Police Abuse

People Protest Police Brutality in New Mexico, Cops Tear Gas Them


AP video screen cap

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico, yesterday to protest police brutality. The police responded by blocking the activists' paths and firing tear gas canisters at them.

The demonstration, which began in the early afternoon outside the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) headquarters, came as a response to the department's frequent use of force.

"There has been excessive force lately—in the last couple of years — and I think something has to be done," one participant told a local news station. "The new police chief is not doing his job. He spoke wrongly two weeks ago by justifying it, before everything was out there."

The Associated Press notes that the APD has been involved in 37 shootings since 2010 and is currently under federal investigation. In one recent incident, officers shot a homeless man for illegally camping on public grounds.

By 5 p.m., an estimated 300 protesters were marching through the streets and riot police armed with batons and wearing gas masks (and some riding riot gear-wearing horses) arrived to disperse the crowds. The APD declared the gathering an "unlawful assembly," implying that the protesters intended to use violence.

However, the Albuquerque Journal writes that the situation didn't become "unruly" until 8 p.m., after New Mexico State Police arrived. The Journal reported at the time:

A line of riot police have blocked about 200 protesters' passage west on Central Avenue near Girard, and protesters have thrown eggs and water bottles at APD vehicles.

About 75 protesters are confronting police in front of the line of officers, which includes those mounted on horses and empty prisoner-transport vans.


"We want to ensure you have the right to protest in a lawful manner," police can be heard telling the protesters.

The nearby APD Monte Vista substation was also vandalized with spray-painted expletives.

AP video screen cap

Soon after, the Bernalillo County SWAT Team, operating armored vehicles, joined in and officers arrested at least one protester.

After 9 p.m., Mayor Richard Berry warned that "individuals who weren't connected necessarily with the original protest [had] taken it far beyond a normal protest," when protesters reportedly injured one officer and broke a patrol car window. So, law enforcement began firing tear gas into crowds and according to Associated Press, "Bernalillo County sheriff's deputies charg[ed] at the protesters."

People regrouped two hours later, and the police fired more tear gas at them. One attendee captured an incident on camera.

State Sen. Joe Cervantes (D) wrote on Twitter that "student housing [was] impacted" at the University of New Mexico when "tear gas has drifted inside dorms"

The protests petered out late in the night.

NEXT: New IPCC Report: Cost of Unchecked Man-Made Climate Change Likely Minimal

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Bad cops bad cops, whatcha gonna do
    Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

    1. Be exonerated?

      1. Hard to be exonerated when you’ve got 340 grains of Trepanizine inbound…

  2. Jesus, it was an unlawful assembly. How hard is this to understand?!

    1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      How hard is that to understand?

      1. People are free to assemble. As long as they get the proper permits and obey the rules.

        1. Funny, I find the word “permit” nowhere in the actual text of the first amendment.

          1. It was written in invisible ink that only people in black robes with Ivy League law degrees can see.

            1. Or understand. We commoners think the plain language means what is says, but those law talking guys know better.

            2. It was written in invisible ink that only people in black robes with Ivy League law degrees can see.

              In this case, only people with badges and the True Right to Bear Arms can read.

              1. What’s so hard to understand about “a well-regulated militia band of heavily-armed government thugs endowed with the power to kill anyone it damn well pleases, especially the homeless and dogs but not restricted thereto being necessary to the security of a free state”?

                1. damn html

                  where’s my edit button?!

                  1. Actually I think you nailed it.

                  2. Actually I think you nailed it.

                  3. Actually I think you nailed it.

                    1. It must be three o clock.

            3. When they use seer stones and a hat.

      2. How hard is that to understand?

        Albuquerque PD requests that you dumb the first part down a little.

    2. They didnt respect the police officers’ authoritah!

  3. The APD declared the gathering an “unlawful assembly,” implying that the protesters intended to use violence.

    I read that as they didn’t ask permission. We are free to assemble, as long as we get a permit and then obey orders.

  4. when protesters reportedly injured one officer and broke a patrol car window.

    Those protesters’ faces don’t punch themselves.

  5. John Titor was incorrect only in mixing up his timeline by a decade.

    Who knew?

    1. Alas, Babylon

  6. ?Dr. Egoyan: As you surrender your body, what musical and visual orientations would you like to experience?

    Abe: I want to hear the Glenn Miller Orchestra and see cops beating up hippies!

  7. Well, stuff like this had to start happening eventually. The cops everywhere are out of control. And of course, they react to it by being exactly what the protesters were protesting. Let’s see if we see more of this in other locations.

    1. Let’s see if we see more of this in other locations.

      Calidissident already found some.

      1. I think what we were hoping to see was more resistance to this shit, not more getting our asses kicked by this shit.

      2. I wouldn’t be surprised if this snowballed. There’s a simmering hatred against the cops that only comes out when enough people get outraged. Here in Seattle, you’re normally not going to hear someone say “I hate the cops” (unless you’re talking to me), but when there’s any kind of protest regarding them, a lot of people suddenly show up.

