ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The APD controversy has the city divided.
It hasn’t just spilled out on to the streets, it is all over social media.
- Video: APD news conference following protest
- Continuing Coverage: APD Protests
- Photos: Sunday’s Protest Clean-up
Some of the organizers behind these social media accounts said they want to spark a respectful dialogue about what’s going on, but they admit a lot of the posts are just getting nasty.
Albuquerque Citizens Supporting APD is a Facebook group that has been around for about two years. But overnight, it has grown to include five times as many members as it had Sunday.
The protest was in response to the deadly police shooting of James Boyd in the Foothills two weeks ago.
It has sparked a war of words online, like one post referring to protesters from Sunday as “thugs, brutes, gang bangers and cretins.”
A woman posted, “Way to make the city look worse and honor the memory of the slain man by acting like total idiotic savages! This town is pathetic!!!!!”
One picture making the rounds says, “Don’t like cops? Next time you’re in trouble call a crackhead.”
On the other side, people criticized the riot gear officers used Sunday, saying it looked more like the military than police.
Some called officers, “murderers” and “animal abusers too” because APD exposed its own horses to tear gas.
Nathan Strong said he created his page to support APD, hoping to give people a positive outlet but he said this issue has been extremely divisive.
“It seems like everyone is taking one side or the other and, unfortunately, it has divided. But we’re not, ‘You’re either for us or against us.’ If you’re with us, great. If you’re not, we don’t care,” Strong said.
Celina Mora, who has been tweeting and livestreaming protests, also said the hostility isn’t helping their cause.
“Anyone who won’t go about this peacefully is definitely not going to get the message across,” Mora said.
APD supporters are planning rallies for the next two weekends to counter the protests we have seen over the past week.