Using audio and video files obtained from the Albuquerque Policy Department, KUNM's public health project is investigating officer-involved shootings with an eye on mental health, substance abuse, poverty and post-traumatic stress disorder. It's part of a larger conversation about where health intersects with the criminal justice system and public policy.
Three groups called for homeless people and people with mental illnesses to be represented in the process to reform the Albuquerque Police Department. Last week the groups filed a motion in federal court.
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.
When the Department of Justice report on the Albuquerque Police Department came out last year, it highlighted that interactions between officers and people with mental illnesses can be volatile. It also pointed to limited services. But what about the mental wellbeing of the officers?
On March 19, 2012, the call that came in to Albuquerque police was not an emergency.
You’ve heard of James Boyd, the homeless man who was killed by Albuquerque police last year. But you might not have heard of Len Fuentes. He, too, was mentally ill when he brandished a knife and was shot and killed by APD.
Fuentes’ mom said she had found mental health care for her son, but it was three days too late.
UPDATE 1/15: The U.S. Department of Justice and the City of Albuquerque told KUNM Wednesday that they were planning on telling the court which candidate they had selected for the job of independent monitor.
A federal judge has to approve their choice before the information is made public. That announcement is expected early next week.
UPDATE 3:22 p.m.: This case will be presented during an open preliminary hearing, the date of which has not been determined.
Comment from Mayor Richard Berry's office: “We trust the judicial system will provide the family, our community and the officers a fair, transparent and unbiased opportunity to explore and present the facts as they relate to this tragic event. It is important for all of us to allow the process to progress without prejudice in order for our community to move forward.”
New Mexico was in the national spotlight a lot this year. What are the story threads journalists followed? Local reporters join us in the studio to talk about topics like: the Albuquerque Police Department shootings, the immigration center in Artesia, transparency, the Roswell school shooting and mental health.
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.
Tuesday marked the first of 10 meetings of the Collaborative on Police-Community Relations in Albuquerque. Police officers and commanders attended, along with grieving families, mental health advocates and neighborhood association representatives.
Mayor Richard Berry said the process should yield a document that outlines expectations for effective community policing. The Department of Justice investigated APD after a high-number of officer-involved shootings, and findings indicated city police use excessive force.
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.
Screenshot from the Albuquerque Police Department video of James Boyd seconds before he was shot by officers on March 16, 2014. Parts of the video went viral and were broadcast on stations across the nation. This screenshot is taken from one of KRQE-TV's online stories.
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.
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.
People who request audio or video from the Albuquerque Police Department under the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act will no longer have to pay as much for DVDs or CDs.
New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Executive Director Susan Boe said the City of Albuquerque has implemented a new policy after receiving complaints about high fees from media outlets and individuals.
The City will now charge $6.75 for DVDs and $2.75 for CDs when filling public records requests, or IPRAs.
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.
UPDATE Mon. 5/5 5:30a - Albuquerque police said Sunday that an officer shot a man during a long SWAT standoff, but it remains unconfirmed if that caused the man's death.
Police said that 50-year-old Armand Martin walked out of an Albuquerque home Saturday and fired two handguns.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that police said at a news conference that he fired at least 11 shots from inside and outside his West Side home before a SWAT team member fired a single shot that struck his chest.
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.
The Police Oversight Commission met yesterday afternoon just hours after the Department of Justice released its findings on Albuquerque’s police force.
Chair *Jeffrey Peterson opened the regularly scheduled meeting with a statement about why the Police Oversight Commission has avoided commenting publicly on Albuquerque Police Department issues. He said the volunteer committee’s members have to skirt the appearance of bias.
A scathing report has been released by the Department of Justice that accuses Albuquerque Police Department of engaging in patterns and practices of excessive force.
After a spike in officer-involved shootings, federal investigators spent 16 months poring over police reports and interviewing hundreds of people who claim they or their family members were victims of police brutality.