Damon Martinez

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.

  The U.S. Justice Department says institutional reform is needed to curb the "patterns of excessive force" that were turned up by a civil investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department.

The federal agency said Thursday that Albuquerque officers need more training and tools to ensure they can protect the community without escalating potentially violent situations.

The agency found that officers too frequently used deadly force on people "who posed a minimal threat" and used a higher level of force too often on those with mental illness.