100 signatures reached
To: criminal justice reform advocates
End Commemoration of Police Brutality
This petition is to remove the name of Deputy Damacio Montano from the Fallen Heroes Memorial Wall. This removal is to be based on the grounds that at the time of his death, Deputy Montano was highly intoxicated, off-duty, and in the very commission of a brutal group assault against Nestor Chavez. This deputy was not acting in the performance of his duties.
Unfortunately this investigation was emotional for law enforcement as they were investigating one of their own. Due to a one-sided investigation, suspicion was manufactured to downplay obvious police brutality and misconduct; however, for this petition we’re relying on the equally disqualifying fact of Deputy Montano’s extreme intoxication.
It’s important to remember what happened to Nestor Chavez. Mr. Chavez was attacked by a group of drunk, off-duty police and corrections officers. Mr. Chavez was not in the commission of any crime nor did he present a threat to anyone in the parking lot where he was attacked. According to the fallen heroes website (see: https://nleomf.org/fallen-heroes/damacio-s-montano/), State’s witnesses and even some biased media sources said: Mr. Chavez was merely placed in a “proper restraint”. That claim is untrue and documented by Mr. Chavez’ black eyes, choke marks on his neck, and the bloody open bite wound on his back; nonetheless, regardless of that brutality the point is that there is no cause for a “proper restraint” to have been applied to Mr. Chavez in the first place.
During the investigation of this incident a request for Deputy Montano’s name to be placed on the Fallen Heroes Memorial Wall was made and granted. This request was pushed forward by local Republicans and afterwards the ceremony was presided over by President George W. Bush. The on-going investigation was then conducted as if for the sole purpose of cementing Deputy Montano’s legacy. Original video footage from the bar’s security camera was destroyed by the State. Bite wound DNA evidence was collected but then destroyed by the State without being tested. A whitewashed story materialized to honor an act of recreational police brutality.
Deputy Montano’s name must be removed from the fallen heroes wall. If, for no other reason, this removal should happen due to the scientifically proven fact that Deputy Montano’s blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit when the 280 pound man died (see: State of New Mexico vs. Armendariz D-1314-02-470-CR, Volume IV page 39). According to one of the 4 stated requirements for being commemorated on the Fallen Heroes Wall an officer cannot have died while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (see: https://nleomf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Criteria_for_Inclusion_4_5_22.pdf).
A request to remove Deputy Montano’s name from the Fallen Heroes Wall was first given by local police and prison reform advocate Barron Jones who sent a letter to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall on June 27, 2022 . This request was denied on June 30, 2022.
This is not a mean-spirited attempt to disparage someone who died while trying to do the right thing. Deputy Montano signed up to protect the public not to get drunk and jump people with his friends. This system made a counterfeit legacy instead of acknowledging this deputy’s deadly melt-down. A gun was pulled on him to save somebody’s life because he was showing deadly force while leading a group assault. He was shot as he attacked someone who was on retreat from that group assault. Signing this petition will help end a false narrative and every injustice that it supports.
Thank you. Free Michael Armendariz!
Why is this important?
This person's name on the Fallen Heroes Memorial Wall dishonors the other officers who are commemorated on this wall who actually did die as heroes.