ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Today, after two New Mexico State Police officers fired at two civilians in Albuquerque in separate incidents Thursday evening, APD Forward is demanding the governor and mayor ensure State Police will be held to the same standards as the Albuquerque Police Department under the Court Approved Settlement Agreement with the Justice Department. The shootings occurred less than a week after the governor assigned 50 New Mexico State Police officers to targeted areas in Albuquerque to fight crime.
“For years the Albuquerque Police Department operated with impunity, shooting and killing someone practically every month. We don’t want to return to those days,” said ACLU of New Mexico Executive Director Peter Simonson. “We’re deeply concerned that the deployment of New Mexico State Police officers in our communities threatens to wreck progress towards constitutional policing in Albuquerque at a time when there is still much reform to be made.”
In announcing their decision to deploy State Police to Albuquerque, neither the governor nor the mayor made clear what procedures are in place to ensure officers will be held accountable and whether officers will be held to the same standards as Albuquerque Police Department officers. APD Forward is concerned that if State Police are allowed to operate by different rules, police violence may escalate and threaten community safety.
“The whole reason we have a consent decree is because of a culture of aggression and a pattern of excessive use of force,” said Strong Families New Mexico Field Director Adriann Barboa. “Bringing police officers into Albuquerque who are not held to the same standards increases the likelihood that already over-policed black and brown communities will be further criminalized.”