Saturday, March 22, 2014

Come on Down

The Price is High.  Come on down.  That should be yelled to the Mayor Berry and Albuquerque City Council in the wake of the execution of a mentally ill man by APD in the foot hills of Albuquerque.  These city political leaders are absent from duty in fixing this police department.  They are probably being wary of warnings from the city attorney and CAO Rob Perry that anything they say could cost the taxpayers a bundle.  But that has been happening anyway.  But, the time has come for the councillors to start screaming bloody murder.  Because that is what happened to this homeless man.

So, what would I do if I were Mayor.  First off, this would not be happening because it I would never have let it go so far for so long.  I did not fear APD and was willing to tell then Chief Jerry Galvin that changes were needed.  The rank and file didn't care for me much and police officers would not even shake my hand for going against their wishes.  But the changes got made.  Then under my successor everything went back to the way it was.  The hiring binge to meet campaign promises brought in less than desirable recruits.  And here we are.

If I needed to deal with this current department I would ask the Department of Justice to come in and over see the operation of the department along with professional police associations.  They would have full authority to change anything that needed it.  Training, ongoing testing, and weeding out of trigger happy cops would all be part of the program.

The new police chief for the city said the shooting by assault rifles was justified.  Look at the video and see if you agree.  In fairness to this new chief he was presented with an unwinnable situation.  After coming in from outside the department he is faced with distrust by the rank and file.  I wonder what would have happened if he had said, 'this is troubling and we need to look into it.'  I know I would have felt better about him.

I write this about 9am this morning.  I can only assume that some leaders will come forth with some meaningful statements that promise change.

And compliments to the Albuquerque Journal for a great front page story today.  Like the professional journalists they should be.


Anonymous said...

The reason the Han scene is important is because the misconduct came tom the administration down. Typically you see the problem coming from the rank and file up. Not only did we lose a great civil rights attorney who was second to none but the city and police admin covered up what happened to her.

The problem starts at the top and it won't heal itself. We need the DOJ to start immediately. One more day means possibly losing another person to APD.

Anonymous said...

I think it is time that Progress NM, NAACP, LULAC and all other groups get together for a protest at Civic Plaza. We need to make noise and demand that Eden resign (he works for the citizens first, not the police) and if Berry refuses to come out of his bunker they need to demand that Berry resign. We have reached a crisis point and I believe the time has come for a peaceful protest on Civic Plaza. Demand action from Berry, if he continues to refuse to come out of hiding, demand that he resign.

Bubba Muntzer said...

That's sounds like a great plan of action to me, Jim. Thanks for putting that out there and hopefully the right persons will read it.

It's true that Jim stood up to the police, and in fact that has been credited to his not being re-elected. The police here are organized and they do get involved.

The degree to which the current problems exist can be traced to his successor, and his payoff to the police, which took various forms, not just financial, and gave them license to act the way they do.

I'd also note that Jim's efforts to reform the police weren't just about bringing them under control, but included plans to introduce community policing, which now is known to be the best way to do policing. In it, police get out and meet the people on their beat, and had it been adhered to, at the very least some of the police killings in the past two years would never have happened.