Police probe officer's response to swastika-branding incident

Police in Farmington, New Mexico, are conducting an internal investigation into an incident in which a mentally challenged man from the Navajo Nation was branded with a swastika.

An officer contacted the victim, 22, after the victim escaped from a house where he was being held by three men. The officer may have wrongly believed the victim was intoxicated and evidence may have been overlooked or destroyed, the police chief said.

Jesse Sanford, 24, William Hatch, 28, and Paul Beebe, 26, have been charged with first-degree felony kidnapping, second-degree felony conspiracy to commit kidnapping, third-degree felony aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and fourth-degree felony conspiracy to commit aggravated battery Beebe also faces fourth-degree felony tampering with evidence.

The men are believed to be associated with white supremacist groups. In addition to branding a swastika on the victim and shaving a swastika into the back of his head, the men allegedly wrote "White Power" on the victim's body.

Get the Story:
Farmington police conduct internal look at officer's response (The Farmington Daily Times 5/14)
FPD looks internally at swastika case (KRQE-TV 5/13)

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Men in court over swastika-branding incident in New Mexico (5/11)
Men accused of branding swastika on Navajo Nation victim (5/10)