Police Abuse

Albuquerque Protesters Try to Arrest Police Chief at City Council Meeting


game over?
screencap via KOAT

It seems the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) is working faster than the city government in the wake of a Department of Justice (DOJ) report identifying a probable pattern and practice of civil rights abuses by city cops. A SWAT team shot and killed Armand Martin, who was reportedly armed, during a stand-off stemming from a domestic dispute. It was at least the fourth fatal shooting by Albuquerque police this year, and the second since the DOJ report.

Some residents in Albuquerque have had enough. While the city council president insisted the council was going to vote on "some Charter amendment dealing with the organization of the police department" at a meeting Monday night, the meeting was adjourned earlier and the city council members and police chief fled the building when protesters tried to execute an "arrest warrant" against the chief. What happened next, via KOAT in Albuquerque:

A "People's Assembly of Albuquerque" passed three resolutions while in the chambers. One was no confidence votes against [Mayor Richard] Berry, Rob Perry and for an immediate resignation of [the police chief, Gordon] Eden. Another was to have lapel cameras worn by Albuquerque police officers at all times when encountering civilians. Another was the implementation of an independent civilian oversight committee with the powers to discipline, hire and fire any officers.

The police chief said he didn't find the protest helpful. "We are working hard to make proactive improvements now and in conjunction with DOJ recommendations," he told KOAT. While the APD released some lapel video from the most recent shooting, which showed two handguns under Martin, it did not have video that showed the actual shooting. Meanwhile lapel video from the previous post-DOJ shooting, of 19-year-old Mary Hawkes, was unavailable. The police officer who fatally shot her had not turned on his camera.

While the DOJ report "determined that there is reasonable cause to believe that the Albuquerque Police Department is engaged in a pattern or practice of use of excessive force, including the use of unreasonable deadly force," it stressed the findings shouldn't be taken to mean that cops should "needlessly risk" their lives or safety, and that they should keep getting home safely each night. No APD officers have been charged for any of the misconduct identified in the report.

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  1. The Chief is right, the protest wasn’t helpful. It would have had to drug him out into the street and tar and feathered him to be helpful.

  2. The police chief said he didn’t find the protest helpful.

    But not in so many words, I’ll wager.

  3. How many people?

  4. I still take this as a good sign.

    Now if only they’d succeeded…

    1. It would be nice to a have local PD cleanup as a replacement anti-statist movement for the sputtering Tea Party.

  5. There is a movement to recall the mayor over this.


    1. “Heh”? His name sounds like a non-committal comment on the internet.

  6. We need more of this.

    1. I think we’re going to get more too. The BS seems to be escalating.

      1. I agree with sarcasmic and hope that you are right.

        1. On the one hand I think we need more of this, but on the other hand it could turn really nasty. But maybe a massacre is what the people need to wake up.

          1. The distributed shootings don’t already count? or is that because they’re distributed and not ‘shocking’ enough?

            1. Isolated incidents will always be justified.

              It’s a bit harder to justify mowing down a crowd.

              1. Yes, but unfortunately, it may take mowing down a crowd. That will be the straw that breaks the camels back. It’s going to be really hard for the media to paint a crowd of mowed down town citizens as a bunch of racists. They can try, and I am sure they will, but it will backfire.

              2. “Officer Ben Richards disobeyed orders to stand down and opened fire on a crowd of food rioters”

                There ya go justified

          2. Massacres have a way of backfiring on the people who commit them.

            1. I wasn’t thinking of the protesters committing the massacre. No, I was thinking of scared cops protecting their bosses in government.

              1. I know that is what you were thinking. And those things have a way of backfiring. A no kidding massacre of peaceful protestors would be a public relations disaster for the cops.

                History is filled with examples of governments losing support of their populations by overreacting and committing some atrocity. Indeed, prodding the government to overreact is one of most common tactics of political protests.

                1. Kent State

                  1. “hey theres nothing like hippie hunting , my dad always used to take me down to Kent state with Lee Harvey Oswald”

                    so how do you hide money from a hippie?

                2. In the Memorial Day massacre of 1937, the Chicago Police Department shot and killed ten unarmed demonstrators in Chicago, on May 30, 1937. The incident took place during the “Little Steel Strike” in the United States.

                3. In the Memorial Day massacre of 1937, the Chicago Police Department shot and killed ten unarmed demonstrators in Chicago, on May 30, 1937. The incident took place during the “Little Steel Strike” in the United States.

              2. Exactly. Unfortunately, that is probably the only thing that can get popular opinion going in the right way to stop the proliferation of the militarized police state.

                Either that, or continued peaceful protests where the authorities keep backing down. But who finds it hard to believe that at some point, these goons are going to lose their cool and mow down a crowd in cold blood? I find it totally likely, it will happen.

                1. Maybe on a University, possibly in central Ohio?

                  1. And I was way too fucking late 😉

              1. The narrating actor is a widower whose wife was a bona fide IRA terrorist.

  7. engaged in a pattern or practice of

    Somewhat OT, but: Who TF other than bureaucrats or lawyers would say that?

  8. “The police officer who fatally shot her had not turned on his camera.”

    And the problem here is that this needs to be a criminal offense.

    If a police officer is found on duty outside of the station and their camera is off it should result in immediate termination and suspension of their police license until the resolution of the criminal trial.

