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June 25, 2019

ACLU questions APOA's motivations in recent call for oversight board member’s resignation

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico sent a letter to the Albuquerque Police Oversight Board, questioning the motivation behind the Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association’s (APOA) recent letter calling for the resignation of oversight board member Chelsea Van Deventer. The APOA claims that comments questioning the state of policing in New Mexico and the United States on Van Deventer’s Twitter account make her unfit to continue serving on the oversight board, an independent civilian oversight agency that “provides meaningful, independent review of all citizen complaints, serious uses of force, and officer involved shootings by the APD.” The ACLU of New Mexico finds the APOA’s conduct troubling and asks the oversight board to consider possible political motivations behind APOA’s calls for Van Deventer’s resignation.

“The police union’s move against Van Deventer smacks of an attempt to dismantle systems of police oversight in Albuquerque,” said ACLU of New Mexico Legal Director Leon Howard, “We urge the police oversight board to resist attempts to bully or harass members into resignation, as strong independent oversight is what keeps APD from continuing its past pattern of excessive force and unconstitutional policing.”

The ACLU of New Mexico’s full letter to the oversight board is available on the ACLU-NM website: