Modest Progress Reportedly Made By APS Yazzie-Martinez Council On Public School Action Plan Council

On Friday, July 20, 2018, Santa Fe District Court Judge Sarah Singleton ruled in the case that the state of New Mexico violated the constitutional rights of at-risk students by failing to provide them with a sufficient education. The consolidated lawsuit was filed by the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. The Plaintiffs argued that the New Mexico public schools are inadequately funded.

The Court ruling centered on the guaranteed right under the New Mexico Constitution to a sufficient education for all children. The lawsuit alleged a severe lack of state funding, resources and services to help students, particularly children from low-income families, students of color, including Native Americans, English-language learners and students with disabilities.


In the 2019-2020 school year, the Albuquerque Public School System (APS) formed the Yazzie-Martinez Council to deal with implementation of the public education mandates of the Yazzie-Martinez consolidated lawsuit. The council includes parents, some students and instructors. Half of the council must be made up of people who represent the communities of students identified in the Yazzie-Martinez lawsuit.

The panel told the APD board that during the coming semester, the council said it hopes to integrate its members into standing district committees and departments, including curriculum and instruction, special education, and the Indian Parent Committee. The goal of the panel is pave the way for systemic change in the district by providing research and advice on key issues.

On June 8, the Yazzie-Martinez Council updated the APS board on the input it has had during an instruction and accountability meeting. It was reported that the council has been involved with several APS projects, including its strategic framework, federal funding applications, assessing needs for Native American students, and coming into compliance with New Mexico’s Black Education and Crown acts from last year.

New Mexico’s Crown Act prevents school districts from discriminating against students for hairstyles or headdresses based on race or culture. Earlier in the week, the school board discussed possible changes to APS policy for discipline and dress code.

Other district initiatives were discussed. APS is anticipating it will receive over $75.5 million in at-risk funding during the coming fiscal year.

Chief of Schools Yvonne Garcia said the council’s goals include bolstering its numbers in the coming months and told the APS Board that its struggling with membership. She said that that the council will give “ongoing feedback, and not just when things get large.”

Progress was reported in a few of the areas. However, it was reported that New Mexico still has a way to go before the needs of “at risk” students are fully met.


On June 8, the APS School Board held discussions on the New Mexico Public Education Department’s draft action plan on the Yazzie-Martinez lawsuit. A few board members expressed concern about the draft’s career-planning component’. APS Board members said more needed to be done to encourage a diverse array of students into college-bound tracks and vocational paths.

APS Board President Yolanda Montoya-Cordova said this:

“Where I feel the plan falls really flat is really around the career education and career-planning piece. They just tell schools to do it – ‘just do it.’ … I don’t feel that there’s really a strong vision or cohesion around that whole concept.”

APS Board Member Josefina Domínguez chimed in and said this:

“I also think we need to police ourselves very carefully about who gets encouraged to do a non-college path, because history can very easily … repeat itself.”

Superintendent Scott Elder has said that the new language in APS policies was part of “(creating) an environment where … all students feel comfortable and welcome.”
Spokeswoman Monica Armenta said APS has gathered feedback on dress code and discipline issues for around a year. The changes will go before the board for final approval the week of June 13.


On May 14, the New Mexico Public Education Department released a detailed plan to address the landmark public education court case of Yazzie v. State/Martinez and mandated reforms to improve the New Mexico’s failing public education system and offer better and equal opportunities for all students. The Public Education Department has asked for written feedback from the public on the plan. The window for opportunity for public input closes on Friday, June 17 at 5 p.m.

The release plan by the Grisham administration is and includes improvements for every aspect of the education system. The link to review the plan is here:

According to the draft of the plan, it should be considered as a companion to the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) 2022 Comprehensive Strategic Plan which offers remedies to the Yazzie/Martinez decision embedded throughout. According to the plan, the work that lies ahead for NMPED and schools will require systemic change to address the needs of the students and families impacted by decades of neglect and underfunding, including students with disabilities, Native American students, English learners, and economically disadvantaged students. These students account for over 70% of the population in New Mexico’s public schools.

The action plan states that for New Mexico students and their families to realize their full potential, it is incumbent upon both NMPED and its partners, especially the school districts, to do their part in ensuring educational equity, excellence, and relevance for all students. By implementing the recommendations in this plan, all of New Mexico’s public-school students will benefit.

According to the plan of action, NMPED is planning a future in which students are engaged in a culturally and linguistically responsive educational system that meets their academic, social, and emotional needs.

To that end, this action plan is focused on the following long-term goals:

1. Assuring external factors like race, language, economic status, and family situations do not equate with lower rates of success in educational achievement and career prospects.

2. Increasing academic proficiency in math, science, and languages to ensure that all students graduate well prepared for the ever-changing world of college, career, and civic engagement.

3. Eliminating achievement gaps among New Mexico students, particularly English learners, economically disadvantaged students, Hispanics, Native Americans, African Americans, and students with disabilities.

4. Respecting, honoring, and preserving students’ home languages and cultures by implementing culturally and linguistically responsive instruction and learning for all students.


The action plan contains some very big picture goals for public education in New Mexico.

Graduation rates in the last few years have been in the low to mid-70s. The education department wants the statewide graduation rate to get to 90% by 2027. Education leaders also want to close graduation gaps between ethnicities and disadvantaged students.

Another target is improving reading and math proficiency rates. PED leaders want those up by 50% in the next four years.

The plan also focuses on teachers, class sizes, and building on recent successes, including increases in funding. Just this year, the state legislature passed pay raises for teachers and more money for Pre-K programs.

Since the lawsuit, the state has boosted help for economically disadvantaged students, those with disabilities and English learners. It’s also upped funding for more reading programs, extended learning time and more and better internet access.

Outside of funding, PED leadership points out the launch of equity councils and the work to create a response team just for the lawsuit.

The link to news source material is here:


The general public and public education advocacy groups have until June 17 to review and comment on the Public Education Department (PED) action plan released. The education plan is likely to drive immediate reforms by the state Public Education Department. The plan is also intended to generate discussion and budget priorities during the 2023 Legislature that will begin in mid-January.

In addition to the Public Education plan put forth, Native American advocacy groups and tribal leaders submitted their own action plan in 2019 calling it the “Tribal Remedy Framework.” The 2019 plan submitted by the tribes cites language of the Yazzie v. State and Martinez lawsuit and then makes recommendations and suggests funding to carry out the recommendations.

The Public Education Action plan will be used in part by the State District Court Judge assigned the Yazzie v. State and Martinez case to determine whether the state court continues to keep watch over spending and initiatives to improve public education. The 2018 District Court ruling found that the state investments in education, as well as academic outcomes of students, proved that “the vast majority of New Mexico’s at-risk children finish each school year without the basic literacy and math skills needed to pursue post-secondary education or a career.”


