Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico’

New Mexico Governor: Cops Need Legal Immunity to Abuse in Order to Protect Taxpayers

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Despite having the highest rate of police shooting deaths in the nation, New Mexico’s governor is trying to pass a law giving legal immunity to cops who kill and abuse.
Governor Susana Martinez, a former prosecutor, says the law would protect taxpayers from having to pay settlements resulting from police abuse.
But who is going to protect the taxpayers from the cops?
Obviously, not her.
“I don’t believe that police officers should be under this constant threat of lawsuits that will often cause them to pause,” Martinez recently told The Albuquerque Journal.
“If they’re following their training, there should be something that protects them.”
Training? What training?
It was just over three years ago that the United States Department of Justice determined the Albuquerque Police Department had long maintained “a culture of aggression” towards the citizens they were sworn to protect and serve.
Not only was it one of the most violent departments in the nation, it was one of the most undertrained.
According to the DOJ:
In addition to use of force practices, The Justice Department’s investigation found that officers routinely use deadly force and less lethal force in an unreasonable manner and that systemic deficiencies in policies, training, supervision, and oversight contributed to the pattern or practice.
But after spending millions of tax dollars, the department now says it is fully trained.
Last year, in fact, Albuquerque cops fired their guns just seven times, the fewest in seven years, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
But New Mexico still maintains the highest rate of police killings in the country from 2013 to 2017, according to Mapping Police Violence.
Not surprisingly, the governor’s announcement was met with criticism.
“Standing up for officers who are using excessive force and violating the Constitution is exactly the wrong way to move,” Steven Robert Allen, the public policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union in New Mexico, told

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New Mexico Couple Awarded $1.6 Million in Police Abuse Case

Friday, February 17th, 2017

The New Mexico cops did not appreciate Jillian Beck walking away from them after they responded to a neighborhood dispute, prompting an officer to grab her arm, twist it behind her back and slam her to the ground, leaving her with a fractured arm as he planted his knee on her back.
When the woman lifted her head to console her four-year-old son who began crying, the Las Cruces police officer slammed her face on a bed of rocks, leaving her with a broken nose and a bruised and bloodied face.
When her husband became alarmed, thinking his wife was choking on her own blood, he walked up to help her, but he was also arrested.
Las Cruces police officer Isaiah Baker then turned to a female officer and bragged about his deeds, telling her that Jillian Beck “got thrown” and ended up with a “face full of rocks.”
“Cool,” the female officer responded, according to an audio clip that was heard during a civil trial last week.
After a five-day trial and three-hour deliberation, a jury awarded the couple $1.6 million.
The federal jury ruled that Las Cruces police officers Isaiah Baker and Joseph Campa used unreasonably excessive force and violated the couples Fourth Amendment right.
The incident took place in January 2013 after Jillian Beck called police to report a disturbance with neighbors around 10 p.m., according to the Las Cruces Sun-News.
Beck’s neighbors were blowing loud air horns at dogs that wouldn’t stop barking. In retaliation, Beck threw salmon and onions on her neighbor’s vehicle along with a mean note. Officers arrived on scene and warned Beck to stop. Then they left.
Angered, her neighbors then turned around and called police back to the scene around midnight proclaiming that the Becks left another threatening note at their door.
Officers Baker, Campa and Manuel Chavez responded to the scene and questioned

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Albuquerque Police Shoot Carjacking Victim for her Safety

