High Ranking APD Official Mocks Homicide Victim Family Member
By: ABQRAW Staff
Posted: 4/18/2022 at 1:00PM
APD Communications and Community Outreach Director Gilbert Gallegos, center, stands with District Attorney Raul Torrez, APD Chief Harold Medina, Mayor Tim Keller, and Deputy Chief Josh Brown at the August 20th, 2021 shooting of four APD officers.
On March 4th, 2022, Twitter user @yokibs tweeted out an offer to help Albuquerque Police Department and and it's public affairs office technical and copy writing skills. The account was citing a homicide PDF that was released by APD that had errors on dates of cases.
The next day, the account @APD_PIO, an account that claims to be the official Twitter account of the Albuquerque Police Department public information office, responded to the tweet:
Thank you for your copy editing. The world is a better place with your vigilance and your sarcasm.
The @yokibs responded: "No problem. I figured someone should give a shit, considering there are “85 cases assigned to detectives who [are] no longer in the homicide unit,” one of which is the murder of my cousin, Tony Gomez. But wtf do I know?!"
The case she is referencing is that of Tony Gomez who was killed in 2018 during an altercation with another group. His murder still remains unsolved.
In an interview with ABQ RAW staff, Twitter user @yokibs was surprised at the mocking by an official City of ABQ account:
"The person responding was a fucking dick and shouldn't be interacting with the public if they can't handle some Twitter criticism," said @yokibs
@yokibs felt it was a slap in the face and the account was acting like a troll.
The person we discovered who has access to the Twitter account is Gilbert Gallegos, Director of Communications and Community Outreach at Albuquerque Police Department. Gallegos is no stranger to using "official APD accounts" in an unprofessional manner. In 2020, he used then APD Police Chief Michael Geier's official department issued Twitter account to show support of Jacob Blake who was shot by police in Wisconsin. The case caused a media frenzy. Chief Geier denied ever writing the Tweet and he received backlash over it. It was found that Gallegos was the author of the tweet and posted it to Geier's account without consulting Geier or without Geier knowing anything about the tweet.
" I don't even know how to tweet. Gilbert Gallegos would send drafts for me to look at and he would make a determination on whether or not to post. Chief Geier went on to say "and this was a Friday I was driving home at the time, I get home, phone gets put away for a while I didn't see it. I didn't look at it about seven 30 that night my phone goes off," said Geier
The phone calls were from concerned citizens and officers within APD asking him why he tweeted it out. Geier had to defend himself and say it was not him. Geier had many professional police organizations contacting him to criticize him for tweeting against law enforcement.
It was found out quickly that Gallegos was the one who tweeted to the account. The Tweet was eventually taken down, which in itself is a criminal violation in New Mexico. This is because as an official department statement it is a public record. It is unclear if any disciplinary action was ever taken against Gallegos for the unauthorized tweet or the deleting of public records.
Gallegos will also attack members of the public on a regular basis from the official @APD_PIO Twitter account.
One Twitter user called him out on the unprofessionalism on the work account and the @APD_PIO account responded with "Underpaid".
Through the transparency portal of salaries, Gallegos makes just over $106,000.00 per year with the City of Albuquerque. It is a 121% difference above the New Mexico average income of $25,881.00.
Gallegos has continously violated section 1-02-4 section 5 III and IV of the APD Standard Operating Procedures manual, it states speech that impedes the performance of duties and speech that negatively impacts or tends to impact the Department’s ability to serve the public. https://documents.cabq.gov/police/standard-operating-procedures/1-02-social-media.pdf
The Civilian Police Oversight Commission has found Gallegos in violation of APD policies by also using his personal Twitter account as a work account and attacking members of the public with it. He uses the terms "butthurt" and "trolls." The Commission found he violated 1-1-4A, 1-2-4 A1, and 1-1-5 A1 policies of the Albuquerque Police Department's S.O.P.
On a criminal level, Gallegos violated criminal law. The NM criminal code regarding interference of public records section 30-26-1 recognizes tampering with public records. It is a fourth degree felony to destroy public records and to our knowledge there have not been any criminal charges brought against Gallegos.
The policies described in the violation are Sanction 1 violations and according to APD sanctions it is cause for "immediate termination". APD Chief Harold Medina has the power to hold the violations in abeyance which basically means there will be no consequences for the violations. We did publicly record request Gallegos's Internal Affairs record a month ago and have still not received the records about what other violations have been discovered against him if any at all.
We reached out to Police Chief Harold Medina for comment on Gallegos' job performance and whether or not Sanction 1 findings were held in abeyance to allow Gallegos to keep his job. No comment was ever given to us.