Christopher Torres Civil Case, Day 1

March 10th, 2014 at 11:47 am by under Latest Posts, Live Events

The civil trial began Monday in the Christopher Torres case. Torres was shot and killed by APD officers at the family home in Taylor Ranch in April of 2011.

KRQE reporter @ChrisMcKeeTV has live updates (most recent updates are displayed first):

  • Court back in session. Dr. Pete DiVasto now on the stand, former APD psychologist who mentally screened officer candidates for hire.
  • Defense has finished cross examination of Tate. Redirect was a couple questions. Court in recess now for lunch hour.
  • Defense appears to be trying to prove that Ofcr. Brown’s hiring was correct, within state and department rules and standards
  • Defense: looking at citizen complaints against Ofcr. Brown, is that a “red flag” – Tate says “no” he’s just want “more information”
  • Defense questioning about who’s roll it is to report problems w/ officer conduct to state LEA board: corresponding agency.
  • Defense arguing if someone were a state certified officer, they would have passed necessary tests, training, background investigations.
  • Torres attorneys have finished questioning of Tate. Defense– city’s attorneys– now cross examining Tate. First time speaking today.
  • Tate: concerned about hiring because it seemed the department was choosing “marginal” candidates.
  • Tate: there was “a cloud that hung over everything, numbers, numbers, numbers” about APD’s hiring practices when Schultz took over.
  • Tate: lateral transfers (prior experiences ofcrs) don’t have to go through APD academy, psych exams. Voiced complaints about related issues
  • Tate: “in some cases” hiring board had to fight to keep officers from being hired rather than fighting to actually hire them.
  • Tate: “in my opinion, yes” to idea that under Chief Schultz leadership, hiring of officers became more about quantity than quality
  • Defense objecting to submitting those RPD complaints as evidence. Objection granted by judge on ground that no proof documents are real.
  • Torres attorneys say they’re trying to prove the point that Brown was not properly background checked before he was hired.
  • Torres fam attorneys contrasting what APD hiring bg investigators should know against all complaints Brown got in his prior work at RPD
  • Torres attorneys now asking Tate about what bg searchers should look at before hiring someone.
  • Former Lt. Tate was on APD’s Chief selection board aka board that helped hire officers at his time.
  • Torres attorneys now bringing up citizen complaints made about Ofcr. Brown while he worked at Roswell PD.
  • Lt. Steve Tate: left APD b/c of concerns of direction dept. was heading in terms of changes to training. Says he still cares about dept.
  • Looks like I was incorrect about defense opening statements. Torres families first witness called to stand: frmr. APD Lt. Steve Tate.
  • Attorney who gave those prior quotes is Randi McGinn, representing the Torres family.
  • Opening statements for Torres family now over, court recessing for 15, then defense’s opening statements begin.
  • Torres family attorney: “This could have happened to any one of us in our backyard”
  • Torres fam attorney: “This wasn’t caused by schizophrenia” “It was caused by these police officers”
  • Attorneys on Torres’ death: “This is a tragedy of our society.”
  • Attorneys claiming Torres was high functioning w/ schizophrenia, was getting a handle on disease and was going to be successful.
  • Attorney claims autopsy shows 3rd and final shot, which came after a pause, was the shot that killed Torres. Now playing neighbor’s 911 call
  • Opening statements for Torres family continue. Attorney now running through every single event that lead up to shooting.
  • Torres civil trial: No jury. Packed courtroom today. Would be standing room only but Judge Bacon is only allowing people w/ seats in crtrm
  • Torres family attorney also says Ofc. Brown admitted to having a lack of training dealing with people with mental illness.
  • Torres fam attorney blames now former APD Chief Schultz, former mayor Marty Chavez for lowering hiring standards. Say that’s when this began
  • Torres family attorneys now focusing on one officer involved, C.J. Brown. Saying APD was negligent in hiring him due to his history.
  • Torres was shot to death in his backyard by 2 APD officers in 2011. Torres, who had schizophrenia, struggled w/ officers who went to arrest
  • Wrongful death civil trial in APD shooting of Christopher Torres begins today. Torres’ attorneys are now giving opening statements.

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