Economic concerns over national APD stories

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Stories about Albuquerque Police have the city taking a beating in the national media, adding yet another obstacle for the city’s attempts at attracting businesses and tourists.

On television and online, headlines across the country read like this one from the Washington Post: “Albuquerque’s long history of police abuse, cover-up and scandal.”

The Washington Post site turns up eight articles on APD since the Department of Justice report was released last week.

The New York Times called it a “scathing assessment.”

“If people take the DOJ report as the one thing that represents Albuquerque, maybe people make choices about going somewhere else to vacation or taking a job somewhere else,” said Josh Bentley, a UNM assistant professor in Communication & Journalism.

Even before the DOJ report’s release, the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce was worried about the impact of the video showing the shooting of James Boyd.

“All the individuals emailing us have expressed concern about visiting, about living here after they viewed the video,” said President and CEO Terri Cole

All this comes at a bad time with New Mexico trying to jump start a sluggish economy.

An American Legislative Exchange Council study this week shows New Mexico ranks 37th in terms of economic outlook, putting it far below its surrounding states.

Bentley said the only way to overcome the bad news is with good news.

“It is not enough to replace bad news with no news. You have to replace bad news with good news,” he said.

In a statement, New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela said he has not heard from any company concerned over the situation.

KRQE News 13 also tried reaching the city’s economic development director for comment but didn’t hear back.

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