Protestors Rally Against Albuquerque Police Violence: A Photo Essay

By DAVID CORREIA AND ERIC SHULTZ

Dozens of protestors from Vecinos United, The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center, the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, SPAN (Stop Police Atrocities Now) and friends and family of victims of Albuquerque Police Department violence gathered Monday on the steps of the Albuquerque Police Department headquarters on the corner of 4th and Roma in downtown Albuquerque to protest police violence. The rally, one of hundreds throughout the U.S. on what’s billed as the 17th annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, included speeches from many including New Mexico State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Albuquerque City Councilor Rey Garduño.

Andres Valdez of Vecinos United talks about police violence in Albuquerque

Protestors taped photos of victims of police violence on the window of APD headquarters. Photo by David Correia
“It’s OK to be angry,” said ANSWER Coalition member Joe Gallegos. “And we need to channel that anger in any way that gets results.” Gallegos went on to thank the families of victims of APD violence for their strength and reminded protestors that “there’s work to be done and we owe it to the families of the victims to do that work.” Photo by David Correia
Isiah (left) and Davontate Tillison wear shirts that honor the memory of their father. In brief remarks, their mother, Mary Jobe, described what she called APD’s “ruthless murder” of Tillison in March of this year. APD officer Martin Smith shot the unarmed Tillison, who APD mistakenly suspected of stealing car stereos. Photo by David Correia
Activist Silvio Dell’Angela faces police headquarters. Dell’Angela, who in June 2010 watched APD officers “gun down” his neighbor Chris Hines has spent nearly three years unsuccessfully trying to get information from the City of Albuquerque on police shootings. “Meanwhile the Chief [Ray Schultz] sits there content to go on killing people… There are a lot of suffering people here,” he said. Photo by David Correia
New Mexico State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, left, stands with Albuquerque City Councilor Rey Garduño. Ortiz y Pino said to those in attendance: “The issue that brings us together is not popular. Most would want it to vanish because it says something very dark about us as a people—that we’ll put up with murder rather than deal with it because we’re scared.” Councilor Garduño reiterated his long-standing solidarity with the families of the victims: “I will stand with you at every moment. That’s why I was elected.” Photo by Eric Shultz (click on photos to enlarge)
Suzanne Saiz holds a picture of her nephew, Dominic “Mattie” Smith, whom APD officers killed in 2009. Photo by Eric Shultz
Jewel Hall is President of the Martin Luther King Memorial Center in Albuquerque and heads the Task Force on Social Justice for Public Safety. Her own son was killed by police in Michigan. Holding the bullhorn is Ken Ellis whose son, Iraq War veteran Kenneth Ellis III, was killed by APD officers on January 13, 2010.  Photo by Eric Shultz
In March 2012, an APD officer killed Daniel Tillison, partner of Mary Jobe (speaking) and the father of Isiah (seen here), Davontate and Jazzelle. Photo by Eric Shultz
Oja Vincent of New York is a member of the October 22nd Coalition that organized the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality. A media activist, he and his partner Vanissa Chan came to Albuquerque to show solidarity with the families of APD’s victims and to document the event. Photo by Eric Shultz
New York activist Vanissa W. Chan of ACD Media (Alliance of Conscious Documentarians) and the national October 22nd Coalition takes the bullhorn to connect the Albuquerque event with similar actions across the country. She also spoke of the Stolen Lives project to document police killings (stolenlives.org and stolenlivesillustrated.wordpress.com). Photo by Eric Shultz
After the speakers had finished, the participants marched to the Office of Bernalillo Country District Attorney Kari Brandenberg to protest her consistent refusal to prosecute APD officers for brutality and wrongful deaths. In front is Nora Tachias Anaya who holds a picture of her son Levi Tachias, killed over twenty years ago by APD officers who still have not been brought to justice. Photo by Eric Shultz
Protesters complained loudly at the entrance to the building where Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenberg – who upholds impunity for APD abuses – has her office. Eventually the crowd was informed that Ms. Brandenberg had left the building. Photo by Eric Shultz
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