ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Two and a half weeks after the Department of Justice released a report slamming APD for its aggressive culture, the public got a chance tonight to bend the DOJ’s ear.
People want to see immediate action—not just to improve APD but also to see officers punished for unjustified shootings in the past.
The acting U.S. Attorney in New Mexico passed out numbers to give dozens a turn to tell the feds what needs to be done to fix the Albuquerque Police Department.
That was supposed to happen in groups of five in a private room at the Alamosa Community Center near Central and Coors, but with so many people so eager to vent, the feds found themselves taking questions in a large public meeting room too.
“Why isn’t there going to be some kind of prosecution, an indictment in this case of these people? I mean, you said right there they committed murder. They committed evident assaults of people. It’s against the laws of the Constitution,” someone shouted from the crowd.
While the feds tried to keep the meeting focused on the future of APD, many called for consequences for officers in cases the DOJ report highlighted for their unnecessary use of force.
Mike Gomez, whose unarmed son was shot and killed by APD, believes that will come but called for patience.
“They will prosecute,” Gomez said. “I have the faith they are going to indict some officers. They will indict them, but they have to do it one step at a time.”
Others stressed the importance of lapel cameras after learning there may be no video from the officer who shot and killed a 19-year-old woman last week.
“The cameras need to be on. We need that evidence. We can no longer tolerate, ‘The camera didn’t work or I forgot to turn it on.’ That’s just not going to work anymore,” said Barbara Grothus.
Lots of community leaders showed up, including city councilors and state senators, but many were asking for the mayor and police chief to share their concerns with them.
The DOJ has scheduled two more public meetings—one on Tuesday and another on Wednesday.