The PED Action Plan makes no funding recommendations. However, it highlights the increases in public education enacted by the 2022 legislature, including teacher salary raises and overall education funding increases. New Mexico funds its schools through the state budget and gross receipts tax revenues and oil and gas production revenues and does not relying on property tax revenues. According to Legislative Finance Committee analysts, public education funding accounts for around 45% of the $8.5 billion general fund budget. Unlike most other states.

The Lujan-Grisham Administration in the action plan point out an overhaul of social studies standards that expands focus on Native American history and identity. Those changes have been welcomed by education advocates.

Lujan Grisham spokeswoman Maddy Hayden said the draft is intended to provide a long-term guide and that more specific details will be added after the public comment period. Hayden had this to say:

[“The education reforms were developed] collaboratively across many agencies and there is shared understanding and accountability on the part of agencies to get this critical work done. ”
The link to quoted news source material is here:


During the 2022 New Mexico legislative session, annual spending for public education increased dramatically. Annual spending on K-12 grade public education was increased by $425 million to $3.87 billion, a 12% boost.

Starting July 1, the base pay for teachers will rise to $50,000, $60,000 and $70,000 depending on the level of a teacher. According to a fiscal impact report, New Mexico’s average teacher salary was just under $55,000 a year. That’s lower than Colorado, Texas and Utah, but higher than Arizona and Oklahoma. Legislators also approved a measure to allow Indigenous language teachers to be paid at the same rate as their peers, even if they don’t have an undergraduate degree. For Native American language teachers paid as teaching assistants in many districts, their salaries could triple

During the 2022 New Mexico legislative session, 3 bills sponsored by Rep. Derrick Lente, D-Sandia Pueblo passed that were are in response to the historic 2018 Yazzie/Martinez court ruling that said New Mexico has denied several groups of students, including Native Americans, their constitutional right to an education. House bills 87, 88 and 90 allocated more than $70 million to tribal entities to help offer culturally relevant lesson plans and access to virtual and after-school programs for those students.

House Bill 87 appropriated $20 million from the state’s general fund to the Indian Education Act to provide educational funding for tribes starting July 1, 2024. The money will be used to create culturally relevant learning programs, including Native language programs, for students in the K-12 system. The Legislative Education Study Committee report said each of the state’s 23 tribal entities would receive $547,826 per year.

House Bill 88 appropriated $21.5 million to help tribal education departments develop learning plans and programs for students, extend learning opportunities and support tribal school libraries. Each tribe and pueblo will get $250,000 a year, with the exception of the Navajo Nation, which would get $500,000, according to the bill’s fiscal report.

House Bill 90 was aimed at higher education. It appropriated $29.6 million to four state colleges and three tribal colleges for 53 initiatives, such as building a Native American teacher pipeline and expanding high school-to-college programs to encourage those students to attend college. The bill’s fiscal impact report says it is assumed the bill would go into effect 90 days after the last day of the Legislature.

The link to quoted news source material is here:


On June 1, the Albuquerque Public School Board approved a nearly $2 Billion dollar budget for the upcoming fiscal year the commenced-on July 1, 2020. It was a split vote of 4 to 3. Board members Yolanda Montoya-Cordova, Peggy Muller-Aragón, Barbara Petersen and Josefina Domínguez voted yes on the proposed budget, while Danielle Gonzales, Crystal Tapia-Romero and Courtney Jackson voted no. Several board members expressed concerned over how much the $1.936 billion budget had grown from last year’s $1.868 billion. They also questioned where cuts were made.

The biggest portion of the budget goes to the operational fund which accounts for nearly 45% of the total budget at over $869.1 million. APS is projected to spend $10.3 million more than it will collect this year. That amount is less than last year, when the district’s deficit was around $45 million. The district’s savings from vacancies will be approximately $7.9 million. $2.4 million will also be used from APS’ $52.7 million cash reserve to balance the budget.

During the June 1 meeting to approve the budget, information on the proposed budget included staff allocations, “at-risk” funding and programs and budget cuts. The cuts presented included 70 support staff positions, 36 elective courses and 27 administrative positions being cut across all grades. Only 16 instructional positions were cut.

The approved budget includes spending of over $27.6 million on increases for teacher salaries and over $39.5 million on 7% raises for public education staff.

APS employee raises will be paid in two phases with 3% payments for this year’s fourth quarter then followed up with an additional 4% raise next fiscal year. Teacher raises will be increased if they don’t reach the average $10,000 minimum salary increases for teachers, or the new minimum $15 per hour wage.
On May 31, APS and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation announced a tentative agreement on raises for many instructional support providers. The agreement guarantees some 850 licensed employees would be given the same minimum salary increases that were legislated for teachers earlier this year.

Over $3.5 million is set aside in the proposed budget for other at-risk service providers. During last week’s meeting, Executive Director of Budget Rosalinda Montoya said those included nurses, counselors, social workers and other instructional support providers.


State funding will sharply increase in the coming fiscal year that starts on July 1. The state funding increase is the direct result of raises approved by the 2022 legislative session for teachers and other public education employees. APS received $719.3 million in 2022 and is expecting $787.4 million in state funds next year. Despite the over $68 million rise in state funds, APS expects increased costs will exceed money from the state by over $12.2 million.

During its last meeting, the board also approved emergency money for fuel allocated by the Public Education Department. In May, APS was allocated $467,898 for increased fuel costs in 2022. Transportation is expected to run the district over $21.4 million. APS estimated fuel cost increases at $373,000.

Link to quoted news source material is here:


On Friday, May 13, legislative economist told the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee that state revenue collections for the current budget year are up by more than $440 million than was projected in December 2021. The large cash infusion to the state no doubt will allow for more spending in areas to deal with the public education mandates of the Yazzie v. Martinez landmark decision.

New Mexico Sun News Article On Mayor Keller’s “Targeted Enforcement Action Monitoring”; TEAM Is As Messed Up As Any Mayor Can Get With Police

On June 29, the online news agency the New Mexico Sun published the following news article written by staff reported Andy Nghiem:

HEADLINE: Former Albuquerque city councilor criticizes Keller’s initiative to ‘shake down’ downtown business owners

“Local attorney and former Albuquerque City Councilor Pete Dinelli minced no words when describing Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller’s recent downtown crime initiative, calling it a “shakedown.”

According to the City of Albuquerque website, Keller announced a new public-private crime initiative, which asks business owners to contribute to a fund that would be used to pay for additional officers stationed downtown.

“The TEAM program requiring private funding for police protection is as messed up as any mayor can get with a police department. There is absolutely no excuse for Mayor Keller and Chief (Harold) Medina to ‘shake down’ downtown business owners to pay for police protection,” Dinelli told the New Mexico Sun. “APD (Albuquerque police department) has the largest city budget with a $255.4 million budget and with a 14.7% increase. The city is projected to have over $100 million more in gross receipts this coming fiscal year, yet Keller and Medina want downtown business owners to pay and donate for more police protection they have a right to demand and expect. Keller and Medina proclaimed they are working in a resource-constrained environment, when what really exists is gross incompetence by Mayor Tim Keller and Chief Harold Medina to manage APD resources.”