  8. Torches and pitchforks. Time for the torches and pitchforks to come out in the night.

    1. They have an armored truck, straight from the mean streets of Baghdad.

      1. Just one?

      2. Well, statistically, for a cop, it’s more dangerous in Paducah than it is in Afghanistan.

      3. Does anyone really think they want that military stuff to deal with a few drug dealers? It’s for the populace if they start rioting. I think the cops are WAY more hateful and afraid of the general public than they let on, at least in terms of the power of a mob.

        1. 300 this week; 3,000 next; and 30,000 the week after. (in my dreams, of course)

        2. I think you’re on to something. I think that police depts nationwide have realized that their popular support is slipping. (by how much I’m reluctant to say) They believe that they are under a kind of siege and are being unfairly prosecuted for their actions (ignore the fact that they’re almost exclusively found innocent no matter the evidence) and so they’re ramping up for pacification.

          They have no plans to change their tactics, and really can’t because now it’s built in. You’d have to fire 90% of the police on every force in the country and start anew. Knowing that isn’t practical, they’re just fortifying the defenses.

          1. Funny you say 90%. My BiL is a sargeant in a major metropolitan police force and he says that 90% of the people on the force are complete dirtbags.

            1. I sincerely believe the job has changed over the last couple of decades, attracting those types by design.

              1. Didn’t the country of Georgia fire 100% of its cops and experience a drop in crime and congestion (because corruption had gotten so out of hand even the former soviet subject state couldn’t take it any more).

      4. I call that a Dutch Oven. Krispy Kops.


  10. “We want to ensure you have the right to protest in a lawful manner,” police can be heard telling the protesters.

    That’s why we’re going to zip-tie your hands behind your backs and take you to jail. And if we hear so much as a peep out of that cell, you’re gonna get the fire hose.

    1. “We want to ensure you have the right to protest in a lawful manner,”

      Get permission and follow orders.

  11. when protesters reportedly injured one officer and broke a patrol car window

    I read that as a cop injured himself breaking his own window so he’d have a pat excuse for busting heads.

    1. And disability.

  12. I can’t find it anymore, it seems to have disappeared down the memory hole, but there used to be a great video of a cop beating the shit out of a guy with a baton while the guy was handcuffed to a bench in a holding cell. Everytime the enraged cop would hit the guy he would scream ” I am not a goon! I am not a goon!”

  13. One of the pictures at that Albquerque Journal article shows a guy right in front of the line of cops taking pictures with his phone,AND HE HAS HIS DOG WITH HIM. Not kidding, the fear in my stomach for that poor dog was palpable. The guy obviously had not idea the danger he was putting his dog in.

  14. Nothing say “we don’t have a problem with excessive force” like riot cops, horses, and tear gas cannisters deployed on peaceful protesters.

  15. Good cops (however many there are) need to stop supporting bad cops.
    Sooner or later, chickens come home to roost and innocents will be harmed in the blowback. Case in point – for years Philly cops were whaling on blacks; hatred of the cops was palpable in the black community. Eventually, Abu Jamal murders Patrolman Danny Faulkner
    (not known if he was good or bad copy)out of hatred for cops in general. Cops were outraged of course but in a very real sense their
    prior lawlessness brought it on themselves.

    1. “Sooner or later, chickens come home to roost and innocents will be harmed ”

      Ruby Ridge, Waco, MOVE/Philadelphia, etc….

  16. I watched roughly the last four hours of this protest first hand. I did not participate, however. Some observations:

    There were aspects of an angry mob to the protest, which is not good. Before I got there, there had been graffiti and some vandalism. I didn’t witness this, but I will say that it is dumb.

    The noisiest protesters were the hippies with drums and the hood rats. The hippies were yelling their changs and the hoodrats were yelling things like “F&^% the police.”

    The police response was very Orweillian. I saw several bearcats and other SWAT vehicles that were not only packed full of SWAT cops, but they also had about a half dozen hanging off of either side. Most of the videos that you see on the web show cops with cudgles. There were quite a few of those, yes, but I also saw a ton of cops with M-4s strapped to their chests. Very paramilitary and very not cool in a supposed constitutional republic.

    The state troopers didn’t have gas masks. During the second gassing, whichever police agencies launched the tear gas launched it at right place to not only get the protesters, but also for the wind to carry it to the state troopers. I didn’t get to see their reaction because the gas was too thick, but I did watch it move right towards them. I asked one of them if any of them were gassed, and he said yes.

    1. I would say you have a lawn to go tell people to get off of.

    2. I always wish for an RPG to hit the vehicles when they’re all riding on the outside in addition to those inside.

      I’d settle for molotaovs or napalm though.

      1. I’d settle for molotaovs or napalm though.

        Warsaw ghetto uprising. A well-placed molotov will fuck…their…day up.

  17. Police militarization and the rise of their self-important “authority” has been coming to a head for years now. I think it has even more to do with people at the top – above police management/leadership – who have no intention to change anything.

    In the 1970’s there was a backlash against “police brutality” which seemed to lead to a reduced tendency of same mostly because the political leadership thought it was the right thing to rein in these types of actions. I don’t see a similar discussion in the political realm these days.

  18. Why people doing protest because police brutality or corruption increasing day by not only mexico, in a servery we found that about every country are facing police brutality or corruption we have need to reform to it. otherwise every thing will finished when people aware or revolt against their corrupt against the police department. read complete story here, how police altered with Mr. Paul Bailey case.


Please to post comments

Comments are closed.