APD Forward Releases Analysis of Independent Monitor’s Special Report

Report shows alarming signs that APD’s use of force investigations remain seriously deficient

September 30, 2016

CONTACT: Micah McCoy, (505) 266-5915 x1003 or [email protected]

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Today, the police reform advocacy group APD Forward released its analysis of the Independent Federal Monitor Dr. James Ginger’s Special Report, which was released earlier this month on September 16th. The report, which covers the period of December 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016, details a number of use of force incidents that reveal serious shortcomings in APD use of force investigations.

 “Simply put, this is unacceptable,” said APD Forward Spokesperson Steven Allen, policy director for the ACLU of New Mexico. “This special report is an alarming portrait of a police department experiencing systemic failure in its use of force investigations. APD needs to hold up their end of the bargain and implement an effective system for recognizing, investigating, evaluating, and resolving incidents involving the use of force.”


Dr. Ginger’s special report outlines at least 12 issues with APD use of force and use of force investigations that were completed in May of this year, and reports that:

 “The system’s present state cannot generate reliable, high quality use of force oversight and accountability… Without a culture that fosters high levels of oversight and accountability at all levels, the Department will fail to meet its professional obligations and continue to underserve both its workforce and the citizens of Albuquerque.”  

The special report specifically cites the example of three separate use of force investigations involving the same two officers within the span of just a few weeks, all of which failed at multiple levels to flag problematic use of force by the officers.

In its analysis of the monitor’s special report, APD Forward has flagged two especially troubling trends in APD’s use of force policies:

1)      Systemic problems in unwritten policies: Field officers appear to adhere to “unwritten policies” regarding what is considered use of force, sometimes in direct contradiction to APD policy and training.

2)      Cascading levels of unresolved issues in use of force investigations: Incomplete use of force investigations, credibility problems in use of force reports, unaddressed recommendations from internal affairs, and a breakdown in chain of command investigations.

Read the full APD Forward analysis here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/apdforward/pages/33/attachments/original/1475257408/Special_Report_Analysis.pdf?1475257408