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
UPDATES WITH BUZZFEED WRITER’S REPLY
UPDATES WITH BRANDENBURG DENIAL OF QUOTE IN BUZZFEED ARTICLE
BY ABQ FREE PRESS STAFF
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.