Loud and Clear
According to Norma Byers from the Council Office, 77 people signed up to talk at the Monday, April 2 meeting about police misconduct and the city's public access TV channels. The Council took a dinner break a couple of hours into the testimony. In contrast, 22 people turned up to weigh in on the Paseo and I-25 interchange at a heavily advertised meeting in late March, after Mayor Richard Berry called on citizens to speak out.
Merry Jobe, choking back tears and with a toddler in tow, pleaded with councilors to stop the Albuquerque Police Department's violence. She said she was the girlfriend of Daniel Tillison and is the mother of his children. Tillison was killed on Monday, March 19, by officer Martin Smith, who took a call about someone selling stolen merchandise. Tillison tried to flee and rammed Smith's police car, according to reports.
Public comment on the community cable access TV contract was not stymied, though the Council deferred the issue until next month. A new company, uPUBLIC, was selected to run the channels at the end of 2011 by a committee that reviewed bids for the contract. The Cable Franchise and Hearing Board is urging the Council to keep 30-year operator Quote ... Unquote, Inc. instead. QUQ was given an extension to continue running the channels through June.
Most speakers supported preserving QUQ’s cable access programming and education. Zack Freeman said the nonprofit is the reason he has a career as a videographer with the Attorney General’s Office, works with the Media Arts Collaborative Charter School, and is a Boy Scout master on video and film projects. “I got training to do all of this for $30 at channel 27,” he said.