Albuquerque police are investigating the death of a teenager in a standoff

Albuquerque police said they are investigating whether their tactics during a standoff last week contributed to a house fire in which a ...


Albuquerque police said they are investigating whether their tactics during a standoff last week contributed to a house fire in which a teenager died, and called on protesters to be patient. think he was shot.

Police identified the teenager, 15-year-old Brett Rosenau, on Sunday and said preliminary results of an autopsy determined the cause of death to be smoke inhalation.

In a reportthe department said he was ‘not shot by anyone’ during the clash, in which officers arrested a man they were looking for, Qiaunt Kelley, 27, on a warrant for violation of parole.

“I know many people in our community are hurting right now and I appreciate everyone’s patience while the incident is fully investigated,” Chief Harold Medina said in the statement. “If any of our actions inadvertently contributed to his death, we will take steps to ensure it never happens again.”

Thursday’s episode renewed scrutiny of the department’s track record. This case was the subject of an agreement in 2014 with the US Department of Justice to introduce reforms and oversee police use-of-force tactics, accountability, training and community engagement.

The deal was struck after the Department of Justice discovered a pattern of excessive force by police: Twenty-three people have been killed and 14 injured in police shootings in four years.

Under the agreement, police are required to report details of the investigation into Mr Rosenau’s death to the Justice Department, police said. They will also release officer or drone video footage that was taken during the standoff, the department said.

The release of the statement on Sunday was at least the second time in two days that the chief has tried to defend his department and called for calm. On Thursday evening, dozens of people gathered to protest the death of the teenager, who was black, The Albuquerque Journal reported.

At a press conference FridayChief Medina urged the public to wait “before a decision is made that affects the quality of our city”.

He said a launcher used to deploy tear gas and gunpowder canisters around the house might have led bystanders to believe there had been gunshots. “We have no indication that any shots were fired by the Albuquerque Police Department,” the chief said.

The episode took place late Wednesday as detectives searched for Mr Kelley. Mr Kelley had violated the terms of his probation for armed robbery and stolen vehicle and was also wanted in connection with a fatal shooting, a recent armed robbery and another shooting in which someone shot a automatic weapon on officers, the department said.

Police found him in a house in southeast Albuquerque, New Mexico’s most populous city with a population of more than half a million. They saw a gun in the car he was in and determined that the motorcycle he was working on at the residence was stolen, according to the police statement.

Mr. Kelley barricaded himself inside the house. Mr. Rosenau, whom police were not looking for, followed Mr. Kelley into the house, police said. Law enforcement “tried for several hours to convince them to come out peacefully,” the statement said.

Officers used a drone and robots to determine who was inside. sergeant. Michael Jones, a tactical officer, told Friday’s press conference that officers deployed a three-chamber flameless grenade device, commonly used in crowd control, which disperses tear gas and powder to make the environment “uncomfortable”.

The standoff ended after officers noticed smoke coming from the house, the department said. When firefighters arrived, Mr Kelley got out and was arrested, then treated in a hospital for burns. Mr Rosenau was found dead inside the house, police said.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue is investigating the cause of the fire, which will likely take about two weeks, police said.

The defense technology, which makes the three-chamber flameless grenade device, says on his site it “provides the ability to deliver a pyrotechnic chemical device indoors, maximizing the effectiveness of chemicals through heat and vaporization while minimizing or negating the risk of structural fire.”

The police statement said Chief Medina acknowledged the possibility that “devices used to introduce irritants into the house may have caused the fire.” He added that “no fires have been reported in the many years they have been in use in Albuquerque.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico said in a statement that he was asking state Attorney General Hector Balderas to investigate, saying the facts “present real questions about the training and experience of the ODA SWAT team and the dangers presented if the tear gas canisters are used inappropriately”.

Barron Jones, senior political strategist at the ACLU of New Mexico, said in the statement, “Rosenau’s loved ones deserve answers and our community must be assured that proper accountability will be applied to deadly police encounters like this. .”

The state attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Michael Levenson contributed report. Susan C. Beachy contributed to the research.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Albuquerque police are investigating the death of a teenager in a standoff
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