Three weeks ago, Celestino Crow advised Mary Hawkes not to trust the Albuquerque Police Department.
Little did he know that that would be his final encounter with Hawkes.
On Monday, Hawkes, 19, was shot dead by APD officer Jeremy Dear after police identified her as a suspect of a motor vehicle theft incident. According to preliminary police investigation, Hawkes allegedly pointed a gun to Dear after a short foot chase near the intersection of Zuni and Wyoming.
But Crow, who attended an APD protest in front of the police headquarters Monday morning, said he does not trust the police’s claims, and that for him, they released a “fabricated story.” He said there was no way that Hawkes could have posed a threat to police.
“In my mind, this is what I see: she was sleeping in a truck because she was afraid to be violated,” he said. “She was a very young, beautiful woman. The police officers were called to the scene to recover the vehicle… She saw them in the area and ran. She ran because she was afraid.”
According to the Albuquerque Journal, Hawkes lived in transitional housing in the International District, but she didn’t feel comfortable sleeping in these shelters because she’s a woman.
Crow had known Hawkes from their personal mentors, he said. Crow dated Hawkes, who he said was bisexual.
“She was a very gentle person,” he said. “I didn’t know Mary to have a gun. I knew her to have an adopted dog.”
According to the Journal, court records show that Hawkes had faced various criminal charges in the past. In 2011, she was convicted for two years of probation for a battery offense. She was also involved in public drinking and shoplifting charges, which were later dismissed, according to the Journal.
But her criminal record doesn’t mean that Hawkes was a bad person, Crow said.
“We keep saying criminal records, and that’s used to criminalize people,” he said. “But I’m a criminal – I got a parking ticket.”
Crow said police should be more rational and accountable for their actions, especially after the Department of Justice had identified that APD has used excessive force with the conclusion of the DOJ’s investigation on the department two weeks ago. He said he is optimistic that he will get justice for Hawkes’ killing in the future.
“We live in different times after this Department of Justice reports,” he said. “I don’t think they’ve got the picture. They can get investigated, and they will be prosecuted.”