The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) has fired the Academy Commander “after finding that she retaliated against Academy staff and threatened to retaliate against cadets,” according to an October 30 KOB4 article.
Former Academy Commander Angela Byrd was accused of trying to cover up misconduct in collaboration with former APD Chief Michael Geier. Additionally, “claims of harassment and discrimination within the department were reported to supervisors beginning in late April of this year. An anonymous email was sent to APD Human Resources alleging that management was tolerating this discrimination,” according to the article.
After the email was sent, Byrd was recorded demanding to know who sent the email and who else knew about the email. In the audio recording, seen on KOB4’s article page, Byrd threatens the cadets if they don’t come forward with information about the email, stating: “I don’t have to graduate any of you. I sign the certificate.” She also tells the cadets, “If I get another one of these I guarantee you that you will not get out of here.”
APD’s Interim Chief Harold Medina said that Byrd’s actions “showed she lacked the integrity to move the department forward,” according to the article. Medina also said that Geier “reorganized the department to require Byrd to report directly to him, rather than a deputy chief” and that this action “made things worse by removing accountability over the Academy,” the article states.
The city’s legal department “began an independent investigation into the allegations of discrimination” and “substantiated several complaints against Byrd, including that she retaliated against an instructor and a sergeant as well,” according to the article.