This post is to document and archive communications and details involving Paula Burton attacking me physically after the August MHRAC meeting.

I’m leaving it as a password protected post so involved parties can access the information if necessary.


At the August MHRAC meeting, MHRAC member Paula Burton confronted me, first by verbally screaming at me in very close proximity. Then, she physically stabbed me with her finger into my chest repeatedly.

When I told her she could not strike me physically, she stated “My fingernail might have accidentally touched you.”

My girlfriend, Rasma Cox, encouraged me to call APD and file a report. I was hesitant because I didn’t want to disrupt MHRAC. A few days later, I did file a report with APD. As Rasma stated, if MHRAC is disrupted, it is because of Paula’s choice to attack me.

I had the officer meet me at the Los Volcanes substation because I didn’t feel safe having the officer come to my home. Why? Because Paula’s attack triggered SEVERE PTSD symptoms, and this is because Paula’s attack was nearly IDENTICAL to how my ex-wife would attack me. Also, every time I called APD because my wife was abusing me again, they would either do nothing or on two occasions I was arrested as the one abusing her (this is not true).

To date, I’ve asked Danny Whatley, co-chair of MHRAC, to meet with me to discuss this situation. John Barnum and Rasma Cox agreed to accompany me, to help facilitate the meeting and to be my advocates if I “froze up”, which I do when it comes to PTSD.

I’ve also solicited the advice of Marion Crouse, Taren Hill, Rasma Cox, and John Barnum.

Marion’s advice:

Wait to see if the DA files charges against Paula and then take that to the committee to demand her removal.

Taren’s advice/counsel:

It’s a tough situation because if I ask Paula to remove herself from MHRAC, I will look petty and vindictive, and it will affect me politically and diminish my credibility.

On the other hand, I was physically attacked by Paula, and that is a crime. I didn’t attack Paula physically. And if I was to simply ignore that she crossed the line, what example am I setting for peers who are abused by others?

John’s advice:

“I’ll go with you to the meeting.”

Rasma’s advice:

She doesn’t want me to let this drop, and that it’s improper for me to be told to leave MHRAC when I didn’t create this problem, Paula did by physically attacking me. Also, Rasma sees how conflicted I am with my dedication to MHRAC and with the need for me to employ “self care.”

Her advice is for me to do what’s right for my self-care and if MHRAC is disrupted, it is Paula’s fault, not mine.

My thoughts? I don’t want to disrupt MHRAC, and I won’t feel safe at MHRAC if Paula is there. The best solution is for Paula to remove herself from MHRAC. It is the consequence of her poor decision to attack me.

There have been numerous emails between me and Danny on this subject, most of which haven’t garnered a reply. Here is the thread:



Rasma and I are at The Rock for DBSA on Thursday evening, so I’d like to set a meeting to discuss the incident with Paula that afternoon, so it is a convenient location for you and us. What times do you have available?

As Rasma states, I didn’t create this problem, Paula did by attacking me. And as Rasma correctly states, this should not be a discussion we have in front of the public, the press, and other stakeholders at a MHRAC meeting if we are to rebuild the public’s trust in APD.

The next MHRAC meeting is a week from yesterday. I know I’m being very insistent because the time available is limited now, and we must have this discussion prior to the next MHRAC meeting.

Or, if you and Rick feel it’s more appropriate to have this discussion at next Tuesday’s meeting, I’ll defer to your judgment and choice. If so, please place this as an agenda item and let me know that we won’t be meeting to discuss the incident prior to the MHRAC meeting.

This is a difficult situation for everyone involved and I’m very torn by this.



On 9/13/2016 9:48 PM, Rasma Cox wrote:
> Danny,
> I know I’m new to MHRAC and am only a backup, but I don’t think this is something that should be handled within the public view. I noticed being around Steve so much and with my mother coming to an MHRAC meeting that most things are handled behind the scenes so to speak. Isn’t MHRAC not only about a DOJ mandate, but also to help restore the community’s faith in our police force? This attack from one member onto another member in a physical manner should have been handled that night, but since it was not as this incident did not occur in front of members of the community and only occurred in other members of MHRAC I think it would be prudent to talk about this in person before the meeting in order to have a meeting safe for the community to attend.
> Rasma Cox
> DBSA Albuquerque Co-President
> MHRAC back-up board member
> Court Appointed Special Advocate
> On Sep 13, 2016 8:41 PM, “Steve Bringe” wrote:
> Danny:
> Seeing as the incident that occurred with Paula isn’t really covered in mhrac bylaws, is this a topic best suited to a full committee discussion at our next meeting?
> Steve