Representatives from some of Albuquerque’s downtown businesses are skeptical of Keller’s pitch to have them pay more for more police manpower. KOAT 7 News reported that Stuart Dunlap, CEO of The Man’s Hat Shop, said he thinks it is “out of line.”

“I think it’s very silly,” Dunlap told KOAT 7 News. “We already pay taxes for police protection. We pay property taxes. We pay business tax. We buy a business license. Having additional money come in from business owners downtown is completely out of line, I think.”

In a recent op-ed published in the New Mexico Sun, Dinelli contends that APD has the resources it needs but lacks the personnel. “APD is awash with unused funding. Yet Keller and Medina seek private funding, telling downtown business owners they need to take ‘control of their own future’ by paying for police protection.”

Earlier this year, the AP News reported on Albuquerque’s rise in crime, as the city recorded 117 killings in 2021, “shattering” its previous record by 46% and amassing enough violent crimes per 10,000 people to place Albuquerque in the top-ten most violent cities with a population over 100,000.”



The New Mexico Sun is part of the Sun Publishing group which is a nonprofit. The New Mexico Sun “mission statement” states in part:

“The New Mexico Sun was established to bring fresh light to issues that matter most to New Mexicans. It will cover the people, events, and wonders of our state. … The New Mexico Sun is non-partisan and fact-based, and we don’t maintain paywalls that lead to uneven information sharing. We don’t publish quotes from anonymous sources that lead to skepticism about our intentions, and we don’t bother our readers with annoying ads about products and services from non-locals that they will never buy. … Many New Mexico media outlets minimize or justify problematic issues based on the individuals involved or the power of their positions. Often reporters fail to ask hard questions, avoid making public officials uncomfortable, and then include only one side of a story. This approach doesn’t provide everything readers need to fully understand what is happening, why it matters, and how it will impact them or their families.”

The home page link to the New Mexico Sun is here:

Takeaways from June 29 Cassidy Hutchinson Testimony About January 6, 2021 Capitol Hill Riot; Two Potential Criminal Charges; Polls Favor Charging Trump With Crimes; Commentary and Analysis

On June 29, the national news agency CNN published an article on its web page written by CNN staff reporters entitled “7 takeaways from Tuesday’s shocking January 6 hearing”. The article was written by CNN staff reporters Marshall Cohen and Zachary Cohen with contributions made by Alex Rogers. Below is the edited written news article follow by the link. The link contains video clips from the hearing itself.

“The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol Hill insurrection reconvened Tuesday for a hastily scheduled hearing, featuring blockbuster testimony from Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.

Hutchinson has cooperated extensively with the investigation, having sat for four closed-door depositions. She revealed how then-President Donald Trump and his inner circle were warned about the potential for violence on January 6, and how Trump wanted to join the throngs of his supporters at the US Capitol.

The testimony bolstered the narrative that the committee has been driving toward over the last few weeks: That Trump incited and supported the insurrection as part of a desperate power grab to steal a second term, and that many of his top advisers thought his schemes were illegal.

Here are takeaways from Hutchinson’s key testimony.


Hutchinson really moved the ball forward in terms of establishing that Trump was personally aware of the potential for violence yet forged ahead on January 6 with his attempts to rile up his supporters to interfere with the joint session of Congress to certify President Joe Biden’s victory.

She said Trump was told that morning that weapons were being confiscated from some of his supporters who came for his rally. Later, when Trump and his team were at the Ellipse — the large oval lawn on the south side of the White House — and before his speech, Trump barked out orders to his staffers to “take the mags away” — referring to the metal detectors — because the people in the crowd, “they’re not here to hurt me.”

Trump also said, “I don’t fuckking care that they have weapons,” according to Hutchinson. This is particularly shocking, because Trump then encouraged the same crowd to march to the Capitol while lawmakers were affirming Biden’s win. Hundreds of Trump’s diehard supporters soon stormed the Capitol, many carrying knives, bear spray, metal poles, tasers and a few guns.

When Hutchinson told her boss, Meadows, about early reports of weapons getting confiscated, Meadows didn’t even look up from his phone, according to Hutchinson. Two days earlier, he told her that “things might get real, real, bad on January 6.”

“The potential for violence was learned or known before the onset of the violence, early enough for President Trump to have taken steps to prevent it,” said Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the panel’s GOP vice chair. She added that Trump could have urged his supporters not to march to the Capitol, or condemned the violence more quickly, but didn’t, because he “had something else in mind.


The select committee effectively proved as much on Tuesday by featuring a mix of damning witness testimony and White House records that show Trump intended to join his supporters at the Capitol and was pushing to do so just minutes before the violence began to escalate.

It was previously known that Trump wanted to go to the Capitol, but Hutchinson’s testimony established for the first time that people around Trump had advance knowledge of this plan.

The reality of Trump’s intentions became clear to national security officials in real time as they learned the Secret Service was scrambling to find a way for the former President to travel to the Capitol while he was on stage urging his followers to march, according to National Security Council chat logs from that day that were revealed for the first time during Tuesday’s hearing.

The NSC chat logs provide a minute-by-minute accounting of how the situation evolved from the perspective of top White House national security officials on January 6 and, along with witness testimony delivered on Tuesday, contradict an account by Meadows in his book where he says Trump never intended to march to the Capitol.

“MOGUL’s going to the Capital … they are clearing a route now,” a message sent to the chat log at 12:29 p.m. ET on January 6 reads — referring to the former President’s secret service code name.

“MilAide has confirmed that he wants to walk,” a 12:32 p.m. message reads. “They are begging him to reconsider.”

“So this is happening,” a message sent at 12:47 p.m. states.

Hutchinson also testified that some in Trump’s orbit had made clear days before January 6 that Trump wanted to travel to the US Capitol.

She told the committee Tuesday that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told her on January 2 — four days before the US Capitol was attacked by Trump supporters — that “we’re going to the Capitol” on January 6, and that Trump himself was also planning to be there.


Hutchinson testified Tuesday that she heard a secondhand account of how Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol on January 6 that he lunged to the front of his presidential limo and tried to turn the wheel.

She said that Tony Ornato, then-White House deputy chief of staff, said that Robert Engel, who was the Secret Service agent in charge on January 6, repeatedly told Trump on their way back to the White House after Trump’s Ellipse speech that it wasn’t safe to go to the Capitol.

According to Hutchinson, Ornato recounted Trump screaming, “I’m the fucking President. Take me up to the Capitol now.” Trump then “reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson remembered learning. She added that, according to Ornato, Trump used his other hand “lunge” at Engel.

Engel and Ornato have both testified to the committee behind closed doors, but their statements were not used in the hearing Tuesday.

