In March the New Mexico state Legislature unanimously passed a bill that would basically eliminate what critics call “policing for profit,” the ability of law enforcement agencies to seize cars, cash and other property police say were used in committing a crime. The practice originated in the 1980s as a tool to fight back against big drug dealers, but civil liberties groups on the right and left of the political spectrum say the lure of big money has now corrupted government agencies, who use the law to pad their coffers.
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.
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?
A study released this week highlights severe problems among police in the violent Mexican border city of Juarez. From the Changing America Desk, Monica Ortiz Uribe reports half of the officers admit to engaging in corrupt acts.