New Mexico attorney general will review Albuquerque police actions that led to teen’s death during raid

ByKristen Amber

Jul 18, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


As local community teams demand from customers answers right after a teen died of smoke inhalation for the duration of the program of a law enforcement raid, New Mexico Legal professional General Hector Balderas said Wednesday that his office environment will independently overview the department’s dealing with of the incident. 

Brett Rosenau, 15, died before this month right after an hourslong SWAT standoff finished with a home fireplace that may perhaps have been ignited by chemical munitions established off by legislation enforcement as they were being hoping to arrest one more individual within, law enforcement explained. 

A multiagency investigation that law enforcement say will get two weeks is currently underway, but Albuquerque Law enforcement Main Harold Medina has questioned Balderas to intervene “out of an abundance of warning.”

“If the chemical product is determined to be the result in of the fire, I would also request that your office deliver us with an impartial analysis of the machine and deployment processes,” Medina reported in a letter to Balderas.

Balderas said the “tragic dying of this 15-12 months-old is a really serious make a difference that warrants a complete review.” He also reported his business office has taken measures to assemble a team to study the managing of the incident and conduct an investigation of the use of tactical gadgets.  

Law enforcement have mentioned on July 6 they were trying to arrest Qiaunt Kelley, 27, for violating his probation after remaining convicted of armed carjacking and stolen car when he retreated into a household as officers approached him. The teenage boy followed him within and remained with him for hours as law enforcement said they attempted to coax them out peacefully. 

Officers also made use of a drone and robots “to establish who was within the house and to activate powder irritants inside of the home to get the folks to exit,” law enforcement reported. An hour later on, the property was on fire. As firefighters arrived, Kelley ran out of the residence, but Rosenau was observed lifeless within. 

A charred toy by a makeshift memorial Sunday on the front porch of the burned property where by Brett Rosenau died in Albuquerque, N.M.Adolphe Pierre-Louis / Albuquerque Journal by using ZUMA

Law enforcement have not said how very long the hearth burned just before firefighters arrived. Kelley was taken to the hospital with melt away accidents and then arrested on outstanding warrants.

“In our effort and hard work to monitor down and arrest a violent prison, a younger individual tragically lost his daily life,” Medina explained a handful of days soon after the incident. “If any of our steps inadvertently contributed to his death, we will consider actions to assure this in no way occurs again.”

Rosenau’s dying touched off a sequence of protests across Albuquerque, with demonstrators, including the boy’s household, demanding police accountability and contacting the officers’ steps unnecessarily major-handed. 

In particular, Rosenau’s spouse and children has lifted inquiries about the police decision to deploy chemical irritants into the dwelling, which Medina said may well have brought about the fireplace. 

“From our vantage point that seems overkill,” explained Taylor Smith, an legal professional representing the boy’s loved ones. “From what we know and studies we listened to not extended following the incident, law enforcement ended up mindful that a insignificant boy or girl was in the home still selected to do this.”

Rosenau was explained by his spouse and children in a assertion as a “smart and humorous younger boy who walked to the beat of his personal drum.”

His household reported his “teachers often thought that he would go after engineering provided his ingenuity and abilities.”

Louie Sanchez, an Albuquerque City Councilor and chair of the city’s community basic safety committee mentioned his committee will evaluation the attorney general’s investigation after it’s comprehensive.

“As a father, 26-12 months law enforcement veteran, and chairman of the Albuquerque Community Basic safety Committee, I categorical my deepest condolences to the family and close friends of the deceased teen,” he said in a assertion.

Brett Rosenau with his mother.
Brett Rosenau with his mom.Courtesy Rothstein Donatelli Regulation

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico also urged the lawyer general’s office to perform an unbiased investigation into Rosenau’s dying. 

“There was a child inside of the residence and they built the selection to use the chemical weapon figuring out that, so there appears to be failure on some stage to retrieve him,” Leon Howard, authorized director of the ACLU of New Mexico claimed. “There was no sign that there was some quick risk of danger that essential this sort of escalation.”

Police say they applied a “Tri-Chamber Flameless CS Grenade,” a product officers have applied a amount of situations over numerous years devoid of incident. 

A 2015 safety information sheet required by the Occupational Security and Health and fitness Administration, which seems on the product’s web-site, warns that the grenade includes “flammable solid” and that the “product may perhaps explode if burned in confined house.” 

“Individual cartridges may possibly explode. Mass explosion of quite a few cartridges at once is not likely,” the basic safety facts sheet suggests. It provides that the solution ought to be utilised “only outside or in a perfectly-ventilated spot.” 

The site for Defense Technological know-how, the product’s company, explains the gadget was “designed mainly for indoor tactical situations.”

Keith Taylor, an assistant professor at John Jay Higher education of Criminal Justice and former SWAT officer, reported law enforcement need to take a number of components into thing to consider in advance of deploying chemical munitions, together with who could be impacted. 

“The enhancement of a tactical program is significant,” he reported. “You need to have to assess who is likely to arrive in get in touch with with these weapons.” 

When deploying weapons these kinds of as tear gas, chemical munitions and sounds flash diversionary products — all made use of by Albuquerque officers all through the July 6 incident — the law enforcement approach should really consider if there are elderly grownups or minors current due to the fact smoke and chemical compounds can have an outsized result on them, he explained. 

As the police reaction is examined, investigators will very likely take into account how much time law enforcement had to formulate their plan and whether they adopted standard running technique for deploying chemical weapons indoors, Taylor explained.

For occasion, he said, it is commonly great observe to have firefighters on website just before the deployment of chemical munitions. 

The Albuquerque Law enforcement Division is underneath a federal consent decree agreed on in 2014 after the U.S. authorities established it experienced a sample of too much force. Under the agreement, the office is demanded to report facts of the investigations to the Department of Justice and its independent federal watch. 

The division has reported it will publicly launch footage of the incident captured by law enforcement, by drone, and other films. 


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