Farmington, N.M. – The Farmington Police Department today announces a school resource officer is no longer employed with the department following an investigation into a use of force incident at Mesa View Middle School. The incident took place on August 27, 2019 when school officials requested Officer Zach Christensen assist them in addressing a disruptive student. Christensen was the school resource officer assigned to Mesa View Middle School. A sergeant with FPD’s Professional Standards Division was viewing Christensen’s lapel camera video footage as part of a routine internal review process. He saw what he believed to be a use of force violation against an 11-year-old female student and opened an internal affairs investigation. Officer Christensen was immediately placed on administrative leave per FPD policy. Additionally, the case was referred to the New Mexico State Police for possible criminal charges.
Chief Steve Hebbe issued the following written statement regarding the incident and a more detailed video message to our community, “When we fall short of our expectations and standards, we hold ourselves accountable. Like many of you, I was shocked and angry when I watched this video. We value our relationship with our community and will continue to work hard to maintain the public’s confidence in our department.”
The officer’s lapel camera footage has been released to the news media and has been uploaded to FPD’s YouTube channel. The video may be viewed at https://youtu.be/SdiC4WzGyq8