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Watching a man carjack a woman as they were chasing him Friday, Albuquerque police opened fire, striking both the suspect and the victim.
It was all done in the name of safety.
Both the victim and suspect survived the shooting, ending up with bullet wounds to their legs.
At first, Albuquerque police acknowledged the victim was shot, but refused to admit they did it.
But today, police confirmed that they were the ones who shot the victim.
This was how it was reported Friday in the Albuquerque Journal:
They found him near the Mazda dealership on the west side of the freeway. Brandenburg ran and several officers gave chase to the parking lot of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department.
“They caught up with the suspect and the suspect tried to carjack a victim that was trying to drive out of the parking lot,” Duran said. “Officers witnessed this, observed the threat to the driver and they took action that they needed to in order to stop that action.”
He didn’t know how many officers opened fire, but said there were several on scene at the time. Investigators are still trying to determine if Brandenburg had fired his gun and whose bullet struck the carjacking victim.
“We know officers fired, but we don’t know if the suspect did or not, or how many times,” Duran said.
And this is how it is being reported Monday in the Albuquerque Journal:
Officers unintentionally shot a carjacking victim as they were shooting the man trying to steal her SUV Friday, according to a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department.
They were both struck in the leg and are recovering at the hospital.
Officer Simon Drobik said three officers opened fire, striking the suspect Lee Brandenburg, 41, multiple times in the leg.
The victim was struck once he said. They are both recovering at the hospital.
The carjacking

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WATCH: New Mexico Cops Exchange Fist Bumps After Smothering Man to Death

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

New Mexico cops from three agencies were smothering a mentally ill handcuffed man with their body weight as he repeatedly told them he could not breathe, only for them to keep asking for his date of birth, never once acknowledging they could possibly be killing him.
“I’m dying,” Anthony C de Baca groaned, but the cops ignored him as they made small talk while planting their knees on his back and forcing his handcuffed hands down into his wrists in a pain compliance tactic known as the wristlock.
They had also placed a “spit sock” over his face because they say he had bitten one of them. But they placed it in a way that could have caused him to suffocate, a medical examiner determined.
And when he groaned in pain and told them he was dying, they only pressed down on him harder and shackled his legs, telling him to “relax.”
And then he went quiet.
But that did not stop the cops from continuing to exert their pain compliance techniques on him– all while joking about penises.
They are still laughing and smothering when one of them notices the masked, handcuffed man is no longer breathing.
In fact, several minutes went by after he stopped groaning in pain, but they didn’t think anything of that until much later.
“Anthony …. Anthony ….. Anthony” a cop asks as he lightly shakes the lifeless body lying flat on its face, hands cuffed behind its back.
Anthony does not respond.
“Fuck,” a cop says.
Within minutes, they are tearing the man’s shirt off and trying to resuscitate him, but it was too late.
The September 6, 2015 death was ruled a homicide from “excited delirium (cocaine intoxication) complicated by means of physical restraint.”
Rio Rancho police investigated but found no wrongdoing among its officers as well as officers from the Santa Ana and Bernalillo police departments

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Libertarian’s Gary Johnson has never been the typical politician

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Ronald Reagan won a historic landslide victory in the 1984 election, taking 49 of 50 states. But he failed to win the vote of a young Republican businessman in New Mexico whose willingness to go against the political grain has made him this presidential campaign’s X-factor.
Outraged at the GOP president’s budget deficits, Gary Johnson for the first time voted for the Libertarian candidate. Ten years later, Johnson became New Mexico’s governor, and was known for vetoing bill after bill before he became a national curiosity for advocating legalized marijuana.
Now, at age 63, he’s the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee, a marijuana-promoting fitness aficionado who summited Mount Everest and now climbs a political mountain with tough odds of reaching the top.
Though Johnson has grabbed more attention for his stance on drugs and difficulty answering foreign-policy questions, fiscal conservatism remains his animating force.
“I always pushed the envelope,” said Johnson, who’s proposed deep cuts to military and other government spending as well as elimination of the federal departments of Homeland Security, Commerce, Education, and Housing and Urban Development. “I wasn’t a wallflower when I was governor and I do think government spends too much money in areas that don’t make a big difference in people’s lives.”
Before he came out for legalizing marijuana shortly after his re-election as New Mexico governor in 1998, Johnson was nicknamed “Governor Veto.” He piled up a record 700-plus vetoes during his two terms in Santa Fe. Admirers liked his dedication to limiting the size of government. Detractors considered him narrow-minded and incurious about the outside world.
“He just does not believe government should be involved in dealing with social problems,” said state Sen. Jerry Pino y Ortiz, who ran two social service agencies during Johnson’s administration and feels the former governor let down his achingly poor state. “It’s like the

