NationNation Now

Albuquerque City Council to restrict protests at meeting on police

CrimeLaw EnforcementShootingsAlbuquerque
Albuquerque city council to discuss whether police chief should be elected instead of appointed
Days after protesters took over Albuquerque council meeting, officials warn against further outbursts
Series of deadly Albuquerque police shootings have stoked local outrage

Days after angry protesters took over a City Council meeting, Albuquerque leaders are adding extra security and warning that rules of decorum will be strictly enforced at Thursday night's session, called to discuss the troubled police department.

The agenda includes whether the city should change the way the police chief is selected. Council members were supposed to address the issue at Monday’s meeting, which was adjourned early because of the disruption.

Currently, the chief is appointed by the mayor without council approval. One proposal would amend the city charter to make the mayor’s nominee subject to council confirmation. A competing amendment would make the chief an elected position.

Councilwoman Klarissa J. Peña called the protests an “unfortunate turn of events.” She said she empathized, but the activists may have damaged their cause.

“They were not there to harm anybody,” she said. “They just wanted their voices heard. The unfortunate thing was that there were other people who wanted their voices heard as well, and they got drowned out or left out, and I think we have to be fair to everyone.”

Thursday’s meeting comes two days after police released 45 seconds of video from an hours-long standoff Saturday that ended with the officer-involved fatal shooting of Armand Martin. It was the most recent in a series of deadly police shootings that prompted a U.S. Justice Department investigation. Since 2010, police have fatally shot 25 people — four of them since mid-March, including a homeless man whose death triggered protests. 

Martin’s death is the second officer-involved fatal shooting since federal officials in April released a report describing a culture of “aggression” that has led to a series of unjustifiable officer-involved shootings.

Residents are outraged that the released video footage does not show the entire chain of events that led up to Martin's shooting, nor the shooting itself. Police have said Martin, a 50-year-old military veteran, came out shooting with two handguns after threatening his wife and children with a gun.

Federal officials, city and police leaders are negotiating a consent decree that could result in the appointment of a monitor to oversee the Albuquerque Police Department. 

At Thursday's council meeting, officials will not allow disruptive public outbursts, props or signs other than what can be displayed on an overhead projector during presentations.

Anyone in violation gets one warning. After that, those who fail to comply could be cited, which could result in a fine of $500 and 90 days in jail.

 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
CrimeLaw EnforcementShootingsAlbuquerque
  • White House intruder arrested after entering front doors
    White House intruder arrested after entering front doors

    An intruder scaled a White House fence and made it all the way into the building Friday evening before he was caught and wrestled to the ground by security officers, the Secret Service said. President Obama and his family had already left for Camp David when the incident occurred.

  • Man who killed daughter and grandchildren had violent past
    Man who killed daughter and grandchildren had violent past

    Don Spirit, a Florida grandfather who fatally shot his daughter Sarah Lorraine Spirit and six grandchildren before killing himself, had a long history of domestic violence — at one point pushing his pregnant daughter against a refrigerator and assaulting and threatening his former...

  • Rain pounds Texas: A sign the drought is ending?
    Rain pounds Texas: A sign the drought is ending?

    In Texas, where the governor once urged the public to pray for rain, this week’s torrential storms might finally be a sign of lasting relief for the state plagued by years of drought. Or maybe not.

  • For many in Congress, a first test on issues of war
    For many in Congress, a first test on issues of war

    Lawmakers' votes this week on whether or not to train and equip Syrian opposition forces in the fight against Islamic State were arguably the most consequential after nearly two years in which Congress is likely to set a new low for productivity.

  • Egyptian militant admits links to 1998 U.S. embassy bombings

    A longtime Egyptian militant with ties to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden admitted in federal court Friday that he had links to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, a surprise guilty plea that the judge sharply questioned because it reduces his prison time from a potential life sentence to...

  • Four takeaways from the vote in Congress to arm Syrian rebels
    Four takeaways from the vote in Congress to arm Syrian rebels

    What was supposed to be a no-drama final session of Congress before the campaign season turned into anything but as President Obama's new strategy to combat the threat from Islamic State resulted in a wrenching vote that is likely to reverberate through the midterm election and...

Comments
Loading