Former officer receives special DWI handling

From - KOB Eyewitness News 4 is asking why a DWI defendant who is a former Town of Bernalillo officer appears to get one special treatment after another. Albuquerque Police arrested Berto Chavez in April 2011 charging him with DWI.  According to police reports, Chavez refused a breathalyzer test and even pleaded with Albuquerque Police officers to “help him out” fearing his career as a cop would be over. Despite these statements, Chavez never spent a night in jail.  Chavez’s supervisor intervened stating that Chavez’s position as an undercover officer posed a threat to him if in jail, even though a jail director later told media outlets that his staff ensures the safety of all inmates regardless of their position in the community. KOB questions why Chavez never spent time in jail as most charged with DWI do. Just as Chavez’s trial on this matter was about to begin in Metro Court, Clear protested news cameras in the courtroom.  Wednesday, a judge held a motion hearing to determine whether or not media could be present during Chavez’s upcoming trial. Clear argued because his client worked undercover, his safety could be at risk, however Chavez has been de-certified as a police officer for nine months. The judge Wednesday agreed to allow one camera in trial with an agreement that media outlets do not show Chavez’s face to our viewers. KOB questions how many other DWI defendants would get an exemption that limits transparency. Once the court proceedings finished Wednesday, Chavez refused to leave the court knowing KOB cameras were in the hall waiting for him. Metro Court security officers locked out a KOB reporter and photojournalist, then escorted Chavez through back doors to evade news cameras.  KOB questions if all DWI defendants in Metro Court are entitled to personal escorts to avoid news crews. Read more



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