Can we call this “The-Serial-Killer-Next-Door-That-No-One-Suspected-And-Had-Even-Defended-As-A-Nice-Guy-Until-He-Was-Caught-Red-Handed” syndrome?
There are those of us who know, firsthand , that APD is corrupt.
Thus far, we can get nothing done about them. Why?
Our city leaders are corrupt. Our judges, DAs, the mayor and his little cadre, they benefit from the corruption of APD, they use it to make them money. And they don’t want it to stop. You got that sniffed out just fine.
Go find out who pays the jail for inmates. Go demand a walk-through and ask all those dangerous inmates who among them is homeless, in jail for trespass, jaywalking, panhandling. Go ask the guys in the Alcohol Treatment Program pod out there, how many were arrested for an alcohol related infraction, Hell, go ask how many even drink…..
What does the jail have to do with APD executing people? Plenty. Why? APD is keeping the jail full, generating revenue, getting the city cars to steal and auction, for those corrupted city leaders. So now when APD kills a guy, and it’s a little too obvious, and a little too sloppy, and people take notice and demand answers, well, those leaders who are supposed to be seeing to it that heads roll where a head rollin’ is richly deserved? Well, they’re gonna protect their boys. It’s simple math. If you ask guys to perjure themselves daily, or multiple times a day, to make you money..and then they go kill a homeless guy like it was a Halo game they were enjoying(Boo-YAH!), and then you get them in trouble for it…they COULD go and tell the public that you put them up to all that illegal copper-y they were doing= Don’t let them get in trouble. See? Simple math.
Now, go ask people who haven’t run afoul of APD what they think of APD, and be ready for all the dogma you grew up with, from the time you were taught about who to ask for help, who to trust, who to avoid.
Like strangers offering you candy=BAD!!!
They’ll tell you that of course APD is good, they’re the good guys!
If you go to any of the forums where there is a public debate raging along, about whether the APD are good guys or bad, you’ll notice one common theme underlying the whole of the conversations.
People who have never been wronged by the police, they continue understanding inately what they’ve been taught since they were big enough to listen to the concerned adults around them, who want them as safe as they can keep them, and so teach them all the tools they can to keep themselves safe, even when out of sight..
Police are there to keep you safe. They will protect you. They are good. Trust in them.
And as we grow up, our early knowledge is deepened, our trust is lent ever more diverse aspects:
It’s off-color to question the actions of the police, they’re doing what they’re doing with good reason, and you need to trust that they have only your best interests in mind.
Only criminals bitch about the police, and those, whatever they may say, you may feel correct to discount it as the spiteful crap it is.
Black and White; If you are not for them, you are against them. Period.
And you’ll see people who’ve been wronged, yelling at all those blind-faith guys like they are idiots! Because the guys who KNOW that APD are crooked simply cannot fathom the level of trust they see in the the criminals they KNOW these cops are, that these people are so STOO-PID for supporting the cops like this!!!
And you’ll see the blind faith guys yelling back, because whether you realize it or not, they also KNOW the cops are good, are strong, do a horrible job and do it with dignity…..they know it, as certainly as religious guys know there is a God. When you’ve known something since you were tiny, you just know it. You know it, and it’s a big uphill battle to un-know it, and it feels like a betrayal to stop trusting in it. More subtly, finding out you were so vocal in your support, and so wrong, no, that would make you feel so dumb!
Here’s the thing;
If there is going to be sweeping change, a whole bunch of the people who KNOW the cops are good are going to have to let the people who KNOW the cops are bad get an outside source in here to investigate those cops. And right now, faced with all that yelling and screaming and STOO-PID calling, they don’t feel like being real supportive. Can you blame them? They drive me nuts, but I can’t blame them.
When you look at it, the guys going hardest-at-it in all those forums? They aren’t aiming too far apart from each-other, their basic beliefs are on a par with one another….
Those who KNOW the cops are corrupt, they’d like to see the criminality taken out of policing, by extension, the politicians removed and replaced…because they’ really, really, really want to be able to trust the cops.
Those who KNOW the cops are good guys, although they’re willing to concede that there are a few apples, they want to be supportive, say thank you, and let the cops keep being a force for good, because they really, really, really, want to be able to KNOW that the cops are good people, who are keeping them safe from the bad guys.
Can you blame either camp?
They both want the same thing. They are not diametrically opposed forces. In fact, they are so closely akin in their goals that there starts to be this absurdist aspect to the raging war between them….
I started by being really mad at the cops for lying, screwing me, smugly…with a cocksure posture, certain the people would trust their word over mine, and being right about the outcome.
