Officer-involved Shootings

officer-involved shootings

V.23 No.16 | 4/17/2014
Zak T Photography


Department Corrections

Reforming APD’s culture of violence requires radical change

Wherein Alibi Managing Editor Samantha Anne Carrillo reflects on the US Department of Justice investigation into Albuquerque police violence—specifically the resultant scathing DOJ report—and entreats citizens to engage in critical dialogue with both the DOJ and elected officials about our city’s future.
V.23 No.14 | 4/3/2014
Albuquerque citizens protest APD’s fatal officer-involved shootings on Sunday, March 30, 2014.
Zak T Photography


APD Ad Absurdum

Mainstream media misses protests’ point

Author Mike Smith urges Albuquerque citizens against cherry-picking chaotic moments from hours of peaceful protest against APD’s inordinately high number of fatal officer-involved shootings.
V.23 No.13 |


The Daily Word in the fuzz, the po-po and la chota

The Daily Word

Over at the Journal, UpFront columnist Leslie Linthicum tells the dude in charge of APD that, contrary to his exhortation, "we’re not good."

The APD shootings are scaring away much-needed tourists, businesses and retirees.

NM Attorney General Gary King will launch an investigation into the two latest fatal shootings.

Even the Guardian has a photo of an unsmiling, visibly uncomfortable Mayor Berry reacting to the Foothills shooting.

Local Police Union President Stephanie Lopez has some insight into the officers involved in the Foothills shooting.

Those clever internetz folk in Guy Fawkes masks are very interested in our police department’s web presence.

The Las Cruces Police Department has declined Mayor Berry’s request to investigate the March 16, 2014 APD shooting.

This week’s Economist turns a critical eye toward the militarization of America’s police.

The Voice of Russia has similar coverage of our nation’s descent.

Oh well ... At least K-9 Rico, a Belgian Malinois, will probably live.

V.23 No.13 | 3/27/2014
Filter Forge

Crib Notes

Crib Notes: March 27, 2014

An all-APD pop quiz

Test your knowledge of the Albuquerque Police Department in this week’s APD-centric pop quiz.
V.23 No.5 | 1/30/2014
Jesse Schulz

La Jicarita

Life and Death and APD

The problem of police violence in Albuquerque

David Correia examines Albuquerque’s longstanding problem with police violence in the latest installment of the Alibi’s media partnership with La Jicarita.
V.20 No.33 | 8/18/2011
Julia Minamata

News Feature

Can APD Beat Its Rap?

Shootings, lack of oversight have plagued police for years

Officer-involved shootings and a lack of oversight have plagued police for years. Reporter Carolyn Carlson looks back at a report from the ’90s spurred by civil rights abuses, as well as all the headlights shining on Albuquerque police today.
V.20 No.29 | 7/21/2011


Father escorted out of Police Oversight Commission meeting

Research firm MGT of America is evaluating the effectiveness of the Police Oversight Commission and the Independent Review Office in addressing citizen complaints. The city hired the firm in May on a $40,000 contract.

An MGT analyst observed the Thursday, July 14 commission meeting, during which local attorney Steve Torres was escorted away by two Albuquerque Police Department officers. Torres' 27-year-old son Christopher was killed by APD in April.

As the commission discussed the August officer-involved shooting death of Enrique Carrasco, Torres attempted to ask a question. After several verbal attempts by Chairman Bambi Folk to stop Torres from talking out of turn, two uniformed APD officers moved into place and physically escorted Torres out.

(To view the full meeting, go to the city’s GOV TV site. Scroll down to the section titled Police Oversight Commission.)

Earlier in the meeting, Torres accused the commission of not fulfilling its function and rubber-stamping most of APD’s behavior. Other public comments also claimed the commission merely justifies the force's actions. “How can you sleep at night?” Mike Gomez asked. He is the father of 22-year old Alan Gomez, who was killed by police in May.

In an interview with the Alibi, Internal Review Officer William Deaton said the IRO and the Police Oversight Commission have a broad reach but do not have power to impose penalties—only to make recommendations. Deaton’s findings can be ignored or discarded by the Police Oversight Commission or by the city’s chief administrative officer.

