Police-involved Shootings: 62% involved mental illness; 11% unarmed

The US Department of Justice has spent more than 500 days investigating use of force incidents involving the Albuquerque Police Department. When the DOJ announced its investigation in November 2012, the department had experienced 25 officer-involved shootings -17 fatal – since 2010. Since then, the city has seen 20 more, making 37 as of last week (35 involving APD, 1 involving State Police and another a Deputy US Marshal). ¬†One of the most recent, the March 16, 2014 shooting of mentally ill subject James Boyd was captured on video [watch here] by police-worn cameras and went viral after the video appeared to contradict the police chief’s assessment that the shooting was justified. Almost daily protests, vigils and demonstrations have prompted community and civic leaders to push the DOJ to conclude its investigation and a new community campaign, #ProtectAndServeABQ, just launched to encourage citizens to share their stories, good and bad, of their experiences with police and ideas for healing our broken community.