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Police investigation of civil rights lawyer’s death questioned

Posted Aug 16, 2013 4:42 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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The death of Mary Han, an Albuquerque, N.M., civil rights lawyer, may not have been a suicide as it was reported by a medical examiner, according to a New Mexico attorney general review of the case released Friday.

Han, who according to the Albuquerque Journal was often “at loggerheads” with the Albuquerque Police Department, died in 2010. An autopsy report stated that she was found sitting in her BMW parked in her garage, and she died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Han’s family has filed a lawsuit against the Albuquerque Police Department, alleging Fourth amendment violations in connection with the lawyer’s death.

“We have completed our review of the circumstances and APD’s handling of the death scene, and we found that it was terribly mishandled due to inappropriate directions from high-ranking police and civilian administrators with the city of Albuquerque,” New Mexico Attorney General Gary King said in a statement today.

Numerous police personnel were at the death scene, according to the article, and that was strange, a police field investigator who photographed the death scene noted in his report.

King’s review also states that “significant” items were removed or are missing from the death scene. He considers Han’s death investigation open, and asks that anyone with information about it contact his office.

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