After the testimony, a Secret Service official familiar with the matter told CNN that Ornato denies telling Hutchinson that the former President grabbed the wheel or an agent on his detail.

The Secret Service, through the Department of Homeland Security Office of Legislative Affairs, notified the committee Tuesday afternoon that it will make the agents involved available to testify under oath, the official said. The agents are also prepared to say under oath that the incident itself did not occur.

The lead agent, Engel, previously testified before the committee and described the interactions with Trump on January 6, including the former President’s desire to travel to the Capitol, but he was not asked about an altercation or being assaulted, the official said.

Asked about the Secret Service disputing the testimony, a committee spokesman said, “The committee trusts the creditability of a witness who is willing to testify under oath and in public but is also willing to hear any and all information that others may have that would aid in their investigation.”

Hutchinson also recounted a separate Trump tantrum after then-Attorney General William Barr told the Associated Press in December 2020 there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

“I remember hearing noise coming from down the hallway,” Hutchinson began. She saw the President’s valet in the dining room, changing the tablecloth, ketchup dripping down the wall, and a porcelain plate shattered on the floor.

“The President was extremely angry at the attorney general’s … interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall,” Hutchinson said. “I grabbed a towel and started wiping the ketchup off the wall.”

The anecdote came up as the committee questioned Hutchinson about Trump’s state of mind after losing the election.


Trump defended the rioters chanting for the hanging of then-Vice President Mike Pence on January 6, according to Hutchinson.

Hutchinson relayed a conversation she observed between White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Meadows after they discussed with Trump the chants to inflict violence on Pence.

“I remember Pat saying something to the effect of ‘Mark, we need to do something more. They’re literally calling for the vice president to be f**king hung,'” Hutchinson recalled.

Meadows replied, “You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong,” according to Hutchinson.

Cipollone responded, “This is fuckking crazy. We need to be doing something more.”

Hutchinson testified that Cipollone had previously rushed into Meadows’ office after rioters breached the Capitol and told Meadows what had happened, and said they needed to go meet with Trump.

“Mark, something needs to be done, or people are going to die and the blood’s gonna be on your fucking hands,” Cipollone told Meadows, according to Hutchinson. “This is getting out of control.”


Trump delivered a speech on January 7, 2021, finally acknowledging that Biden would be inaugurated in part because there was a “large concern” by the White House that Pence and the Cabinet could invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from power, according to Cassidy’s testimony.

Hutchinson also testified that Trump did not want to include references in the speech to prosecuting the pro-Trump rioters, but instead wanted to float pardons for them. After the White House Counsel’s office pushed back, Trump did not mention pardons in that speech.

If the 25th Amendment had been invoked, Trump could’ve put his presidency up for a vote before Congress, where two-thirds would have been necessary to kick him out.

“There was a large concern of the 25th Amendment potentially being invoked, and there were concerns about what would happen in the Senate if it was,” Hutchinson testified.

The thinking at the time was that Trump needed the speech “as cover” to protect himself from the threat of his Cabinet trying to oust him from power, Hutchinson said. She said that was a “secondary reason” for Trump to give the speech; the first was that Trump needed to condemn the violent attack to try and prevent it from becoming his legacy.

While Trump gave the speech effectively conceding the election, he wanted to remove calls for “prosecuting the rioters or calling them violent” from early drafts of his January 7 speech, according to Hutchinson, but wanted to float pardons to his supporters.

“He didn’t want that in there,” Hutchinson said. “He wanted to put in that he wanted to potentially pardon them.”

“He didn’t think that they did anything wrong,” said Hutchinson, referring to the pro-Trump rioters. “The people who did something wrong that day-or-the person who did something wrong that day was Mike Pence, by not standing with him.”


In emotional and powerful testimony, Hutchinson said Trump’s behavior on January 6 was “unpatriotic” and “un-American.”

The committee asked Hutchinson to describe her real-time reaction from January 6, when Trump attacked Pence in a tweet at 2:24 p.m. ET, which was after his supporters invaded the Capitol, forcing Pence, lawmakers, and staffers to run for their lives.

“As a staffer … I remember feeling frustrated, disappointed, and really, it felt personal. It was really sad,” Hutchinson said. “As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic. It was un-American. We’re watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie. And it was something that was really hard in that moment to digest. … I still struggle to work through the emotions of that.”

Her condemnation of Trump’s behavior may shed some light on her motivations for coming forward with so much damaging information about January 6. Committee members have heaped praise on Hutchinson and other Republicans who have testified, calling them patriots.


The committee has secured testimony from some major witnesses’ members of Trump’s inner circle, even members of his family. But Cheney suggested during the hearing that there might be a Trump-imposed blockade of sorts, and that the panel has evidence of witness tampering.

She said one witness — whom the committee did not identify — testified that: “What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the team, I’m doing the right thing, I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump world.”

Another unidentified witness said they were told by someone in Trump’s orbit that Trump was “thinking about you” and that “he knows you’re loyal” and hopes that “you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”

Cheney said the committee takes this “seriously” and will be considering “next steps,” potentially hinting at a criminal referral, for possible witness tampering or obstruction. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the committee chairman, issued a public plea for more cooperation, saying to potential witnesses that if “you discovered some courage you had hidden away somewhere, our doors remain open.”
Trump has denied all wrongdoing regarding January 6 and the related investigations.

The new evidence from the committee is consistent with a years-long pattern of behavior by Trump, who has repeatedly used private and public channels to pressure people who could testify against him. This happened with his former lawyer Michael Cohen and his 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort during the Russia investigation, and with a US ambassador during the 2019 impeachment hearings.

Trump has also retaliated against people who provided damaging public testimony against him, including a top White House national security official and his ambassador to the European Union, who both described his pressure campaign against Ukraine during House impeachment hearings in 2019.


Two major polls have been released on the question if former President Donald Trump should be criminally charged for his role in the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol to stop the Congress from certifying Joe Biden as President.


On June 26, it was reported that an ABC News/Ipsos survey, published, found that 58% of respondents believe that the former President Donald Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the Jan. 6 attack, up from 52% in an ABC News/Washington Post poll from earlier this year.

The poll surveyed 545 adults after the third day of hearings, which detailed how Trump turned his supporters against the then-Vice President, Mike Pence. Among those surveyed, 28% were Democrats, 26% were Republicans and 40% were independents.

The results of the survey are mostly divided along party lines, with more than 90% of Democrats saying that Trump bears a “great deal” or “good amount” of responsibility for the attack on the capital, compared with only 21% of republicans.

More than 60% of independents polled say that the former president should be charged.–6–a-new-poll-finds


On June 39, The Chicago Tribune reported that a survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 48% of U.S. adults say the Republican former president should be charged with a crime for his role, while 31% say he should not be charged. An additional 20% say they don’t know enough to have an opinion. Fifty-eight percent say Trump bears a great deal or quite a bit of responsibility for what happened that day.

