Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputy Involved in 3 On-Duty Shootings Faces New Lawsuit

Deputy Charles Coggins

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputy Charles Coggins is facing another lawsuit in connection with a fatal on-duty shooting in July, this time for alleged civil rights violations.

The latest case involving the death of 28-year-old Miguel Gonzalez was filed by the mother of his children against Coggins and seven unnamed deputies. In the months after Gonzalez’s death, Coggins was involved in two more on-duty shootings.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Coggins shot Gonzalez after he fled a traffic stop near a car wash, leading deputies on a foot chase to a home near Arenal and Unser, where his children lived. He was killed in the backyard of that home after he “produced” a gun, according to BCSO.

The lawsuit alleges that Gonzalez had his back turned to the deputies when he was shot and that his autopsy shows he was shot from behind. It also alleges that the gun found at the scene was holstered.

The deputies, the lawsuit argues, killed Gonzalez “illegally” and “through the use of excessive police force,” in violation of his constitutional rights.

It’s unclear who is representing Coggins in the recent suits, and a spokeswoman for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said she could not comment on the pending case.

This lawsuit comes about a month after Gonzalez’s mother sued Coggins, the county and the sheriff alleging the use of lethal force against her son was unjustified. In some references, his name is spelled Gonzales.