Judge Tosses Verdict in Favor of Police

Apr 26, 2012

A federal judge has reversed a jury verdict clearing four Albuquerque police officers of excessive force in the arrest of a drunken man who was subdued using stun guns, bean bag rounds, and a police dog.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Bruce D. Black's ruling says upholding the October jury verdict in favor of the police and city would be a miscarriage of justice.

Black's June 12 opinion found "as a matter of law" that the officers' use of force during the March 2009 incident was clearly excessive. He ordered a new trial just to determine damages that plaintiff Tony Nelson should receive.

Nelson sued for civil rights violations.

Assistant City Attorney Stephanie Griffin told the Albuquerque Journal that the city is considering asking Black to reconsider his ruling.