These days, when people are skeptical, I say “Cool. I know. I sound mad, I sound spiteful. But you know, if we were to allow an outside review of these guys, mayhap we could get a couple of the bad apples out of there off the force. And you know, I think the good cops would thank us for that. And after all, don’t you think that our good cops will welcome the scrutiny, because they’ll know it’s not them we’re gonna find being bad, and don’t you think they’ll be glad for the chance to enjoy some renewed trust?”
What do you think? Is there any reason for the good cops to hate a little poking around into their methods, their policework? Or is it just bad cops who oppose it?
Can we get to a point where those of us who KNOW the cops are corrupt are willing to thank people for supporting our institutions, because those institutions keep us safe and free, and just ask for a quick peek by someone other than those cops or those politicians directly affected by that inquiry, in a calm and not-condescending way?
Can we remember to keep the goal in front of us, that NO, we cannot allow Berry to stand up and offer to lead us through this crisis, because he’s too directly affected by it to be allowed to hold the reins on this one?
Can we be a community, not divided, but offering differing viewpoints to the same difficult times?
And can we remind ourselves, before all else, to work together, so that our little oppositions, our little angers, our little condescensions, do not render it impossible to fix our bigger issues?
Great interview, David. I’m so glad that there’s an articulate person in Burque voicing these views – it’s not just a matter of making a few tweaks, reforms and getting rid of “bad apples” or finding a new chief; it’s a matter of changing the relationship of power between the people and the police and changing the way we as a society handle fundamental issues like inequality, mental health and community governance. I just wish they were interviewing you on KOAT and having you write editorials in the Journal – or at least Democracy Now! Come on, Amy! Since Boyd’s death, I’ve been following things in Albuquerque closely (or at least trying, it’s been busy!) and, while I think the Journal has actually been doing some half-decent reporting, I count on La Jicarita to really know what’s up. It’s very heartening to see the groundswell of “dignified rage” (to quote the Zapatistas) in burque. It’s the type of energy I’d only dreamed of years ago – if only it didn’t have to come with the blood of so many people. Keep up the great work.
In addition to killing unarmed un resisting citizens, the APD routinely engages in excessive force in other situations. For an example, see this incident from the DOJ Report.
“Albuquerque police used unreasonable force when they deployed a barrage of less lethal
weapons at “Albert,” a 60-year-old man who was intoxicated and began arguing with his friend
in March 2009. The friend called police twice, the second time reporting that Albert had
threatened him with a knife and a pellet gun. Forty-seven officers responded to the scene,
including snipers and officers from specialized tactical units. After some delay, Albert complied
with officers’ orders to drop a knife that he was holding while standing at the doorway and
walked outside unarmed. After additional delay, he stopped and began to turn. At that point, an
officer was ordered to “bag him.” An officer fired five successive rounds of beanbags at Albert
with a shotgun. Another officer deployed a flash-bang grenade. Another officer shot him with a
canister of four wooden batons, two of which penetrated his skin. Another officer deployed a
police canine that bit Albert in the arm, tearing his flesh as the canine tried to pull him down.
“Albert grabbed onto a nearby fence. Two officers fired Tasers at Albert; one of them fired six
five-second cycles of electricity into him. Albert finally collapsed, and officers carried him away
unconscious, leaving behind a trail ofblood and urine. In an April2012 order entering judgment
as a matter of law in Albert’s favor, District Judge Bruce Black found that “no reasonable person
could believe that an inhibited, slow-moving, 60-year-old individual, who made no physical or
verbal threats, and wielded no weapons, could constitute a threat to the safety of any of the fortyseven
armed and shielded police officers who stood over twenty feet away.”
Mr. V.B. Price knows, since the 1990s, of the prodigious number of felons that Albuquerque PD produces. He was provided back then with a copy of a report our think tank (Hellebore Society) produced outlining each case, providing statistics from the USDoJ comparing the Albuquerque PD to other police agencies in the USA. Over the years, my heart has hardened towards Albuquerque PD. I see them as nothing more than a RICO enterprise. A large gang that doesn’t fight crime but merely squashes would-be competitors and others that don’t tow its line. There’s a reason why Albuquerque PD ‘solves’ so many murders. They are in close collaboration with criminals throughout Albuquerque. There is also a reason why so many Albuquerque PD Officers have very little regard for human life. They are largely recruited from out of state and are little more than mercenaries, often ‘Gypsy Cops’ who been fired or rejected by other departments. They come here and adopt the attitudes towards the locals that their predecessors like out-of-staters Joseph M. Polisar, and Ray Schultz and others, have ingrained in those selecting and training them. They appear to be huge fans of Massad Ayoob and strict followers of his ‘Bible’, “In The Gravest Extreme”. A guide for the law enforcement officer, and others, on how to literally get away with murder.
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