WATCH: Santa Fe Police Officer Resigns After Violent Arrest of Cab Driver

Capital City Cab Driver Dawn Bourgeois .

Apr 15, 2014

A Santa Fe police officer accused of using excessive force when he arrested a taxi driver just after midnight last month has resigned from the department.

No criminal charges have been filed against the former officer, Jose Gutierrez, but dashboard camera footage of the arrest taken from his patrol car shows at least one inconsistency between what the department has reported about the incident and what was captured on video.

Department spokeswoman Celina Westervelt also confirmed Tuesday that an attorney for Dawn Bourgeois — the 40-year-old cab driver who sustained a black eye when she was taken to the ground by Gutierrez during the March 30 traffic stop — has filed a tort claim notice that she may file a civil suit against the department.

The department is conducting an internal review of the incident, Westervelt said, and if it determines that a criminal act of police brutality may have occurred, the results of the review will be forwarded to New Mexico State Police for investigation.

Westervelt said the tort claim notice was filed last week, and that Gutierrez resigned Friday. Footage of the arrest was released late Tuesday in response to a records request. Westervelt said the officer — who transferred to Santa Fe from Mora about a year ago and was still completing a probationary period — did not a give a reason for his resignation.

The altercation between Gutierrez and Bourgeois occurred around 12:30 a.m. March 30 on Cerrillos Road. Gutierrez initiated the stop after finding the taxi stopped for a red light at the St. Francis Drive intersection but sitting inside a no-stopping zone that is marked by white X’s on the pavement and a sign that indicates no stopping. The area is designed as a buffer between automobiles and the railroad crossing at the intersection.

The video shows that as the light turns green, both cars clear the intersection before Bourgeois pulls off the road and Gutierrez approaches her car.

The video — which has only intermittent audio — shows Gutierrez standing at the driver’s-side window, asking Bourgeois for her registration and insurance. After she is unable to find them, he orders her to turn off the car and give him the keys.

“Why?” Bourgeois asks.

“Because I’m towing the car, you don’t have no registration, no insurance to provide … that is the policy,” Gutierrez replies.

“OK,” Bourgeois, says. “I’m talking to dispatch right now. So you can just hold on … ”

“OK, it doesn’t matter,” the officer says. “You don’t have them on you.”

“You’re not going to bully me,” Bourgeois replies.

At that point, the officer calls for backup on his radio, then says: “I’m going to ask you nicely again, I need your keys, please.”

“You can have the freakin’ keys,” Bourgeois replies, handing them out the window to the officer.

“OK, stay right there. Don’t get out,” Gutierrez says, taking the keys and heading back to his car.

As Gutierrez turns his back, Bourgeois, her cellphone still pressed to her ear, opens her door and gets out of the car, closing the door behind her.

As soon as Gutierrez realizes she has gotten out of the car, he starts walking back toward the cab and says: “Turn around. Obviously you don’t want to listen to me,” and reaches for Bourgeois, who begins screaming, “No, no, no, no!” as Gutierrez makes physical contact with her.

For full story visit: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/officer-resigns-after-arrest-of-cab-driver/article_ddf76ba8-2f54-517e-a988-4c325771224e.html

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5463 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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