Coalition Calls on New Mayor to Take Charge of the Reform Process
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2017
CONTACT: Micah McCoy, (505) 266-5915 x1003 or [email protected]
ALBUQUERQUE, NM—APD Forward, a coalition of community organizations and individuals seeking to reform the Albuquerque Police Department, praised Judge Robert Brack for denying a frivolous motion filed by the City of Albuquerque designed to undermine the reform process. On the day before the Monitoring Team released its most recent audit of APD’s progress, the City of Albuquerque and APD filed a motion with the court accusing the Independent Monitor of bias against the police department and asking for an evidentiary hearing. The motion included an edited secret video made of the Monitor by Assistant Police Chief Robert Huntsman in 2016 using his department-issued lapel camera.
Yesterday, the Court addressed the City’s motion and issued a strongly-worded Order denying the City’s request. In the process of criticizing City Attorney Jessica Hernandez and Assistant Chief Huntsman for filing the baseless motion, Judge Brack stated that he was “tired of the toxicity” and that it was time to “hit the reset button.” APD Forward firmly believes that this crisis in leadership – both inside the Albuquerque mayor’s office and at APD – has slowed down the reform process almost to a stand-still.
“We’re relieved that Judge Brack saw through the City’s thinly veiled attempts to undermine the Monitor in the wake of his highly critical assessment of their progress,” said APD Forward Spokesperson Nancy Koenigsberg, senior attorney at Disability Rights New Mexico. “We agree with him that the City’s motion, filed just one day before the Monitor’s report was released, was nothing more than a transparent political ploy.”
During yesterday’s public hearing, APD Forward also unveiled a unique data project that weights the requirements of the Settlement Agreement based on their importance. By using the Monitor’s compliance scores from the Sixth Report, APD Forward developed its own assessment of APD’s progress on the elements of reform that matter the most to the coalition. The results are striking and confirm the Monitor’s findings that “the easy work is done” and “the most difficult work remains.”
“Our own internal assessment of APD’s progress shows that the most important work of reform lies ahead,” said APD Forward Spokesperson Natalie Nicotine with the Native American Voters Alliance. “We are calling on Mayor-elect Tim Keller to take charge of the reform process and to show that he will own the police department reforms. We look forward to working with the new administration to make this a reality.”
More information about APD Forward’s data project can be found at www.apdforward.org in the “resources” section of the website.