Alibi V.29 No.2 • Jan 9-15, 2020 

Letters

ABQ as Crime Mecca

Dear Alibi,

Why is Albuquerque a crime mecca? Cops, courts and politicians.

Cops: Prior to the reign of Marty Chavez, ABQ cops were required to have a college education. This not only resulted in some degree of meritocracy, but also in more mature cops than if we took them straight from high school. There were not as many as we wanted.

With typical liberal "quantity over quality" thinking, Marty decided to rapidly expand the force by dropping the college requirement. I don't have statistics, but the scuttlebutt I have heard over the years is that these "lowered expectation" [for] cops have accounted for a disproportionate amount of the problems APD has had.

Enter the Berry regime. In an overreactive response to complaints from criminals, the ACLU, and yes, even some regular people, Berry and the Council decided to invite the US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, to come in and dictate a consent decree providing for extended oversight of APD by someone agreeable to DOJ.

I have dealt with the Civil Rights Division for 3 local governments. The first two cases resulted successfully for my clients, and unhappily for DOJ. On the third, they saw the light and modified their demands to something my client thought was reasonable. We reached an amicable settlement.

What I learned from this: DOJ Civil Rights Div. attorneys, who I think of affectionately as OLFs (Obnoxious Little Feds), are full of bluster and BS. They tend to be way out over their skis, making outlandish demands backed up by little to no evidence. They "count coup" in their settlements by how much money they can force local governments to waste on activities whose only benefit is to make Feds feel good.

When confronted with a local government that won't back down, they end up fleeing back to Washington, with their tails between their legs. Appeasing these people when they attack is unwise and expensive. Inviting them to boss you around is Political Malpractice.

The million-plus per year that ABQ is spending on Ginger could pay for 10 cops, maybe in Homicide. If, in fact, APD has six times as many cops in Internal Affairs as in Homicide, this is a gross misappropriation of resources, unless APD is 6 times as big a threat to the public as murderers. If this is true, no wonder people don't want to join the force! If it is only what the powers that be think, no wonder people don't want to join the force!

Wolves would like to outlaw sheep dogs. Sheep are too stupid to realize they need them.

Courts: The biggest problem in talking to the public about courts is that the average citizen has the impression that judges are some sort of high priests, carrying stone tablets down from the mountain. They are not. Judges are lawyers. As an occupational group, the only group that competes with lawyers on liberalism is journalists.

Unlike math or physics, law has few if any provable "right" answers. Law is politics and philosophy written down on paper. Given the divergence of lawyer politics from regular people's politics, it should come as no surprise that judges picked from lawyers, by lawyers, would have a different view of "justice" than regular citizens. Most of the judges arousing the public's ire with their squishy soft sentences and addle-headed release decisions rate "well qualified" in the opinions of the criminal defense bar. That bar far outnumbers the prosecution bar.

When the citizens of New Mexico were conned into so called "Merit Selection" by the bar in 1988, the selection of a left-leaning judiciary in the Rio Grande Valley was virtually guaranteed.

"Merit selection" gives us the worst of both worlds. We get a large part of the "God complex" of Federal judges, without true independence. They still have to keep the criminal defense bar happy to get those approval ratings so well covered by the press, and important to their periodic retention elections.

Politicians: When Toney Anaya ran for Governor in 1982, he said he would not execute anyone. However, he promised the voters he would not issue any blanket commutations. He lied.

When Bill Richardson ran for Governor, he promised the voters he would not sign any repeal of the Death Penalty. He lied.

Ken McDaniel

Rio Rancho
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