The following statement can be attributed to ACLU of New Mexico Legal director Leon Howard. 

“We’re extremely disappointed in the New Mexico Court of Appeals’ decision, which is in our view, adverse to Mr. Romero’s rights. In determining that the police officers acted reasonably based on the nature of the 911 call, the judges ignored two crucial points: that the 911 call was motivated by racial animus and that police officers must still use their own judgement when they arrive to any scene.”

“Over the last two years, there have been a troubling number of instances in which white people called the police on people of color for merely existing in public space. That’s exactly what happened to Mr. Romero. The court had an opportunity to look at this case within the broader context of deep-seated racial discrimination and bias -- which continues to expose people of color across the United States to relentless violence -- and it failed to do so.”

“Despite our disappointment with the appeals court decision, we are pleased that Mr. Romero reached a settlement with the City of Santa Fe in his public records lawsuit, which he filed after the Santa Fe Police Department withheld critical evidence in his case. Not only will Mr. Romero be compensated for that negligence, but the Santa Fe Police Department will be required to implement and formally adopt a number of changes to its records policies to ensure compliance with the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.”

 

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