Momentum Builds at Sunday APD Demonstration
Late Sunday night, protesters convened again in front of police headquarters, and tear gas was dispersed for the second time. The group disbanded but vowed to return. Stay tuned to KUNM 89.9 and kunm.org for updates.
The day started with city government websites going dark. The hacker collective Anonymous had called for a protest of the Albuquerque Police Department.
Protesters showed up organically around noon yesterday. The crowd swelled to several hundred and was fairly peaceful, but it looked to be a slightly different crowd then the protest earlier in the week.
Demonstrators marched to the police headquarters and then blocked traffic up one of the main arteries in town and ended up at the University of New Mexico. Throughout the day, they marched back and forth between Downtown and UNM, momentum seemed to be gathering.
In the evening, a protester climbed up the pole of a traffic light. Later, demonstrators climbed on top of a small police substation in the area and graffitied the building.
There are reports that one officer was inside a police car when the car was surrounded by the crowd. Eventually the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department joined police, and a SWAT team arrived. The crowd was told to disperse and didn’t. Eventually about half a dozen canisters of tear gas were released.
When things were really escalating, it’s reported that both Mayor Richard Berry and APD Chief Gorden Eden bunkered down for safety reasons.
KUNM has heard that there were about 6-7 arrests, although those numbers have not been confirmed.
Since 2010 there have been 37 shootings by the Albuquerque Police Department, 24 of them fatal. Yesterday was the second protest of the department in less then a week. Associated Press reporter Russell Contreras gave KUNM an interview about what happened. Listen to the interview above.