Warning: Distressing Video
Lawsuit Filed Against New Mexico State Police
An excessive force lawsuit was filed against the New Mexico State Police on Friday stemming from an incident that happened back on May 14. On that day Ryan Cordova was arrested for DWI after he was involved in a crash. Cordova failed the field sobriety test and was taken to jail by Officer Peter Romero. You can see in the video that Cordova is obviously being a jerk but that doesn’t justify what was done to him. At first Cordova is aggressively kicking and banging on the cell door. Officer Romero comes in and cuffs one wrist to the bar in the cell.
Cordova begins sliding the cuff back and forth on the bar. For whatever reason, this seems to annoy Romero. He goes back into the cell. We think his intent is to handcuff Cordova’s other hand to the bar but we’re not sure what purpose that would serve. Cordova resists. Romero is unable to secure Cordova’s other hand. Romero walks in and out of the room multiple times. Each time he comes back he gets more violent with Cordova. The violence escalates to the point where Officer Romero slams Cordova’s head against the wall, twists Cordova’s arm almost to the breaking point, kneels on Cordova’s head, knees Cordova in his torso and commits other acts of violence while Cordova is handcuffed to the bar. And all for no reason. WHO CARES IF HE WAS SLIDING THE HANDCUFF BACK AND FORTH ON THE BAR? It seemed the real issue here was one of dominance.
Why Did the New Mexico State Police Hire Romero?
Before Peter Romero joined the New Mexico State Police in July of 2017, he was with the Albuquerque Police Department (1995 – 2016). According to the SantaFeNewMexican.com article, while there “Peter Romero was the target of three federal lawsuits accusing him of excessive force during drunken-driving arrests in 2013 and 2015.” All three of the individuals who filed lawsuits against him in the 2013-2015 period were also handcuffed when Officer Romero beat them.
Agencies are aware that abuse of power by police, excessive force and other types of police violence are a problem for them. Why did they hire this man who obviously has anger and dominance issues? Law enforcement needs to do some serious work on upgrading their vetting processes.