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.
Protesters gather outside the Albuquerque Police Department following the shooting deaths of James Boyd and others on March 25. The Justice Department accused the police of engaging in a pattern of excessive force.
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.
When police interact with people facing mental health issues, they send an officer trained in crisis intervention to defuse a volatile situation. Those officers are key in preventing the kind of violence that ended in the death of a camper in the Sandia foothills last week.