Albuquerque Police Department

Screenshot of KOAT-TV livestream of Monday's hearing.

A New Mexico judge has ruled that two Albuquerque police officers must stand trial on murder charges in the fatal, on-duty shooting of a homeless man that sparked angry protest in Albuquerque and helped lead to reforms.

Screenshot of KOAT-TV livestream of Monday's hearing.

A judge heard testimony Monday in a preliminary hearing for a case against two Albuquerque police officers who fatally shot homeless camper James Boyd last year. The judge will determine whether or not the officers, who face murder charges, will go to trial.

Rita Daniels

A judge heard arguments Thursday on whether District Attorney Kari Brandenburg should be thrown off a high profile police shooting case. Earlier this year her office charged two former Albuquerque police officers with open counts of murder in the fatal shooting of homeless camper James Boyd.

Courtesy of Paul Ielacqua

KUNM's Public Health New Mexico reporting project has been investigating Albuquerque Police Department shooting deaths with an eye on behavioral health issues. This week, we’re looking at officer mental health.

Paul Ielacqua was an APD Aviation officer from 2001 to 2008 but has worked in law enforcement—at the Bernalillo County jail and Conchas Lake—since 1996. He talked to KUNM about how police handle their own mental wellness in high-stress situations.

Substance abuse treatment is not available for everyone who needs it in New Mexico, and this shortage is at the root of some tragic altercations with police.

Mike Gomez met me in a park in Albuquerque, holding a framed photo of his son Alan. “He was a good kid, a normal kid,” he said. “He graduated high school on time. He was a Little League All-Star.”

Rita Daniels

 

 

Activists gathered on the steps of Albuquerque police headquarters Wednesday after police fatally shot a man Tuesday night. They’re demanding transparency in the investigation of this latest officer involved shooting.

The streets in Albuquerque were slushy when about two dozen activists showed up with picket signs. One was painted blood red with the words “This revolution will not be privatized.”

Rita Daniels

District Attorney Kari Brandenburg charged two Albuquerque police officers on Monday with murder in the death of homeless camper James Boyd.

Brandenburg said this is the first officer-involved shooting case in her tenure as DA where she believes there is probable cause for indictments.

Rita Daniels

 

A coalition of people who’ve had family members killed by the Albuquerque Police Department delivered a petition on Wednesday to New Mexico’s U.S. Attorney calling for 13 police officers to be indicted. 

Activists said they were disheartened but hope their efforts are not in vain.

Rita Daniels

 

An Albuquerque officer who fatally shot a 19-year-old woman and did not record the encounter has been fired.

Today Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden released a statement that Officer Jeremy Dear was terminated after an internal investigation. 

He says the probe found that Dear violated department policies and wasn't truthful.

As KUNM's Rita Daniels reports, Attorney Thomas Grover told reporters the firing was unjust because the departments camera policy is erratic. Grover represents Dear.

Albuquerque Officer Involved In Shooting May Be Fired

Nov 30, 2014
davidsonscott via Flickr

An attorney for an Albuquerque police officer who fatally shot a 19-year-old Mary Hawkes and did not record the encounter says the officer will likely be fired.

The Albuquerque Journal reports a lawyer representing Officer Jeremy Dear, who has been on administrative leave, says police supervisors are recommending his termination.

Attorney Thomas Grover says their conclusion is because of an internal affairs investigation that looked into several issues, including a history of alleged lapel camera policy violations.

Courtesy of Han Family

There was a development this week in the Mary Han saga. Mary Han was a civil rights attorney who often represented clients with claims against the Albuquerque Police Department.

She was found dead in her home in 2010 and according to police records, within hours of the discovery of her body, APD brass and city administration officials swarmed her home. 

In 2013, the New Mexico Attorney General's office issued a findings letter detailing how the crime scene had been contaminated and the investigation terribly mishandled. 

Screenshot from video provided by APD through an IPRA request

    

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 11/13 8a: 

The Department of Justice is requiring APD to figure out how to respond to people in mental health crisis with the goal of decreasing the use of force in those situations. The agreement between the DOJ and Albuquerque’s police force also calls for APD to provide crisis intervention training to all officers.

Rita Daniels

    

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 11/13 8a: 

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry signed an agreement this week with the U.S. Department of Justice to reform the city's police department. Mayor Berry, APD Chief Gorden Eden and the head civilian trainer at the Albuquerque Police Academy, Joe Wolf, will join us to discuss the agreement and reform of APD.

