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Brandenburg’s APD Tell-All

Brandenburg’s APD Tell-All

Four-term DA calls Mayor 'a psychopath'

DA Cites Retaliation for Charging Cops in James Boyd’s Murder

Article says it’s all about protecting mayor’s expected 2017 bid for governor




BuzzFeed, a global online news platform, has published a tell-all account by District Attorney Kari Brandenburg about how her decision to prosecute two Albuquerque cops led to her professional downfall.

The 7,300 word story details how Brandenburg believes she was targeted by Mayor Richard Berry and Police Chief Gorden Eden because of the decision to charge Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez with murder in the March 2014 killing of homeless camper James Boyd.

“They went after Kari with knives and she responded with squirt guns,” former APD sergeant Dan Klein told BuzzFeed reporter Albert Samaha. Klein is a columnist for ABQ Free Press.

The 16-year Bernalillo County prosecutor is not seeking re-election. A Democrat faces no Republican opposition in November after the GOP candidate dropped out of the race after the deadline for filing.

In the BuzzFeed story, she referred to Mayor Berry in this way: “I think he’s a psychopath.” Reached by ABQ Free Press Tuesday morning, Brandenburg denied calling the mayor a psychopath and said she was trying to text Berry to let him know she denies saying that. “I absolutely deny making any statement regarding the mayor,” she said. “Further, I do not believe it to be true.”

In an email to ABQ Free Press cartoonist Gary Glasgow, BuzzFeed’s Samaha stands by the quote: “Thanks for reaching out. I stand by the quote and everything else in the story. I remember her saying it and I have it in my notes.”

Much of the story focused on her travails since deciding to charge Sandy and Perez. “I think they believed they would keep hitting me in the stomach and at some point I would stop getting up,” Brandenburg told BuzzFeed, which claims 200 million unique viewers per month.

The BuzzFeed article cites APD’s 30-plus-year history of going after people it doesn’t like, including lawyers and judges.

Here’s an excerpt. The entire BuzzFeed piece can be found here.

Brandenburg believed that Mayor Berry was behind it. Many in the state assumed that Berry had aspirations for governor and Brandenburg stood out as a potential rival for that job. [Pete] Dinelli and [Davis] Correia believed that it was a collaborative effort between the mayor and police chief — the two men had held a meeting about the investigation shortly before it was forwarded to the attorney general, according to several local sources. “The mayor of Albuquerque is interested in protecting the interest of the police department,” Correia said. Berry and Eden declined multiple interview requests for this story.



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Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.
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  • Phillip Sisneros
    August 3, 2016, 4:03 pm

    We issued a statement this morning refuting the BuzzFeed’s mistaken attribution of the "psychopath" comment. Here is her statement:

    "The focus of the BuzzFeed story was to explore issues within the Albuquerque Police Department and how District Attorneys’ Offices across the country can be impacted when evaluating and reviewing officer-involved shooting cases.

    Unfortunately, the story failed to mention or consider the impact of the Case Management Order on our criminal justice system in the past one-and-a-half years.

    I absolutely refute making any statement regarding the Mayor. Further, I do not believe it to be true.

    We continue to work with APD, as I have mentioned many times, despite politics and media hype. We work well with the men and women in law enforcement in our shared effort to protect and serve the citizens of our community."

    Phil Sisneros
    Public Information Officer
    Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office

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Dan Klein

Dan Klein is a retired Albuquerque police sergeant. Reach him via Facebook and Twitter via @dankleinabq.

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