Albuquerque, New Mexico: 13 dead from police shootings in past year–no justice in New Mexico

[More evidence of police impunity and the collapse of government accountability and credibility. — Frontlines ed.]

Albuquerque to seek federal probe of police conduct

By  | August 3, 2011

ALBUQUERQUE — Responding to continued pressure from civil-rights
advocates and the families of some of the 13 people killed by
Albuquerque police in recent months, the city council has narrowly
agreed to seek a federal probe of police shootings.

After several attempts to put off the issue, the council just before
midnight Monday, Aug. 1, passed 5-4 a resolution that directs the city
to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether there is
a pattern of civil-rights violations in the department.

Mayor Richard Berry’s office declined to say whether he would sign or
veto the measure.

Activists who have been pushing for the action said they asked the
mayor to seek the probe himself during a meeting July 20.

The League of United Latin American Citizens also is seeking a
department probe of police conduct in Albuquerque.

Since 2010, 19 people have been shot by police, 13 fatally. Several
were unarmed, and many were mentally ill. The majority were young,
Hispanic males.

The department has also been grappling recently with citizen unrest
and media coverage over offensive postings by officers on social-media
sites; a $4.25 million civil judgment in one police shooting that
blasted the department’s training and credibility; the arrest of an
officer accused of killing his wife to hide his involvement in a
car-theft ring; and the recent retirement of public-safety director
Darren White, who was being investigated for his handling of a car
accident involving his wife.

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