Law

DOJ launches civil rights investigation into Albuquerque police





The Department of Justice announced a civil rights investigation into law enforcement in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Officers from the Albuquerque Police Department have been involved in 25 shootings since 2010. Seventeen of those have been fatal.

"After careful consideration of the information gathered during our review we have concluded that a full civil rights investigation is warranted to determine whether APD engages in a pattern or practice of violations of the Constitution or federal law," Assistant Attorney General Perez said on Tuesday, according to a transcript of his remarks. "In particular the investigation will focus on use of force by APD, including but not limited to use of deadly force."

The city boasts a large urban Indian population -- 3.8 percent of the total population -- and it draws a large number of regular visits of tribal members from nearby reservations. None of the shooting incidents appear to involve any Native Americans, however.

Last year, DOJ completed a civil rights investigation of the police department in Seattle, Washington, after a series of fatal shootings. One of the victims was John T. Williams, who was a traditional woodcarver from the Dididaht First Nation of British Columbia.

Get the Story:
‘We Will Leave No Stone Unturned’ (The Albuquerque Journal 11/28)
Justice Dept. to Investigate the Police in Albuquerque (The New York Times 11/28)