Rolling Stone features a detailed and infuriating report on how the city of Albuquerque's police force, via lowering recruitment standards and a general culture of disdain for the lives of a citizenry who the cops see in part as "human waste" and "oxygen thieves" (and that's the stuff they say in public on social network sites), has been involved in 28 killings by gunshot of citizens in just the past five years, with the shooting of mentally ill camper James Boyd perhaps drawing the most attention.
It's voice- and story-filled reporting of good caliber, and worth reading in its entirety. Readers of Reason will certainly be familiar with the all-too-oft-told story of rogue cops shooting citizens without just cause and largely getting away with it, with added details like cops leaking damning information about the D.A. when she dared try criminal prosecutions in the Boyd shooting, and cops shooting each other during drug busts.
For those not temperamentally inclined to feel too bad about anyone who they see in any way stepping over the line and getting shot by cops for it, I like to spell out that on strict cold-blooded grounds of fiscal conservatism, out of control local cops are something cities just can't afford.
So, I will merely quote all the details involving cash payouts on the part of the citizens of the city of Albuquerque for the honor of being protected and served by often trigger-happy nuts:
when [Sean] Wallace shot [Alan] Gomez to death as he stood in the doorway, Gomez's hands were either empty or, according to some accounts, holding a plastic spoon. Wallace claimed he thought he saw a gun. It was his third shooting in seven years, the second in which he'd killed someone. Prosecutors ruled the shooting justified. The Gomez family sued the city and settled for $900,000…..
After Detective Trey Economidy shot Jacob Mitschelen, 29, during a traffic- stop in 2011, it became clear that Economidy hadn't qualified on the department's range with the Kimber .45 he used to kill Mitschelen. (Economidy, who said Mitschelen had picked up a gun, was not charged, and the victim's family settled with the city for $300,000.)….
[Former officer Sam] Costales [who dared speak out against misconduct by fellow cops and was harassed for it] sued [then APD chief] Schultz and the APD in federal court, and in 2009 a jury found that Schultz had violated Costales' civil rights. The city eventually reached an almost $1 million settlement with Costales.
Two days before the DOJ singled out the city's SWAT team for special criticism in its blistering report, [new police chief Gordon] Eden announced that his deputy chief would be Robert Huntsman, who had spent 10 years as the APD lieutenant in charge of special units, including SWAT. A month later, Eden made another top-level appointment, promoting Tim Gonterman to major. Eight years earlier, a federal jury had awarded a homeless African-American man named Jerome Hall $300,000 in a suit alleging that Gonterman, then a patrol officer, had applied a Taser to the unarmed Hall so relentlessly that Hall was eventually hospitalized with burns to his face, stomach, back, neck, shoulders and calf. According to his lawyer, Hall also lost part of his ear to the Taser burns.