    The former officer as all accused are will be presumed innocent and the state will be required to prove the officer knowingly disabled the device to convict and if acquitted may apply to have their police license reinstated at which point they may apply for any openings on police forces in the state but they do not automatically get their old jobs back and the only “protections” their unions can get them is to pay for their legal defense.

  9. I can’t believe the people here seriously think having mobs show up and chasing off the elected government is a good idea, just because this particular mob wanted something that’s probably a good idea.

    If this becomes come, do you really think it’s going to end up being a net plus for liberty?

    1. As a reaction to police abuse where processes and procedures are stacked against the plebs – the dust will settle in a better position than it is now.

    2. Concern troll is concerned.

    3. If this becomes come, do you really think it’s going to end up being a net plus for liberty?

      If liberty is when the government fears the people, and tyranny is when the people fear the government, then I’d say yes.

    4. Yeah, relying on the elected government has done wonders for the state of liberty there, hasn’t it? The APD is completely unaccountable. It doesn’t matter that their boss is elected; he can’t do shit to them.

    5. If this becomes come, do you really think it’s going to end up being a net plus for liberty?

      Yes. The threat of the mob seems to be the only thing that gets these people’s attention.

      And the subject of the action has a direct bearing on the morality of it. Some people deserve a mob.

      1. What happens when the mob wants your attention?

        1. Then it becomes immoral. You are just trolling here. First, is wasn’t a mob. It was a public protest. Second, by retarded logic no one could ever be held accountable for anything because holding someone accountable opens the possibility that someone might be held accountable wrongly.

        2. I’ll my Colonel Sherburn act on my front porch.

        1. So a small group of socons, pissed off that they lacked the political power to enforce laws against drinking and gambling, stage an armed revolt where they seize the election ballots and declare themselves the winner, followed by a spree of violence directed at any citizen they don’t like.

          And this is the “favorite” of a supposed “libertarian”.

          1. I can’t tell if you’re breath-takingly mendacious or breath-takingly stupid. Did you skip over the part where the Sheriff in charge of Athens was a corrupt thug?

            1. Yeah, but if you look into it, the primary form of his corruption was failing to enforce laws against alcohol, prostitution, and gambling. Frankly we could use more of that sort of corruption.

              And did you miss the part where after the existing government fled, they starting going around raiding businesses that had supported him.

              I fail to see how the militia was any less a tyrannical government than the one it replaced?

    6. What do you advise we do? Or are you just comfortable living with an out of control government that seems bound and determined to install a militarized tyranny? When that’s in full operation, it’s going to be a little too late for most of us.

      1. William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

        Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

        William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

        Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

        1. So you still recognize the lawful authority of your Queen, Elizabeth II?

          1. William the Bastard of Normandy unlawfully stole the crown from Harold Godwinson, Unless you can find an heir of Harold, this is an interregnum.

            1. I am sorry, but did Rome officially return Britain to local control? And What about the Iceni? Boadicea may have something to say to you.

        2. the laws of man only allows the illusion of safety for those too stupid to realize that man cannot command behavior or morality from any other man without respect
          a society that only follows the law through fear isnt safe, they live in constant threat from the “law” enforcers

    7. I can’t believe the people here seriously think having mobs show up and chasing off the elected government is a good idea,


      If this becomes [common], do you really think it’s going to end up being a net plus for liberty?

      I’m really trying to see a downside here.

      1. Rome was afraid of mobs, afraid enough to buy off the plebs with gifts at bread and games. Mubarak was afraid of mobs, and the Egyptian military used the riots to cement control (intentionally or not). It has been almost a generation since the US’s last real riot, so we forget how people react in fear to mobs. Most of the time people side with the status quo. Every once in a while, when the time is right, the mob is the status quo and things change.

    8. Yes it is a net plus for government official to know that they are the servants and if they want to keep their jobs they better treat us all with the respect owed to us as their civil masters.

      this isn’t a mob you pansy, not nearly enough lawlessness, these are citizens putting an out of control government back in the tiny cage it deserves to be starved in.

  10. What we need is a lot more incidents like this, a lot more often, with a lot more citizens involved. It’s the only way we stop the slide into tyranny.

    Another was to have lapel cameras worn by Albuquerque police officers at all times when encountering civilians

    And that needs to be absolutely mandatory, everywhere in the country.

    1. As Rasillio says above, not having it turned on ought to be a crime.

  11. When the law doesn’t apply to everyone, equally, then fuck the law, there is no law.

  12. the sign in the picture reminds me of the “Eat Mor Chiken” signs @ Chick-Fil-A.

  13. Just a couple of observations from someone whose watched the local newscasts on this:

    1) The protestors were largely a bunch of professional grievance-mongers and attention whores (one’s an asst professor at UNM, which should tell you everything you need to know) doing what professional grievance-mongers and attention whores do: act obnoxious and accomplish nothing substantive of note.

    2) This is the kind of shit that happens when LEO organizations display absolutely no accountability for their actions. The APD needs to confront the fact that they have a trigger-happy reputation not just in the state, but nationwide now, and start sacrificing some of their own lambs.

    3) Complicating all this is the fact that ABQ has a much higher-than-average crime rate. A socially dysfunctional city, that is also massively overscaled in land area, is inevitably going to infect its law enforcement agencies with that same dysfunction and encourage hyper-reactionary confrontations. Honestly, I’m surprised all of this didn’t happen a lot sooner than it has.

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