For instance, it was Deaton’s opinion that the shooting of Kenneth Ellis III, a 25-year old Iraq War veteran, was not a reasonable use of force and the shooting should not have happened. The Police Oversight Commission disagreed, rejected his opinion and called the shooting justified.

Deaton said MGT analysts will be around in the coming weeks, gathering more information and data for their study.

V.20 No.24 | 6/16/2011


Families to protest police killings at 4 p.m.

Friends and family members of people who’ve been shot by the Albuquerque Police Department will demonstrate today on Civic Plaza from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. They will demand that Mayor Richard Berry and Police Chief Ray Schultz take action to stop the killings, according to a news release.

At a Monday, June 6 City Council meeting, scores of folks pleaded with councilors to learn from the deaths and change APD’s policies.

Chief Schultz issued an order in late May that requires officers to carry Tasers. Answer N.M., an activist group, says the order is an insult. “Tasers, like police guns, are violent weapons of lethal force. Chief Schultz has not addressed the underlying issues of APD's practice of excessive force, racism and a reign of terror ... .”

2011 has seen four officer-caused deaths. Another 14 people were shot in 2010, and nine died.

V.20 No.20 | 5/19/2011


Protest about APD shootings

In the last 12 months, 14 people have been shot by APD officers. In the latest on May 10, suspect Alan Gomez was wielding a plastic kitchen spoon—not a gun, as officers thought. Officer Sean Wallace shot and killed Gomez, and it was Wallace’s third shooting. One other was fatal.

Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, an activist group, has called for an emergency protest outside APD headquarters at 400 Roma today from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. “Tell APD to stop terrorizing our communities,” Answer N.M. writes in its news release.

Trish Hoffman, spokesperson for APD, says the department respects demonstrators’ right to protest.

V.20 No.10 | 3/10/2011
Kenneth Ellis III with his son and namesake in January of 2006
Courtesy of Jonelle Ellis


Peace Officer

Could APD crisis training have saved a veteran’s life?

Kenneth Ellis III had a handgun in one hand and a cell phone in the other as he stared down the barrels of nearly a dozen guns wielded by police officers. He gripped a pistol tight against his right temple and waited for his mom to pick up.

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V.19 No.46 | 11/18/2010

Council Watch

A Mother’s Plea

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.

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V.19 No.43 | 10/28/2010


Today is a national day of protest to stop police brutality

Every Oct. 22, people nationwide nonviolently protest police brutality and repression. 2010 marks the 15th year of this action.

Albuquerque’s Copwatch is participating and organized a silent march and vigil to remember the people who’ve been shot by the Albuquerque Police Department. There have been 11 officer-involved shootings this year.

People will gather at Fourth Street and Roma at 3:30 p.m. Family members of Kenneth Ellis III , the Iraq War veteran who was killed by police in January, will speak. The friends and relatives of Enrique “Kiki” Carrasco will also attend. At 4:30, the silent march will begin making its way up Central and end at Robinson Park on 8th Street.

The event is also sponsored by Vecinos United, Young Women United and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition.

V.19 No.40 | 10/7/2010


Is There a Silver Bullet?

A look at officer-involved shootings and police training in comparable cities

Darren White stood before the City Council alongside Police Chief Ray Schultz. The director of public safety was trying to give context as to why Albuquerque officers have shot at or killed 11 members of the public this year, nearly twice the city’s average since 2004.

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V.19 No.39 | 9/30/2010


Police Shooting Stats

Last week, in reaction to our Copwatch feature, we got a letter asking us to compare national numbers of officer-involved shootings with local numbers. I’m not sure how useful an analysis like that would be. Every city is different. I did manage to track down the Albuquerque Police Department’s record since 2004. Here’s what it looks like:

2004: 4 shootings, 2 fatal

2005: 3 shootings, 2 fatal

2006: 5 shootings, 1 fatal

2007: 8 shootings, 4 fatal

2008: 5 shootings, 2 fatal

2009: 6 shootings, 3 fatal

2010: 11 shootings, 7 fatal

The news desk also is working on a story examining officer-involved shootings in similarly sized cities, their rates of violent crime and their police training techniques. Look for a follow-up in the coming weeks.