“The poll was conducted after five public hearings by the House committee investigating Jan. 6, which has sought to paint Trump’s potential criminal culpability in the events that led to deadly insurrection. But it was taken before Tuesday’s surprise hearing featuring former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. Her explosive testimony provided the most compelling evidence yet that the former president could be linked to a federal crime, experts say.”


From a legal and criminal prosecution standpoint, the testimony Cassidy Hutchinson was a game changer. Based on her testimony, there are two major federal charges that Trump can and should be charge with.

Those crimes are:

1. Obstructing an official proceeding of the United States Congress and the certification of the election.

2. Incitement of a riot by encouraging the crowed to march on the capitol.


The biggest hurdle federal prosecutors will have to deal with in criminally charging Trump is proving his “state of mind”. Trump’s defense will no doubt argue that what he said to the crowd on January 6 was protected “free speech”. Courts have routinely set this bar very high in the context of political speech because the First Amendment broadly protects speech of that type.

It is well settled Supreme Case law that only incitement to “imminent unlawful action” is sufficient. It must be shown that the speaker had to know that the crowd would immediately break the law. A political statement by the President of the United States will be viewed as protected by the First Amendment, most likely by the current United States Supreme Court, but even they cannot ignore concrete evidence, action and admissions revealing state of mind.

In order to convict Trump of criminal charges, federal prosecutors will be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump had the “corrupt” state of mind. That burden of proof would apply to the charges of inciting a riot and obstructing an official proceeding of the United States Congress.


The most damaging testimony of Hutchinson that eviscerates any defense of free speech is Trump said he didn’t “fucking care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me”. Trump was repeatedly warned that there could be violence, he knew the crowd was armed and Trump went so far as to order the metal detectors removed from the area so that his supporters could listen to his speech without being disarmed first by the secret service.

Hutchinson’s testimony was a firsthand account of the events as they unfolded and reveals for the first time Trump’s state of mind that would be admissible in court against Trump on the charge of inciting a riot. Hutchinson testified repeatedly that she was present during conversations Trump had with Trumps Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and others and that she took notes.

Hutchinson testified that Trump clearly announced his disregard for potential violence by his supporters, and she heard firsthand from people who described the president’s fury at being told he could not lead his followers on their march to the Capitol where the presidential vote was to be certified.

Hutchinson’s testimony was clear that Trump wanted to go to the capitol that day after his speech where he inflamed the crowd to march on the capitol and became angry and said “I’m the fucking president, take me up to the Capitol now” to which Bobby Engel, the head of Trump’s security detail, responded, “Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing” and telling Trump he could not go because it was too dangerous. Simply put, this testimony was the “smoking gun” needed to prove that the person speaking meant to incite imminent violence.


Hutchinson provided testimony of evidence showing Trump obstructing an official proceeding. That charge also requires “corrupt” intent. In the most dramatic testimony of the day, she testified that an angry Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of his official vehicle when Secret Service agents refused to take him to the Capitol. She also testified that when an agent physically blocked Trump from seizing the wheel, Trump himself placed his hand on the agent’s “clavicles,” just under his neck.

Trumps actions inside the President’s vehicle is evidence of Trump’s criminal intent. Before Hutchinson’s testimony, Trump was viewed as someone who gave a speech, did not act and returned to the White House while the Capitol was under attack, declining to call off his supporters or to call in police or troops.

The truth revealed by Hutchinson was that Trump was demanding to go to the Capitol as the siege was occurring and would have been there if he hadn’t been kept from doing so by the Secret Service. When Trump demanded to know why an unscheduled trip was not accommodated and the secret service said it was too dangerous, he became enraged. Trump wanted to be there leading the charge into the capitol.

The link to quoted news source is here:

The online news agency Reuters reported that there are 3 other potential felony charges tha could be brought against Trump


In the March 2 filing, the committee said it was likely that Trump and others conspired to defraud the United States, which criminalizes any effort by two or more people to interfere with governmental functions “by deceit, craft or trickery.”

In addition to Trump’s efforts to pressure Pence, the committee cited his attempts to convince state election officials, the public and members of Congress that the 2020 election was stolen, even though several of his allies told him there was no evidence of fraud.

According to video testimony shown on Tuesday by the committee from Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s White House press secretary at the time, Trump was so enraged by then-Attorney General Bill Barr’s interview with the Associated Press saying there was no evidence of election fraud that Trump threw his lunch at the wall, breaking a porcelain dish and leaving ketchup dripping down the wall.


Prosecutors already have charged more than a dozen members of the far-right Proud Boys and Oath Keepers groups who were at the Jan. 6 riot with seditious conspiracy, a rarely used statute that makes it illegal to overthrow the U.S. government by force.

To prove seditious conspiracy, prosecutors would need to show Trump conspired with others to use force, said Barbara McQuade, a law professor at the University of Michigan and a former federal prosecutor.

“While her testimony is consistent with that theory, it does not alone establish it, McQuade said.


At the end of Hutchinson’s testimony, Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican, presented possible evidence of witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

Cheney showed messages to unidentified witnesses advising them that an unidentified person would be watching their testimony closely and expecting loyalty.

If the committee has evidence that the people who sent the messages had a tacit understanding” with Trump, prosecutors could use it to show there was a conspiracy to tamper with witnesses, said Daniel Medwed, a law professor at Northeastern University in Boston.

“They were setting the table for witness tampering and likely have other witnesses coming in to nail that down,” he said.

The fact that Cheney did not identify the sender of the messages suggests it may be “more of a shot across the bow to get the person to knock it off,” McQuade said.


Any and all doubts that Donald Trump is a fascist who was hell bent on overthrowing the United State Government should be laid to rest by the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson. Hutchinson’s testimony established that Trump and his associates conspired for weeks, planned and orchestrated an armed crowd to disrupt and stop the peaceful transfer of power and to stop the government function of certifying the election.

What is clear is that Trump knew the crowd was armed, he ordered that metal detectors not be used to keep his supporters out. Trump was warned repeatedly of the potential violence. Once the crowd was assembled, Trump inflamed them to storm the capital to stop the congress from certifying the election. The angry mob Trump inflamed did his bidding and stormed and vandalized the United States Capitol. What is even more clear is that Trump wanted to go to the capitol himself to lead the charge of invading the capitol building.

There is little doubt that the testimony presented by loyal members of Trump’s own administration revealed a man so desperate to hold onto power that he attempted to interfere with the peaceful transition of power and to overthrow the United States democracy.

It could and will happen again if Der Führer Trump runs for President in 2024, unless of course he is indicted and convicted for the crimes he committed with his failed attempt to overthrow our democracy.

