ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque police officers took a hands-off approach Sunday night as a video shoot for a local rapper ended up shutting down Central Avenue in downtown Albuquerque.
The crowded scene was spurred by a block party put on by local rapper Jandro as part of filming a music video. Videographer Editz Macias says the plan was to hold a block party in the Firestone lot at 7th and Central, but things quickly grew as the sun set.
“People started calling, showing up,” Macias said. “We started seeing cars rolling in by the dozen, multiple, one right after another non-stop.”
“It gained quite a bit of traction and 300 people showed up at that intersection, several in lowriders and other types of vehicles,” said APD Officer Tanner Tixier.
With the cars and crowds, the intersection was effectively taken over. Video from ABQ Raw shows motorcycles doing burnouts and lowriders taking a spin around the intersection, coming inches from pedestrians and other cars.
“They know exactly what distance it should be,” said Macias. “They know exactly what they’re doing they’ve done it, they’re professionals at what they’re doing.”
“That definitely rises to the level of careless driving if not reckless driving,” said Tixier.
Jandro and his crew take full advantage, shooting other scenes for his video in the middle of the road with twerking dancers.
“It just… it happened,” Macias said. “I mean that’s not planned out.”
Tixier says officers were well aware that the crew did not have a permit to shut down or film in the middle of Central. The Albuquerque Film Office says any production looking to get such a permit would be required to obtain production insurance and pay for officers to close roads and redirect traffic.
But instead of cracking down, APD decided to contain the situation.
“Instead of breaking up that function [they decided it] would be better for them to just restrict vehicle flow into that intersection and let them do their promotional shoot,” Tixier said. “We were reducing the number of innocent civilians into the area.”
No arrests were made or citations given out.
“I’m not saying it’s a free-for-all for all videographers around the city or all rappers around the city that you can go out and do this because the consequences and results may be completely different from what you saw last night,” Tixier said.
“It was beautiful,” Macias said. “There was no violence or gang members out there. It was a beautiful summer night.”
City councilor Isaac Benton, who represents downtown Albuquerque, says he’s already received several complaints about the incident but directed KRQE News 13 to APD for further comment.