37th Police-Involved Shooting Draws Quick Community Protest as Details Emerge
Albuquerque – A third day of protests began in Albuquerque this afternoon after another officer-involved shooting erupted in mid-day traffic in a busy South Albuquerque street.
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While early reports are still light on details, law enforcement confirms that a member of a fugitive task force was involved in shooting late morning along Bridge Ave in SW Albuquerque. The suspect was shot and the officer, initially reported to be a deputy US Marshal, was transported for injuries not resulting from gunfire. As word of another shooting spread across social media, members of the community quickly converged on the scene.
Reminiscent of protests which have emerged following 37 other officer-involved shootings in the city since 2010, residents converged on the site to protest the rash of shootings.
Shootings by Police Protested (AP via NYTimes, Mar. 30, 2014)
Albuquerque Protest Of Fatal Police Shootings Turns Into Chaos (NPR, Mar. 30, 2014)
Showdown in Albuquerque (Albuquerque Journal, Mar 31, 2014)
Community Comes Together Against Police Shooting, Militarization of Policing (ProgressNowNM, Mar. 20, 2014)
Justified? Community Comes Together Around APD Shootings (ProgressNowNM)
The department, currently under DOJ review for it’s use of force practices, garnered international attention following the shooting of a mentally disturbed man being questioned for illegal camping on March 16, 2014. The officer-worn video of the incident went viral sparking international outcry.
Large protests and vigils have continued across the city since then, including one recent weekend protest which saw Albuquerque Police release tear gas on protesters after a 12-hour roving march.
“This is out of hand and our community is demanding help. Our city is in crisis and our leaders, from the mayor to police chiefs have been unable to grasp the problem, much less put forward a solution” says Patrick Davis, a former police officer and current Executive Director of ProgressNowNM.
“Even if today’s shooting is determined to be justified, our community views each of these incidents with a growing level of skepticism. It is no longer fair to our community which is growing more afraid of its cops than of the true criminals they are sworn to protect us from, nor is it fair to the vast majority of officers who put on a badge to do what’s right.”
“Our prayers are with the officer injured today and with our city which is looking for answers.”
Since the DOJ began it’s investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department’s practices in late 2012, thirteen more citizens have been shot by law enforcement.