Video: NM corrections officer fights off inmates attacking him

The union believes the inmates likely staged a fight to lure the officer to them


By Amanda Lien

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Newly-released video shows a Metropolitan Detention Center corrections officer fighting off a group of inmates after investigating what he thought was a fight inside a cell.

KRQE reports the Nov. 26 incident left corrections officer Edward Downing with minor injuries. Six inmates have since been charged for their involvement in the fight.

Video shows Downing operating a control panel inside a pod during his regular shift when two inmates asked Downing to open a cell door. KRQE reports Downing became suspicious of a fight taking place inside the cell.

When he went to investigate, another inmate punched him in the face several times, then attempted to take Downing’s radio. Downing is then seen on video running through a group of five inmates to get down to the ground floor of the pod.

“He did what he had to do to stay alive,” Joseph Trujeque, president of the Local 2499 Union representing Bernalillo County corrections officers, told KRQE. “I have no doubt, if they got ahold of him, they would have probably killed him.”

Trujeque told KRQE the union believes the inmates likely staged the fight to lure the officer up to the second-floor cell. All of the inmates charged are still at MDC. Trujeque said he hopes the six responsible inmates are held accountable.

“We have to hold these people to task and when they know they’re not going to be held accountable, it emboldens them to act in those ways,” he said.

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