The Abolish APD Coalition is a group of activists, organizers, and community groups working together to end policing as we know it in Albuquerque. To date more than 1,000 people and more than a dozen organizations have committed to a campaign to abolish police in Albuquerque. Partners include: The Red Nation, Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), Albuquerque and Santa Fe Democratic Socialists of America, Jewish Voices for Peace, National Lawyers Guild, and others.
The coalition recently published two stories of longtime harassment by Albuquerque Police Department (APD) officers. The first is a mentally ill homeless man called Prophet, who gets arrested and thrown in jail on criminal trespass charges because Albuquerque retailers often work closely with the police and are quick to “trespass” (as it’s called) unsheltered people who come in their stores. As described in the article: “What a year. The Albuquerque police arrested the Prophet 29 times in 2019, charged him with criminal trespass 21 times. The Prophet walks into a store and then he goes to jail for walking into a store. There aren’t many stores left in Albuquerque that the Prophet can enter without getting arrested for entering a store. He spent five months in a cage in 2019, all for criminal store entering.” You can read his entire story here.
The second person is called “Nimbus” to preserve her privacy. Nimbus, referred to as “transient” by police, gets caught up in a Catch-22 of police issuing her “criminal summonses” for infractions as minor as spitting on the sidewalk—there is no law against spitting on a sidewalk—and then putting her in jail when she doesn’t appear for her summons hearing because she has no permanent mailing address and never receives the notice of her court date. The same scenario plays out when she is issued a summons for erecting a tent in a park, which has been criminalized under section 10-1-1-3 (A3) of the city charter: “No person in a park shall construct or erect any building or structure of whatever kind, whether permanent or temporary in character… except by written permission of the Mayor.” You can read her entire story here.