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Albuquerque Cop Trial Results in Mistrial in Shooting Death of Homeless Man

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Three jurors voted to convict two Albuquerque cops on second-degree murder charges today in the shooting death of a mentally ill homeless man.
But nine jurors voted to acquit the cops, resulting in a mistrial.
Now it’s up to Special Prosecutor Randi McGinn to determine whether to retry Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez for the shooting death of James Boyd in 2014.
Judge Alisa Hadfield declared a mistrial Tuesday after three days of deliberations when it became evident that none of the jurors were going to change their minds.
Both Sandy and Perez, who have since left the police force, were facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
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They were part of a group of 19 officers who made their way up to an encampment on the foothills of the mountains on the outskirts of Albuquerque where Boyd was sleeping.
The two cops said they killed Boyd because he was carrying pocket knives.
According to ABC News:
The courtroom was silent as the judge announced the mistrial, and the defendants left court without making a comment. Albuquerque police union members were seen tapping other officers on the shoulder and hugging each other after the news.
Sandy and Perez shot mentally ill, homeless camper James Boyd in 2014 after receiving complaints he was acting erratically on a rocky hillside. They were among 19 officers who swarmed the area with rifles, tactical gear, flash grenades, stun guns and K-9 units, a show of force that the prosecutor questioned throughout the trial.
The defendants, who are no longer on the force, said they opened fire because Boyd had two pocket knives and they believed he posed a deadly threat to a K-9 handler who had lost control of his police service dog and chased the animal, bringing him within 9 to

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New Mexico Cops Arrest Citizen Journalist For Filing Internal Affairs Complaint

Monday, September 28th, 2015

This past Tuesday, a citizen journalist – whom we’ll call “Mike” to protect his full identity – was cop watching in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
The New Mexico cops he filmed from the Mesilla Marshals department harassed him, trying to prevent him from cop watching on a public sidewalk, and accused him of committing a crime as you can see in the raw video below.
But when Mike tried to file an internal affairs complaint two days later at the Mesilla station house, everything went wrong.
A Mesilla Marshall retaliated with arrest on the spot.
The Mesilla Marshal arrested Mike for attempting to petition his government, and to record the process of doing so, blatantly violating his First Amendment rights and charging him with “concealing his identity”.
Mesilla Marshals also seized Mike’s camera – for which he has provided a reciept to PINAC – in clear violation of his New Mexico Constitution’s Bill of Rights too.
After the citizen journalist posted the original video of the police harassing him onto YouTube, one of the commenters suggested that he contact PINAC and this report is based on that conversation.
New Mexico Cops Liberated From Four Square Mile Town Only Two Years Ago
Last Tuesday, the citizen journalist – who publishes all of his videos to YouTube as “Schmike Mike” – was surprised to see cops from the small town of Mesilla, just south of Las Cruces, working well north of the town limits of their jurisdiction. Interstate 10 is the physical border between the two towns.
According to a jursdictional agremeent signed in October 2013 called a Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA”), the 2 square mile town of Mesilla’s police are allowed to venture into other parts of Doña Ana County (“DAC”) under a strict policy of single approval operational supervision by a DAC Sheriff’s approval.
Local residents voiced concern that the MOA would give Mesilla Marshals too

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New Mexico Police Arrest Man At Walmart, Won’t Say Why Man “Became Suddenly Unresponsive” and Dies (UPDATED)

Monday, September 7th, 2015

UPDATE: Four Bernalillo police officers have been suspended from policing, and placed on paid administrative leave due to this incident already according to local outlet KOB4. The Bernalillo Police were not forthcoming with information surrounding the death of a man on Sunday evening outside of a Walmart while in police custody. Not even his name …
The post New Mexico Police Arrest Man At Walmart, Won’t Say Why Man “Became Suddenly Unresponsive” and Dies (UPDATED) appeared first on PINAC.

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