Media Contact

May 13, 2024

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – With the City of Albuquerque's achievement of full compliance with the Court-Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA), addressing systemic and highly problematic issues within the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico emphasized the crucial need for continued vigilance to safeguard the protection of community members' rights and safety. The APD and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today that the City of Albuquerque and the APD have reached full compliance with the CASA.  

Under the terms of the CASA, the city and the department will now enter a two-year period during which they must demonstrate their ability to sustain the reforms mandated by the agreement, to show they are not regressing into past patterns of rights violations. 

The following can be attributed to ACLU-NM Policing Policy Advocate Daniel Williams: 

"The APD has made notable progress in implementing critical changes; however, it's crucial to acknowledge that the journey towards comprehensive reform does not culminate with the conclusion of the CASA.  Our concerns persist regarding the use of lethal force, particularly in cases involving unarmed individuals experiencing mental health crises. New Mexico consistently has one of the highest per-capita rates of people killed by police in the nation; killings by APD officers represent a significant number of these deaths.  

"APD must remain vigilant in prioritizing de-escalation tactics and minimizing police interactions, especially with vulnerable populations. Success should be measured not just by technical compliance but by fostering a culture of accountability and respect for human life. 

"It should not go unnoticed that recent monitoring reports have highlighted ongoing concerns about accountability at APD, alongside frequent revelations about the handling of force incidents. While technical compliance has been achieved, there remain real reasons to doubt whether a genuine transformation in the culture of aggression and accountability has truly occurred. 

"As this chapter of the consent decree concludes, it's more crucial than ever for the leadership of the City of Albuquerque and APD to make robust commitments to protect our community's rights and embody principles of reform and constitutional policing. As advocates for our community, we remain dedicated to sustaining the progress achieved by the CASA and advocating for further transformative change that safeguards the rights of all community members and ensures our collective safety."