SANTA FE - A State Police patrolman is the subject of an internal affairs investigation after images of a crime scene showing the body of a man killed in an officer-involved shooting were leaked to the public.
State Police Chief Robert Schilling said the patrolman allegedly used his personal cellphone to take photos of Samuel Pauly, 34, who was shot to death by State Police at his Glorieta home last October, and then shared the pictures with others.
Dan Cron, attorney for Pauly's family, said the family's reaction to the cellphone photos is "outrage."
"This is hard to believe that the state's police agency would have someone in a supervisory capacity who would be that callous and insensitive to the family," Cron said.
He added that "the fact that there is evidence floating around that's not part of the evidence held by the State Police is not only completely unprofessional but it also compromises the integrity of the case."
Dan Pauly, father of Samuel Pauly, told KOAT that the photos show "total disrespect."
"Why would they do that?" he asked.
Schilling said the senior patrolman who took the pictures was not one of the officers who was present during the shooting but was called in to help secure the scene.
The shooting occurred after Samuel Pauly's brother was involved in what's been described as a road rage incident on Interstate 25 late at night. State Police tracked the license number of the truck that the brother, also named Daniel Pauly, was driving to their Glorieta residence.
Cron has said the brothers only saw flashlights outside and mistook police for intruders or possibly someone connected to the incident on the interstate. Samuel Pauly was shot by officers after shots were fired from inside the Pauly home. Cron says the shots fired by Daniel were warning blasts to run off whomever was outside and not aimed at the officers.
The case has not yet been heard by a grand jury. Two off icers were placed on administrative leave in wake of the shooting. Daniel Pauly faces charges in the case.
Schilling said the officer who took the cellphone photos was being investigated for not following the department's evidence policy and criminal investigation policy. He said it's unclear how many people may have received an image from the officer's phone.
While Schilling declined to name the officer, he said the subject was a senior patrolman, meaning he's been on the force for at least five years.
Copyright 2012 Albuquerque Journal