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Oversight Board Votes to Fire Brachle

Oversight Board Votes to Fire Brachle

The Civilian Police Oversight Board on Thursday recommended that Albuquerque Police Lt. Greg Brachle be fired for shooting a fellow officer eight times during an undercover drug bust last year.

Police Oversight Board Votes to Fire APD Cop Who Shot a Fellow Officer

BY DENNIS DOMRZALSKI

The Civilian Police Oversight Board on Thursday recommended that Albuquerque Police Lt. Greg Brachle be fired for shooting a fellow officer eight times during an undercover drug bust last year.

The board voted 6-1 to accept the recommendations of Ed Harness, the executive director of the Civilian Police Oversight Agency, that Brachle be fired. Brachle shot Det. Jacob Grant with eight .45-caliber, hollow-point rounds during the bust on Jan. 9, 2015 near Tramway and Central. Grant was seriously wounded and has undergone several surgeries to repair the damage to his internal organs.

Brachle, however, won’t be fired because he retired on Monday after buying retirement time from the Public Employees Retirement Association, APD spokeswoman Celina Espinoza said.

CPOB Chair Beth Mohr said the case was a tragedy and that she was bothered that Brachle started shooting at Grant without ordering him to drop a gun he had in his hand. Grant had pulled his gun after one of the suspects in the undercover car reached for a gun he had. Mohr also said she had reviewed Brachle’s lapel camera video and that in that video she could hear other detectives on Brachle’s police radio saying the two suspects were black males. Grant is white. “It bothers me that he opened fire without giving directions,” Mohr said.

If Brachle hadn’t retired, Police Chief Gorden Eden would have had 30 days to accept or reject the board’s recommendation.

“Allowing the Civilian Police Oversight Agency and Police Oversight Board to review cases and make recommendations is an important part of this process and adds transparency and independent input,” Eden said in a prepared statement.

Grant has sued APD and the city for civil rights violations in federal court. That lawsuit alleges that Brachle, who had supervised Grant for more than two years, acted recklessly in shooting his fellow officer. Grant always wore the same clothes during undercover operations, and APD policy says that undercover cops in drug busts always sit in the rear seat behind a vehicle’s driver, which was where Grant was that day, the lawsuit says.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.
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  • Charles Arasim
    March 11, 2016, 5:58 am

    Video coverage of the Police Oversight Board discussion on this case can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVRmHmdY-n8

    REPLY
  • concerned
    March 12, 2016, 2:03 pm

    this was planned all along. brachle could not afford to buy back a year of time and asked city to delay findings. the actions of the city is pathetic. brachle is getting full pay and will never be held accountable for his gross negligence. he violated every firearm rule there is. grant isnt even getting full pay and his wife had to resign to help take care of grant. pathetic

    REPLY
  • Big settlement for undercover detective shot by own lieutenant | The New Mexico Tribune - New Mexico News & More
    April 2, 2016, 9:41 am

    […] March 10, the Albuquerque Civilian Police Oversight Board recommended that Brachle be fired for shooting Grant. The decision is moot because Brachle submitted his retirement papers four days […]

    REPLY
The following two tabs change content below.
Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.