ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Today APD Forward called for the Albuquerque Police Department to dramatically change its approach and attitude toward the settlement agreement reform process. The campaign also released a new analysis of the monitoring team's fifth report, outlining the highest profile deficiencies in the Department's effort to implement systemic changes aimed at addressing its history of using excessive force against residents of Albuquerque.
“While progress has been made, the Monitoring Team has documented deep ongoing problems with supervisory and oversight systems at APD,' said APD Forward spokesperson Jenny Metzler, executive director at the Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless. “The report indicates that 87 percent of the time supervisory oversight systems at APD for use of force incidents are failing. This absolutely has to change.”
Among the most alarming findings in the Monitoring Team's report is that APD leadership, in some instances, is deliberately obstructing the reform process by overtly refusing to comply with explicit requirements in the settlement agreement. One disturbing example is APD's refusal to ban neck holds except when a situation allows for lethal use of force by officers. This practice is specifically banned by the agreement.
“The neck hold issue is just one of many examples outlined in the report indicating that APD leadership is actively resisting some key requirements of the settlement agreement,” said APD Forward spokesperson Cathy Ansheles, executive director at the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. “We talk a lot about the need for culture change at APD. That change has to start at the top.”
You can read APD Forward’s analysis of the Independent Monitor’s 5th report here.