Links to a related blog articles are here:

Key Takeaways Of June 21 And June 23 United Sates House Hearings On January 6 Capital Riot

Take Aways From 3rd Day of January 6 Capitol Riot Congressional Hearinings; Der Führer Trump Lashes Out And Claims January 6 Riot “A Simple Protest That Got Out Of Hand”; Trump: The Once Future Fascist Who Wants To Be President Again

Calls To Impeach And Remove US Supreme Court Justices For Lying To Congress During Confirmation Hearing; Wink, Wink, No One Lied And The Trump Supreme Court Is Legitimate And To Be Respected!

Calls are being made for the impeachment of Republican Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh for lying under oath during their Senate confirmation hearings. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh joined the conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overturn the two landmark abortion cases of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The decision returns decisions on the legality of abortion back to the states.

On June 24, Democrats Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accused the conservative justices of lying without mentioning them by name. In a joint statement, Pelosi and Schumer said in part:

“Several of these conservative Justices, who are in no way accountable to the American people, have lied to the U.S. Senate, ripped up the Constitution and defiled both precedent and the Supreme Court’s reputation, all at the expense of tens of millions of women who could soon be stripped of their bodily autonomy and the constitutional rights they’ve relied on for half a century.”

Also,Florida Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist, who is running against incumbent Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in November, said that Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh should be impeached if they lied under oath during their Senate confirmation hearings.

Crist said in a Facebook post;

“Today’s ruling makes clear that Republican Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh lied to Congress when they testified, under oath, that in their view Roe v. Wade was settled precedent. Perjury is a crime. If perjury is found to have occurred, the correct remedy is impeachment.”

Democrat West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin who voted to confirm Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the court despite opposition from his party, said he was “alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided” and that he had “trusted [them] when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent.”

Republican Main Senator Susan Collins, a pro-abortion rights Republican who voted to confirm all of former President Donald Trump’s nominees to the court, said it had “abandoned a 50-year precedent at a time that the country is desperate for stability,”.—heres-how-key-lawmakers-reacted-to-courts-decision/?sh=48b831665630

On June 24, Republican Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski issued the following statement after the Supreme Court released its decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, to overturn Roe v. Wade, placing the responsibility on states to set their own abortion laws:

“Today the Supreme Court went against 50 years of precedent in choosing to overturn Roe v. Wade. The rights under Roe that many women have relied on for decades—most notably a woman’s right to choose—are now gone or threatened in many states. … Alaskan courts have interpreted abortion rights as protected under our State Constitution, but with this decision, women in other parts of the country will face a different reality that limits their health decisions, even in extreme circumstances. In the wake of this ruling, it is up to Congress to respond. I introduced legislation in February to protect women’s reproductive rights as provided in Roe, and I am continuing to work with a broader group to restore women’s freedom to control their own health decisions wherever they live. Legislation to accomplish that must be a priority.”


Here’s what the 6 justices who reversed ROE v. WADE said in each of their Senate confirmation hearings.


During his 1991 confirmation hearing Republican Justice Clarence Thomas was asked whether the Constitution protects a woman’s right to choose. Thomas declined to comment on his views on Roe saying:

“I do not think that at this time that I could maintain my impartiality as a member of the judiciary and comment on that specific case.”

Thomas also refused to say whether he thought Roe was correctly decided, saying he had no “personal opinion.” Once he was seated on the court, however, Thomas made his views clear. By 2020, he wrote a dissenting opinion saying that the court’s abortion precedents are grievously wrong and should be overruled. … The Constitution does not constrain the States’ ability to regulate or even prohibit abortion. ”.


Republican Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. voted with the majority 6-to-3 to uphold the restrictive Mississippi antiabortion law, but he criticized his conservative colleagues for taking the additional step of overturning Roe v, Wade.

During his 2005 confirmation hearings, Roberts said Roe was “settled as a precedent of the court.” He told senators then that he believed strongly in the “vindication of the rule of law.” Roberts said that overruling precedent like Roe is “a jolt to the legal system”.

Roberts told the Senate in part:

“I do think that it is a jolt to the legal system when you overrule a precedent. Precedent plays an important role in promoting stability and evenhandedness. It is not enough that you may think the prior decision was wrongly decided. That really doesn’t answer the question. It just poses the question. And you do look at these other factors, like settled expectations, like the legitimacy of the court, like whether a particular precedent is workable or not, whether a precedent has been eroded by subsequent developments. All of those factors go into the determination of whether to revisit a precedent under the principles of stare decisis.”


Republican Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who wrote the majority opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade said during his 2006 confirmation hearing that Roe was an “important precedent of the Supreme Court.”

Alito’s views on abortion weren’t secret during his confirmation hearing. In 1985, when applying for a new job in the Justice Department, he wrote in a cover letter that, as a “life-long registered Republican” he was “particularly proud” to have worked on cases arguing “that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.” The letter became a focus of questioning during his confirmation hearings.

In his 2006 confirmation hearing, Justice Alito was pressed on whether overturning Roe would undermine the legitimacy of the court. Alito declined to call the ruling “settled law.” Alito did say that Roe was “an important precedent” that has “been challenged on a number of occasions” and told the Seante:

“It was decided in 1973, so it has been on the books for a long time … The more often a decision is reaffirmed, the more people tend to rely on it. … I think that’s entitled to considerable respect, and of course, the more times that happens, the more respect the decision is entitled to, and that’s my view of that. So it is a very important precedent … ”

Democrat Illinois Senator Richard J. Durbin asked Alito:

“John Roberts said that Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. Do you believe it is the settled law of the land?”

Alito responded:

“If settled means that it can’t be re-examined, then that’s one thing. … If settled means that it is a precedent that is entitled to respect as stare decisis, and all of the factors that I’ve mentioned come into play, including the reaffirmation and all of that, then it is a precedent that is protected, entitled to respect under the doctrine of stare decisis in that way.”

Alito joked with the Senate panel about the level of precedent the abortion rights cases had earned, when asked whether Casey was a “super precedent or a super stare decisis.” Alito told the Senate committee:

“I personally would not get into categorizing precedents as super precedents or super-duper precedents, or any —” he began, before Republican Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania interrupted to confirm he said “super duper,” a question that was met with laughs. Alito said:

“Any sort of categorization like that … sort of reminds me of the size of laundry detergent in the supermarket.”

Least anyone has forgotten, Justice Alito is the same supreme court justice who blurted out during one of President Barrack Obama’s State of the Union Address “Not true!” when the President made statements critical of a court ruling on campaign donations.


During his 2017 confirmation hearings, Republican Neil M. Gorsuch would only characterize Roe as “a precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court” reaffirmed by several subsequent cases including in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.”

Gorsuch said that precedent fills out U.S. law and he said this:

“A good judge will consider it as precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court worthy as treatment of precedent like any other Once a case is settled, that adds to the determinacy of the law. What was once a hotly contested issue is no longer a hotly contested issue. We move forward.”

