A lawyer in the South Valley gave away 500 free Thanksgiving turkeys plus sides last Saturday morning. David Elias Idinopulos, owner of Elias Law, told KOB4 that he began giving the turkeys away four years ago as a publicity stunt, but after he saw how some people were hungry enough to wait in line for hours, he realized he was actually fulfilling a community need and decided to continue the tradition. Idinopulos feels that giving back is his way of returning the favor to a community that has supported his business for the last five years. His good deed costed around $15,000.
Neighbors Save Man From Burning Home
A man was hospitalized Sunday morning after an explosion completely destroyed his home in the East Mountains. Residents in Sandia Park called 911 around 11am Saturday morning after hearing a loud explosion and seeing smoke. Two neighbors entered the home, where they found a man lying injured on the floor. Their initial reaction was to avoid worsening his injuries by moving him, but as the fire began to spread, the two men decided to move him outside. According to witnesses, the house became engulfed in flame only moments later. The victim's home and car were both called a total loss by Bernalillo County Fire officials, who said the explosion could have been caused by a propane tank but are still investigating the incident.
APD Accused of Altering Lapel Cam Footage
The Albuquerque Police Department is facing allegations that officials deliberately altered lapel camera footage to distort or even erase evidence. District Attorney Kari Brandenburg announced last week that she had contacted the US Attorney's Office in regards to a nine-page affidavit by a former APD records custodian who claims APD senior staff trained certain staff members on how to use the department's cloud-based storage system, Evidence.com, to blur, erase or corrupt video footage. The custodian, Reynaldo Chavez, was the supervisor of the APD records unit until he was fired in August 2015 for misconduct. Chavez filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the department earlier this year, alleging he was actually terminated for discussing his concerns over illegal evidence tampering with his superiors. The affidavit given by him and being submitted as evidence by Brandenburg, dated Oct. 28, was filed as an exhibit in the ongoing civil lawsuit filed against APD by the family of Mary Hawkes, a suspected car thief who was shot and killed in 2014 by Officer Jeremy Dear. Dear claimed that his lapel camera became unplugged as he pursued Hawkes, but Chavez' affidavit says the “gradient of the resolution on the video” belonging to a fellow officer's lapel camera had been changed, and as much as 20 seconds had been removed from another. Chavez states that the department's reason for altering video evidence was to appear to be complying with Police Chief Gorden Eden's edict to record all officer interactions with the public while keeping damaging evidence out of public view. Eden says he was unaware of the allegations until recently. Brandenburg says she is taking the allegations very seriously. The US Attorney's Office has not made any announcements regarding the affidavit.