APD shooting families take issue with heated protest

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The weekend protest that disrupted Albuquerque for hours Sunday is also drawing strong reaction from the people who started pushing for change at the Albuquerque Police Department years ago: the families of people who were killed by officers in controversial cases.

Some of those families says while they understand the anger associate with the movement, they protesters went too far.

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The protest started around noon with roughly 300 to 350 people marching through some downtown streets. But by midnight, it was tear gas, vandalism and arrests that defined the protest to some people’s disappointment.

“There is some rogue people out there on their own expressing their feelings, that’s for sure,” said Mike Gomez

Gomez has voiced his concern about APD for the last three years after an officer shot his son, Alan Gomez. Gomez was shot behind a screen door after a 9-1-1 caller claimed he was holding his brother and brother’s girlfriend hostage.

Mike Gomez says the Sunday protest didn’t surprise him.

“People should be fed up because this has been happening for many a years,” said Gomez.

However, Gomez says he doesn’t agree with what protestors did.

“I have the concern because none of the groups condone violence,” said Gomez.

Other victims’ families are even more frustrated with what happened.

“They lost credibility,” said Kenneth Ellis.

Ellis’ son, Kenneth Ellis III was killed in an APD shooting four years ago. An officer shot Ellis III at the end of a traffic stop when he held a gun to his own head. The Ellis family sued over the shooting and won nine million dollars in court. Ellis protested last Tuesday, but he says he did not like what he saw Sunday.

“I understand it but I don’t agree with it,” said Ellis. “I’ve chosen to use civil and non-violent ways to do this,” said Ellis.

Ellis says he gives Albuquerque Police credit for its response.

“They showed a lot of restraint and a lot of patience with these idiots out there on the street throwing rocks and painting and doing stuff that’s illegal,” said Ellis.

News 13 also heard from Jonelle Ellis, the sister of Kenneth Ellis III, on Monday. She said in part, “The citizens should become a part of the solution instead of creating more reason for APD to justify their actions. The leadership of APD needs to act quickly and implement change immediately before further terrible acts of violence occur both on their part and as an outcry by the public.”

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