During his 2017 confirmation hearing, Gorsuch refused to signal how he would rule in future cases on abortion and said this:

“For a judge to start tipping his or her hand about whether they like or dislike this or that precedent would send the wrong signal … It would send the signal to the American people that the judge’s personal views have something to do with the judge’s job.”

When California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein pressed him on whether Roe had achieved a status as a “super-precedent,” Gorsuch just said that the ruling “has been reaffirmed many times, I can say that.”


In his 2018 confirmation hearing, Republican Brett Kavanaugh was questioned repeatedly about Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Kavanaugh echoed Gorsuch by saying that Roe was an “important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times.” Kavanaugh also indicated during his Senate confirmation hearing that he would be open to overturning “settled law,including Roe, citing a long list of past Supreme Court cases that had been overturned.

Kavanaugh told the Senate:

“[Roe v. Wade] is important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times. … It is not as if it is just a run of the mill case that was decided and never been reconsidered, but Casey specifically reconsidered it, applied the stare decisis factors, and decided to reaffirm it. That makes Casey a precedent on precedent.”

California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein pressed Kavanaugh and asked him what he meant by “settled law” and whether he believed Roe to be correct law, Kavanaugh said he believed it was “settled as a precedent of the Supreme Court” and should be “entitled the respect under principles of stare decisis,” the notion that precedents should not be overturned without strong reason.

When questioned by conservative senators he said there’s a model for overruling settled precedents, that begins with evaluating whether the prior decision was “grievously wrong” a term that would surface in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Kavanaugh explained it this way:

“You follow the decision that has been set forth by the Supreme Court, subject to the rules of stare decisis. And you see that time and again. That is part of stability. That is part of predictability. That is part of impartiality. That is part of public confidence in the rule of law that it is not just going to move pillar to post, that the law is stable and foundational. … Again, it is not — Brown v. Board shows it is not absolute. And that is a good thing, but it is critically important to the impartiality and stability and predictability of the law.”


In her 2020 confirmation hearing, Republican Justice Amy Coney Barrett was more reserved on the Roe v. Wade precedent during her confirmation hearings. During her confirmation process, reports surfaced that Barrett had once openly advocated for overturning Roe v. Wade in a 2006 ad published in the South Bend Tribune by St. Joseph County Right to Life group, which she and her husband signed. Barrett was, at the time, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.

During her confirmation hearing, Barrett said she was committed to obeying “all the rules of stare decisis.” Barrett had this to say:

“If a question comes up before me about whether Casey or any other case should be overruled, that I will follow the law of stare decisis, applying it as the court is articulating it, applying all the factors, reliance, workability, being undermined by later facts in law, just all the standard factors. … I promise to do that for any issue that comes up, abortion or anything else.”

Barrett was also pressed on why she would characterize Brown v. Board of Education, but not Roe v. Wade, as super precedent.

She said at the time:

“Roe is not a super precedent because calls for its overruling have never ceased, but that does not mean that Roe should be overruled. It just means that it doesn’t fall on the small handful of cases like Marbury v. Madison and Brown v. The Board that no one questions anymore.”

The links to quoted news source material are here:


Article One of the United States Constitution establishes the legislative branch of the federal government, the United States Congress. Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 provides that he House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment”. Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 assigns the Senate sole responsibility to try impeachments. Article I, Section 3, Clause 7 provides that the sanctions for an impeached and convicted individual are limited to removal from office and potentially a bar from holding future office.

With respect to United States Supreme Court Justices, the House of Repres¬ent¬at¬ives has the exclusive power to impeach Supreme Court Justices and the Senate the exclusive power to hold a trial to determine whether removal is appropriate. The House can impeach a Supreme Court Justice with a simple majority vote. However, a Supreme Court Justice may only be removed from office following a trial and a vote to convict by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

The United States Constitution provides little guidance as to what offenses constitute grounds for the impeachment of federal judges. As with other government officials, judges may be removed following impeachment and conviction for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”; otherwise, under Article III, Section 1, judges “shall hold their Offices during good Behavior” essentially making Supreme Court Justice appointments lifetime appointments.


Historically, Supreme Courts are referred to by the last names of the Chief Justice presiding at a given time who is appointed by the President, such as the the Marshal Court, the Warren Court, the Burger Court, the Rehnquist Court and now the Roberts court. With the reversal of Roe v. Wade, what the country now has is the Der Führer Trump Court.

It is indeed a sad commentary when the impeachment of Supreme Court Justices is being openly discussed because of the belief that 3 Justices of the Supreme Court appointed by Der Führer Trump lied and mislead elected officials to get their lifetime appointments. The sad commentary is that Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh could be impeached in particular for lying to the congress by the House of Representatives with a simple majority only to be found not guilty by the United States Senate with a two-thirds majority vote needed in the Senate to convict, which will never happen as long as there are 50 Republican Senators.

The outcome of their impeachments would be identical to the outcome of the 2 impeachments of Der Führer Trump where 50 Republican Senators refuse to convict Der Führer even though they were eyewitnesses and victims to the January 6 riot that Der Führer Trump orchestrated to overthrow the government.

If Democrat Senator Joe Manchin and Senator Susan Collins really feel they have been lied to by Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, they should come out and say that both Justices need to be impeached and removed. Simply put, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh should be impeached for lying to congress. The House of Representatives with a simple majority could vote to impeach but it is likely both would be found not guilty by the United States Senate where a two-thirds majority is needed to convict.

The United States Supreme Court since its very inception has been viewed with a unique sense of mystic or awe and respect because it consistently interpreted the United States Constitution as a “living, evolving document meaning one that evolved and allowed and protected civil rights and remedies to conform with changing times, changing norms, changing viewpoints. Without such constitutional evolution, slavery would still exist in the United States, woman would not be allowed to vote, discrimination based on a person’s gender, race, color or religion would be allowed, interracial marriage would be illegal, and the doctrine of “sperate but equal” and Jim Crow laws would still be the law of the land.

Part of the greatness of the Supreme Court has always been that the public has had a tremendous respect for the Supreme Court because it has been viewed by and large as “fair and impartial” and “a political” not subservient to any political party nor religious philosophy or beliefs. With the reversal of Roe v. Wade and the denial and reversal of a well settled constitutional right for women, the United State Supreme Court has lost its legitimacy and credibility with the American people.

The Supreme Court is now the Der Führer Trump Court. It has become is a political, religious court not to be trusted by the American people.

“The Law Is NOT The Law” Tim Keller Says It Is When It Comes To The Homeless And Closure Of Coronado Park; The One Tying The Hands Of APD Is Mayor Tim Keller; Environmental Study On Coronado Park Contamination Sought By News Outlets

On Thursday June 23, KOB-4 ran a story where Mayor Tim Keller claimed that when it comes to the homeless, his hands are tied. Keller claimed the homelessness crisis that plagues Albuquerque is not unique to New Mexico and said “federal protections” have made some criminal enforcement difficult.