Rita Daniels

    

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 11/6 8a:

The U.S. Department of Justice and the City of Albuquerque have announced a plan to reform the Albuquerque Police Department. What are the details of the plan and how are the initiatives intended to change APD's use of force practices and interactions with people with mental illnesses?

We'd like to hear from you! Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments online or call in live during the show! 

Guests:

Rita Daniels

After months of negotiations with the City of Albuquerque, the U.S. Department of Justice released a binding agreement today that spells out exactly what court-enforced reform of Albuquerque’s police department will look like.

Marisa Demarco

People affected by mental health issues in Albuquerque gathered for a meeting on police reform on Monday night. 

Only people who’d signed up online in advance of the forum were allowed to participate in the discussion about the Albuquerque Police Department and mental health. A handful of participants sat in two separate circles with concentric rings of observers radiating from the center.

The application process is now open for people who want to serve on Albuquerque’s new Civilian Police Oversight Agency. The independent board will investigate complaints against the Albuquerque Police Department and review APD policy.

Rita Daniels

The Justice Department is investigating 26 police departments across the country. Among them is Albuquerque, N.M., where police have shot dozens of people in the past few years, 25 of them fatally. KUNM's Rita Daniels and NPR's Kelly McEvers report.

Albuquerque Police Department

Albuquerque authorities have released new video footage related to a fatal police shooting but it doesn't show the shooting or the events leading to the deadly encounter.

The lapel camera footage released this week connected to the July shooting of 33-year-old Jeremy Robertson shows little new information except officers walking around the scene.

Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman Janet Blair says no lapel video of the shooting exists.

hugovk via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 8/28 8a: 

Images from protests in Ferguson, Missouri have outlined the reality of racial inequality and police militarization throughout the United States. We'll continue last week's conversation and ask law enforcement officials, does this create an "us v. them" mindset for police? What about in communities?

We'd like to hear from you - email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments online or call in live during the show. 

Guests: 

hugovk via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 8/21 8a.m.

Images from the ongoing protests in Ferguson, MO have starkly outlined the reality of racial inequality and police militarization throughout the United States. Has this led to an "us v. them" mindset both within a police force and for community members?  And how much do the levels of fear and distrust increase when the make-up of a department doesn't reflect a community's ethnic and/or racial composition?  

Albuquerque Police Department

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 8/7 8a: This spring New Mexicans, and many people across the U.S., were shocked by a video that showed a homeless camper being shot by police who were trying to bring him out of the Albuquerque foothills. While the video sparked controversy over police tactics it also highlighted the ongoing tension between law enforcement agencies, the media and the public. 

Curtis Gregory Perry via Flickr / Creative Commons License

UPDATE 7/24: A newly released video shows Albuquerque SWAT officers yelling at an armed man several times to drop his gun before he was fatally shot.

Videos made public Thursday showed two tactical officers running after a fleeing 33-year-old Jeremy Joe Robertson before at least two shots are heard. Another video shows what police say is a witness who was held at gunpoint by Robertson prior to his encounter with officers.

Albuquerque police said the ATF was seeking to take Robertson into custody when Albuquerque officers Anthony Sedler and Ramon Ornelas shot him Tuesday.

  Outcry over recent police shootings continues to rattle New Mexico's largest city, spreading from street protests to rowdy demonstrations in government buildings.

Angry protesters took control of an Albuquerque City Council meeting this week, demanding the police chief's firing, shouting at council members and causing such a ruckus that the panel's president adjourned the meeting. Activists vow to return to Thursday's rescheduled gathering.

DOJ Promises Change

Apr 28, 2014
Marisa Demarco

  The Department of Justice held the first of three meetings Monday aiming to gather community input on Albuquerque’s police force.

People who showed up at the Westside’s Alamosa Community Center to give input last night were put off by the format of the meeting. It was not a public forum. Instead, commenters were given a number and then taken into a room where they spoke to DOJ employees as part of five-person focus groups.

openclipart.org

  UPDATE 4/23 1:45 p: Two days after Albuquerque police shot and killed a 19-year-old female who was suspected of truck theft, the chief of the troubled department says he has little information about the latest shooting.

APD's Mental Health Quandry

Apr 16, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 4/17 8a:  The Albuquerque Police Department recently made national headlines for the shooting of a man in the Sandia foothills who was mentally ill.

How can Albuquerque police learn to interact with people with mental illness more effectively? What improvements does the U.S. Department of Justice say they need to make?