Mon April 23, 2012
Grand Jury Review of Police Shootings Questioned
Grand juries reviewing police shootings in Bernalillo County and Albuquerque operate under a highly unusual process where they don't have the power to indict an officer even in the most egregious cases. Police officials for years have countered criticism of dozens of officer-involved shootings by noting that every case has a grand jury review.
But an analysis of the proceedings by the Albuquerque Journal shows the panel is not only toothless but isn't even instructed on possible criminal violations. All they hear is the law on justifiable shootings like self-defense.
Prosecutors defend the process, saying the reviews should inspire public trust. Police Chief Ray Schultz says it may be time for the District Attorney to consider other options in order to ensure the public trusts the process.