How Do We End Police Violence in Albuquerque?


In the wake of the killing of James Boyd on March 16, 2014, a group of community leaders came together to create Protect and Serve ABQ, designed as a collaborative effort of local community-based organizations who shared a desire to end police violence in Albuqeurque. They hoped “to inspire constructive community dialogue about the relationship between law enforcement and the ABQ communities they serve.” Among the first community events they organized was a TEDxABQ salon. TEDxABQ is a locally driven monthly speaker series event committed to building community dialogue and giving a platform for community members on issues important to Albuquerque. It is linked to a global organization that defines itself as a a group that “believes passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.”

Sommer Smith of MediaDesk NM and Pat Davis of ProgressNow NM, came together under the name protect and serve ABQ and curated the TEDxABQ event. They asked six community members, organizers, professionals and even one former law enforcement officer to share their ideas and visions for what it means to confront the problem of police violence in Albuquerque and what it means to protect and serve in ABQ. They gave each speaker eight minutes on stage. Among those they asked was La Jicarita’s David Correia. Watch a video of his speech here:


One comment

  1. I love the breathlessness of this post, all the typos, the race against Time they represent. One feels the urgency.

    The vid was brief, but such a rich text (even as I bristle at the headset and standardized format–I hate that Fordist Taylorized shit). Bracketing those annoyances, though, the talk was immensely important in its lack of accommodationism.

    I might go even further to say that confronting the unavoidable history that we’re all implicated in like it or not, and setting about the collective business of making amends–“restorative justice” was David’s phrase–living in that relief and joy, is probably the only way we’re going to collectively step back from the brink.

    I would also add this question, and it’s not rhetorical, into the mix–Who are we serving by not doing so? What if we name the names? Eden, Berry, Dear, Perry, Martinez, McClesky. Is their well-being and flourishing more important than our own? And if so, why? Why them over you and me and Mary Hawkes, for instance?

    If the talk could be extended even a minute longer (around a campfire or a kitchen table), it might also be important to say how this moment is unlike the prior bouts of murderous police violence. Several factors render the use of the word “brink” apt (and not hyperbolic)–the proliferation of the national security state apparatus, the militarization of the police via weaponry, orientation and protocols, the gutting of Constitutional protections, the current reality of mass for-profit incarceration of millions, and the potential use of what Angela Davis calls “carceral technologies.”

    We let this liberatory moment slip through our fingers at our own great (and probably irrevocable) peril.

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