POC says it lacks power to police the police

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Boyd shooting prompted a larger than usual turnout at Thursday’s meeting of the Police Oversight Commission which is supposed to police the police department.

The commissioners listened to public complaints but said they have no power to do much about them.

“There’s very little that can be done by the POC, particularly before the investigation is completed,” said POC Commission Chair Richard Shine.

Just how little they could do was even more apparent when, one by one, the meeting’s agenda items became closed cases after getting blocked by the city.

In one instance, commissioners wanted to discuss policies on officers making false statements, but discovered that APD’s Deputy Chief Marcario Page didn’t see the point.

“I did speak with Deputy Chief Page on this, his contention is we’re not going to change or do a policy to relate to this,” Sgt. Bock told the commission.

Another agenda item had been to start an analysis of past lawsuits against APD.

Shine requested information about past litigation from City Attorney David Tourek.

He read the email response he received from Tourek’s office: “‘As an attorney, you must know that these cases involve attorney client privilege material. These privileges do not end once a case is over.”

Shine said after he made repeated requests for the non-privileged material, Tourek’s office told him to make a public records request.

City council is working on an ordinance to possibly give the commission some say in what it can investigate and some say in how officers are punished.

Right now that’s up to the police chief and the independent review officer, who’s named by the mayor.

Mayor RJ Berry told KRQE News 13 he supports changes to the Police Oversight Commission, but he also said the citizen group shouldn’t get in the way of how APD investigates and punishes its own.

blog comments powered by Disqus