Feds probe Albuquerque police; local news fans applaud

The Justice Department is investigating the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) for possible civil rights violations. (Photo: Asaavedra32, Wikimedia)
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Trish Anderton

The Justice Department is investigating whether police in Albuquerque, New Mexico exhibit a pattern of civil rights violations – and many fans of local TV news station KOAT welcome the move.

Albuquerque police have been involved in 25 shootings since 2010, the station reports; 17 of those shootings were fatal. The probe will examine the department’s oversight of incidents involving force, as well as the its “policies, training and systems of accountability.”

The city’s mayor and police chief have said they are both ready to tackle any difficult decisions that need to be made.

Local news fans are also supportive: 55 commenters on KOAT’s Facebook page back the probe, while 22 defend the police or criticize the investigation.

“It is about time! They have killed some of my unarmed friends!” exclaims Rnb Hill. Sabrina Solares agrees: “FINALLY!!! Thank You LORD.”

“I believe that we need a new reboot to the PD here,” writes Adrian Gurule. “APD thinks they rule the streets and arrest people for small things and beat the living day lights out of people who commit crimes.”

“I used to respect the APD uniform but now, the police department seems to be a glorified gang whom we as tax payers pay to patrol the street and step on our Constitutional rights,” adds Evelyn Foster. “No disrespect to the few officers who really want to uphold our rights and are knowledgeable of our state and federal laws that they abide by (if any exist).”

Defenders of the police argued the people committing crimes are the ones responsible for the problems. “Here's a thought....don't break the law and you won't have to deal with the police,” writes Stephanie Huffer.

“Only wish they would shoot a few more of the human excrement in Albuquerque,” says Paul Forsyth.

Ed Delma Elder doesn’t like the idea of the federal government getting involved. “Keep them out of local problems,” she comments. “I think our Police force is doing a great job. Could be better, but the public keeps getting in the way.”

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 allows the Justice Department to review local police forces that show a pattern of rights violations. As the department explains, these reviews often end in agreements requiring reforms in training and procedures.

Are you familiar with Albuquerque? What do you think of the federal probe? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!