DOJ Report Raises Questions About Reformer and Process Designated by APD to Implement Reform
Today’s report by the US Department of Justice provides vindication for many who have long sought serious reform for the Albuquerque Police Department. As the administration begins its reform process, a number of findings raise serious concerns about the administration’s ability to comprehend the problem and provide internal accountability:
- The newly appointed deputy chief responsible for overseeing the agency’s reforms retired as the commander of the SWAT unit which the Department of Justice says operated “recklessly” and without the “discipline and control that would be expected of them,” even going so far as to report that in one unjustified shooting, commanders failed to establish leadership or accountability for officers.
- It is important that the current mayor, administration and police leaders recognize the failures of their current system identified by the USDOJ including:While the administration suggests it has no responsibility for previous hiring decisions, it has failed to take action when presented with opportunities to question particular actions by officers, including an officer involved in the shooting of three unarmed men. (p. 12)
- The administration’s practice of reviewing shootings “often endorses questionable and sometimes unlawful conduct by officers.” (p.4)
- The administration’s review practices found unjustified uses of force in less than 1% of the incidents it reviews, while USDOJ found nearly 1-in-3 were unconstitutional. (p.16)
- Reform efforts undertaken thus far, including the inclusion off less-lethal weapons and lapel cameras, have been implemented inconsistently without oversight.
- The city’s own report, presented by PERF in 2011, identified several concerning issues which the administration failed to recognize or address (p. 5)
“Today’s report demonstrates that these shootings are not a new event, nor is anyone harmless in acknowledging responsibility for inaction or half-action that continued the troubling culture uninterrupted,” says Patrick Davis of ProgressNowNM.
ProgressNowNM earlier issued a statement acknowledging the vindication and opportunity for healing presented by today’s report. Read that here.
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