A Mother’s Plea
By Carolyn Carlson
Tears flowed down the face of Sylvia Fuentes as she spoke to the City Council at the Monday, Nov. 15 meeting. She begged councilors to take a hard look at police training and the culture behind 2010’s steady pace of officer-involved shootings. She talked about those victims who were mentally ill and not criminals firing weapons at officers.
In July, Fuentes’ only son was killed when police were called to a domestic incident at his apartment. Fuentes said her son, Len, was schizophrenic. She condemned the shooters and the knee-jerk reaction of supervisors and mainstream media to protect all cops. But she praised police on the street and placed herself among those who include the safety of hardworking officers in their daily prayers.
“Up until July 27, 2010, I had nothing but praise for the Albuquerque Police Department,” Fuentes said. “But on July 27, 2010, I saw a different kind of officer: one that will kill because he could. And that is why I am here, because of officers like him.” Several councilors questioned City Attorney Rob Perry about the shootings, but Perry's answer didn’t make much sense. He confused Len Fuentes with another man who, according to APD, broke out a police car window to try to stab an officer in August. Public Safety Director Darren White tried to turn the conversation into a funding request for lapel video cameras for police.
On another note, Burque’s favorite nudist, Don Schrader, showed up to address the Council over the cancelation of the annual Pornotopia adult film festival. Schrader questioned the city’s reasoning for prohibiting a weekend of movies celebrating sexual pleasure when it allows flicks to be shown every day that glamorize violence, rape and murder. Councilor Isaac Benton asked for some clarification about the zoning regulations that struck down the festival and said he agreed with Schrader.
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