was dismissed, however Federal court records show that the defendant was indicted and pled guilty to firearms charges and was sentenced to 18 months in prison in a plea deal that I consented to.
After being released, the defendant violated terms of release and served additional time in prison. The defendant’s civil suit for violations against the police department and officers involved was dismissed by the court. Court records make clear that I was never even served notice of the lawsuit. At a time when we are at the precipice of long overdue changes in policing and racial justice, I regret that we are being distracted by relitigating my past which is not only well documented, but is core to my personal story and the reasons why I have dedicated my life to positive social change.”
— Pat Davis
STATE SENATOR JACOB CANDELARIA WEIGHS IN ON DAVIS
On Thursday, June 25, New Mexico State Senator Jacob Candelaria, who is an attorney, tweeted at jacobcandelaria@SenCandelaria:
“Pat Davis is part of the problem. He does not share our values. He should not be trusted with leadership in our community.”
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Pat Davis proudly proclaims in his statement “In two elections, voters have sent me to City Hall because I talked authentically and honestly about the problematic training and culture of policing that I was introduced to.” The truth is, Davis is everything but authentic and honest as he proclaims. It is doubtful his constituents would have voted for him had he in fact disclosed his conduct as a cop.
The only version the media has ever been given about the shooting by Davis as a DC Cop of African American Moses Bell is that from Spin Doctor Davis, until now after court documents were provided, reviewed and reported on. Following are the Finding of Fact by the Federal Judge in the criminal case filed against the person DC Officer Davis shot:
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.”
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
The Findings of Fact of the Federal Judge allows one to infer that Davis and his partner made a “pre-textual” stop of two African Americans for the minor traffic offenses of making a left turn without signaling and the passenger not wearing a seat belt. Only Davis knows for sure if the stop was racial profiling. The Courts finding also reflect it was Davis that escalated the traffic stop. Davis violated police procedure by lunging into the vehicle and then shooting as a scuffle ensued.
The court’s findings of fact are verbatim from the DC Police 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 of failing to use a turn signal and a passenger not wearing a seat belt. 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.
Officer Davis escalated a confrontation by reaching into the vehicle apparently not saying anything in order to get a surprise advantage as he tried to grab a gun from Mr. Bell that Bell was trying to hide resulting in a struggle to retrieve the handgun. Bell was not threatening Davis and Davis did not know if Bell had a permit for the gun. Davis lunging into the vehicle 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 and Davis either shot him in the vehicle or as Bell drove off.
For complete citations to the cases see:
CIVIL LAWSUITS REVEALED BUT NOT DISCLOSED TO VOTERS OR MEDIA BY DAVIS
Spin Doctor Davis has never disclosed the two New Mexico lawsuits filed against him for his conduct as a UNM Campus Police Officer and there is at least one more. It was in December 2004, after about three years with the Washington D.C. Police Department, and several months after his officer involved shooting, that Pat Davis was employed as a lieutenant on the University of New Mexico (UNM) Campus Police.
In his statement to the media, Pat Davis totally ignores those lawsuits and does even deny the accuracy of the allegations. So much for Davis talking “authentically and honestly” to his constituents. Under the law, withholding material and relevant information is as good as lying. The Albuquerque Journal has not said if Davis disclosed those lawsuits in his candidate questionnaire. Those lawsuits involved 5 New Mexico residents and UNM was force to pay thousands in settlements.
STORMING A HOME WITH “SEAL SEARCH WARRANT” FINDING NO EVIDENCE
On December 17, 2007, at approximately 9:10 pm in the evening when no one was at home at home residence, UNM Cop Pat Davis, along with 21 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 the owner of the home about what was happening at the rental home and the owner immediately went to the residence. The home owner was told by the police “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 the home owners. No information is available as to what the claims against the remaining 20 law enforcement officers were settled for nor when.
UNM COP DAVIS SEARCHES WITHOUT A SEARCH WARRANT
The second lawsuit found and filed against Pat Davis was in federal court captioned “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
The factual background of the case alleged in the complaint relate to a January 8, 2008 law enforcement investigation undertaken by the UNM Campus Police Officer Pat Davis along with two other UNM Campus Police against two plaintiffs, both females, at their separate homes in Corrales, Sandoval County, New Mexico.
FIRST SEARCH OF HOME WITHOUT A WARRANT
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.
SECOND SEARCH OF A HOME WITHOUT A WARRANT
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.
PAT DAVIS THE ABSENT MINDED APD REFORMER
You can only get nauseous when Davis proclaims in his statement “no one will disagree that I’ve been effective implementing changes” apparently in reference to the Albuquerque Police Department. On November 27, 2014, the City and the Department of Justice entered into the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) mandating 276 reforms. Pat Davis was first elected to the City Council in October, 2015.
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 reports. 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.
Each time the Federal Court appointed Monitor presented his critical reports of APD to the City Council, Pat Davis remained silent and was absolutely nowhere to be found. He also seems to be absent minded that he never said anything remotely critical of APD until the protest involving the Onate statue. 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. Only since the killing of African American George Floyd, 46, was killed by Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck to subdue him has Davis decided to get involved with APD police reform revealing what an opportunist he truly is.
OTHER QUESTIONS RAISED AND NOT ANSWERED BY DAVIS
UNM has never disclosed the reasons why Davis left UNM and ostensibly no one in the media has asked UNM. What is known is that Davis went to work for then District Attorney Kari Brandenburg to be the Bernalillo County District Attorney spokesperson. Although no other organizations have asked Davis to step down, no progressive organization has come to his defense nor has any other elected official come to his defense, let alone the City Council. On the contrary.
State Senator Jacob Candelaria has denounced Davis as not representing New Mexico values and this fact has been given little coverage. The Governor’s office has confirmed Davis has been removed from the Court of Appeals Judicial Selection commission.
When Davis says “In two elections, voters have sent me to City Hall because I talked authentically and honestly” the message he is conveying is he has been vetted and forgiven for past mistakes by the voters because he successfully won. Davis is seriously mistaken and is a fool if he thinks that way. Many people of nefarious reputation have been elected to positions of authority, even a President of the United States. Election vetting and even a pardon does not absolve any one from serious misconduct.
When you review the statement issued by City Councilor Pat Davis, you can only wonder out loud who wrote it for him, who helped him craft it or who he sought advice from. Pat Davis is the current Chairman of the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (BCJCC). He was nominated to the position by District Attorney Raul Torres. The paid political consultant for Pat Davis, District Attorney Raul Torrez and Mayor Tim Keller when all 3 ran for office is none other than Alan Packman, the longtime political consultant for Mayor Tim Keller. Packman is currently employed by Mayor Tim Keller and works for the city’s 311 call center and answers to Mayor Tim Keller.
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 and resign as chairman of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. The 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.
It’s downright pathetic that not a single city councilor who voted for him to be their President has taken any public position on whether Pat Davis should step down as President or even gone to his defense in any manner. At least Senator Jacob Candelaria sees what the city council does not see when he said:
“Pat Davis is part of the problem. He does not share our values. He should not be trusted with leadership in our community.”
Now that Pat Davis has refused to step down, the City Council needs to replace him, otherwise they look like fools in the eyes of the general public. They are protecting one of their own. At a bare minimum, Pat Davis or any other City Councilor who voted for him to make him President need to ask for another vote and get on record if he should continue to serve as President now that information has come out on his actions as a cop.
The very last thing that this city needs is for Pat Davis to serve in any positions of trust as someone who has said in the past that he 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.”