ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Two Albuquerque police officers were fired Wednesday following the release of unedited video that showed them apparently doing a celebratory belly bump after one officer kicked a suspect in the head more than a dozen times.
Officers John Doyle and Robert Woolever both were issued termination letters, a police department statement said.
A special prosecutor is reviewing the Feb. 13 beating.
Deputy City Attorney Kathy Levy initially turned over a DVD with video footage of the beating and played it for a Journal reporter on a computer. That version cuts off shortly after the kicking ends and is cropped on the right side.
The footage shows Woolever holding the suspect down while Doyle kicks him. But it doesn't show the officers' interaction after they subdued the suspected car thief, Nicholas Blume. A longer, raw video from the parking garage at the Barcelona Hotel in Albuquerque – provided to the Journal reporter on a thumb drive – shows the belly bump.
Both versions show Woolever take the suspect to the ground and strike him in the head with his baton while he struggles to subdue Blume. Then Doyle runs up and kicks Blume in the head repeatedly while Woolever holds Blume's hands behind his back. Blume appears to go limp about midway through the kicking.
Doyle wrote in his police report that he was worried that Blume was armed. Blume wasn't, although a stolen handgun was later found in the truck he was driving.
Blume was indicted in state District Court in March on charges of auto theft, receiving a stolen firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm and resisting arrest. Those charges all stem from the February case, and Blume is facing additional charges in state and federal court that stem from other incidents.
Blume's attorney, Ray Twohig, has said his client could not speak with the detectives investigating the beating without a promise of immunity. Blume remained jailed without bond late Tuesday at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
Doyle and Woolever had both been with the department for about four years.