Albuquerque Police Department: Is Brutality the Norm?

A federal investigation has found that the Albuquerque police department has routinely violated the constitutional rights of members of the community. (Google Images)

A federal investigation has found that the Albuquerque police department has routinely violated the constitutional rights of members of the community. (Google Images)

Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic is reporting that the Albuquerque Police Department is one of the most brutal police departments in the country, routinely violating the constitutional rights of its citizens.  A federal investigation found some damning data about this police department which is supposed to protect and serve the community.

Friedersdorf writes:

“After a 16-month investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department, the federal government reports that its officers routinely violated the Constitutional rights of residents, unjustly beating them, shocking them with tasers, and even shooting them dead. Twenty-one fatal shootings were reviewed. ‘Officers were not justified under federal law in using deadly force in the majority of those incidents,’ the report states. ‘Albuquerque police officers shot and killed civilians who did not pose an imminent threat of serious bodily harm or death to the officers or others.’

Let me underline that finding.

Albuquerque police needlessly extinguished someone’s life on at least 11 occasions. One unarmed man was shot through the chest as he lay motionless on his back. ‘No police officer has been prosecuted for unlawful killing,’ The Economist notes, ‘yet the city has had to pay out $24m in legal settlements to victims’ relatives.’

All this happened between 2009 and 2012. 

‘Officers used deadly force against people who posed a minimal threat, including individuals who posed a threat only to themselves or who were unarmed,’ the report states. ‘Officers also used deadly force in situations where the conduct of the officers heightened the danger and contributed to the need to use force.’

The police department abused its power in non-lethal situations too.”

Now the question is, what will be done about these findings?

Read more at The Atlantic.

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