With footage of the illegal homeless encampment at Coronado Park as an introduction backdrop to the KOB 4 report, Keller said this:

“But those people are there [at Corando Park] by choice, a 100% by choice and they are protected federally. Otherwise, this problem would have been gone in all American cities. … The law is the law and you know you want to see someone a lot more powerful than a Mayor to talk to a federal judge.”

Mayor Keller said people at Coronado Park have turned down services offered by the city.

Channel 4 reported that during the June 22 meeting of the Albuquerque City Council’s meeting a city attorney explained the federal pressures the city is operating under. The city attorney cited federal cases arguing that they place limitations on the city. The main case cited by the city attorney when it comes to enforcing the law and the homeless was McClendon v. City of Albuquerque. The city attorney said this

“[When it comes to] “quote, unquote” homeless crimes, those offenders are not allowed to be arrested as a primary intervention”.

The case of McClendon v. City of Albuquerque had absolutely nothing to do with the rights of the homeless. It is a class-action lawsuit filed on January 10, 1995 in the United States Federal District Court by detainees at the Bernalillo County Detention Center (BCDC) in Albuquerque. The 1995 class-action lawsuit alleged that gross overcrowding and racial discrimination at the jail violated the constitutional rights of inmates.

The federal class action lawsuit sought injunctive and declaratory relief enjoining the operation of the jail exceeding its capacity and operating it with deplorable living conditions. At the time the lawsuit was filed, the downtown 8 story Bernalillo County detention center, torn down late last year, had a maximum capacity of 800, but the jail was repeatedly overcrowded with as many as 1,400 inmates who were often doubled up and living conditions were abhorrent. The overcrowding became so bad that the federal court would hold weekly and monthly status conferences and order the release of nonviolent defendants to reduce the overcrowding at the jail.

It was explained to the city council that in 2017 the city entered in to a stipulated settlement agreement in the McClendon federal case where the city agreed that people accused of nonviolent misdemeanors will not be arrested where there is no circumstances requiring an arrest. The primary reason for the settlement was to prevent jail overcrowding.

The city attorney explained that when it comes to “homeless crimes”, ostensibly meaning illegal camping, criminal trespassing and loitering, those offenders are not to be arrested as the primary intervention. Under the settlement terms, police still have the option to issue citations and still have the discretionary authority to make felony and misdemeanor arrests as they deemed appropriate and where the circumstances warrant.

The city attorney said this:

We are trying to advise the best we can [of] the least expensive means to be the most productive and respect people’s civil rights.

KOB 4 interviewed UNM law professor Joshua Katzenberg and asked how much power does the city and APD really have when it comes to enforcing the law against the homeless. Professor Kastenberg had this to say:

“The City’s hands and the Police hands are tied to a certain extent, that’s true. … Coronado Park you could put in any major city and we would be having this discussion right now. … I have talked to police officers and there is a fear of lawsuits, there is a sort of sense of hopelessness. That’s the sad state of affairs. … There should be a multi-tiered approach to this. One is increasing bed space the other is increasing mental health services. Another one is making it possible so that when you can get enough people to be where they’re supposed to be, those that don’t go can be prosecuted, you know, cited and prosecuted under the law by the police.“

KOB 4 contacted APD and asked them to quantify how they are enforcing the law when it comes to the low-level, nonviolent offenses committed by the homeless. An APD spokesman told KOB that since the beginning of 2022 there have been issued 2,308 citations to the homeless and issued 614 trespassing notices with 3 trespassing stops revealing outstanding warrants.

The link to the full 3 minute, 34 second unedited KOB story is here:


The City of Albuquerque has adopted the Housing First policy as mandated by the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act (HEARTH Act) in order to secure federal funding. The HEARTH Act provides that in order to receive federal dollars, cities must adopt a “housing first” policy and, crucially, that homeless organizations had to work together in “continuums of care” under a single lead agency, coordinating their programs and sharing data.

On May 16, the Albuquerque City Council voted to approve the 2022-2023 fiscal year city budget which will begin on July 1,2022 . The 2022-2023 approved city budget provides major funding of upwards of $60 Million to deal with the homeless. The largest budgeted items for the homeless or near homeless in the approve the 2022-2023 fiscal year city budget are as follows:

• $24 million in Emergency Rental Assistance from the federal government, which the City will make available in partnership with the State.

• $4 million in recurring funding and $2 million in one-time funding for supportive housing programs in the City’s Housing First model. In addition, as recommended by the Mayor’s Domestic Violence Task Force, the budget includes $100 thousand for emergency housing vouchers for victims of intimate partner violence.

• $4.7 million net to operate the City’s first Gateway Center at the Gibson Medical Facility, including revenue and expenses for facility and program operations.

• Full funding for the Westside Emergency Housing Center which is operated close to full occupancy for much of the year.

On October 23, 2019, it was announced that Albuquerque’s West Side Emergency Housing Center was expanded to provide a coordinated approach to homelessness. The homeless use that facility to get medical care, treatment for addiction and behavioral health, job placement and case management services. The west side shelter now has the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Presbyterian Hospital and Alburquerque Health Care for the Homeless providing medical services two days a week. It also has case management services being provided by Centro Savila, funded by Bernalillo County. Job placement opportunities are being provided by workforce connections.


On Saturday, June 25, Mayor Tim Keller gave his “State of The City” address. Not at all surprising, Keller bought up the city’s homeless crisis. Keller noted that homelessness is “on display in so many areas in our city.”

“Keller said the city needs an all-of-the-above approach, citing rental-assistance vouchers, affordable housing development, hotel-to-apartment conversions, and the long-awaited Gibson Health Hub. Located in the old Lovelace hospital on Gibson, the city has begun work to create an on-site medical respite facility and medical sobering center, plus a Gateway Center homeless shelter, though the shelter component – which voters in 2019 approved funding for – remains tied up in neighborhood appeals.’

In what was described as one of the most animated moments of his 40-minute address, Keller countered criticism that the city does not do enough to clean up encampments, saying crews “legally” disband dozens each week, but will not pursue what he deemed simplistic and inappropriate solutions.

Keller said this:

“We will stand up against shallow ideas that will neither work, nor are remotely humane … We will not round up people; we will not force people on to a bus; we will not arrest people who have not committed an arrestable crime; we will not pull your officers off your 911 calls for somebody passed out under a tree.”

The link to quoted news source material is here:


It was on May 10, 2018 in a memo addressed by then APD Chief Gorden Eden to all sworn APD personnel that Department Special Order 17-53 was issued. Special Order 17-53 and 2-80 were the result of the settlement of the 20-plus year McClendon Lawsuit. As noted, the lawsuit filed against the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County was filed by an inmate arrested for a non-violent misdemeanor. The lawsuit primarily focused on civil rights violations and the conditions within the City/County lockup.

Special Order 17-53 states:

“[A]ll officers shall issue citations when appropriate in lieu of arrests on non-violent misdemeanor offenses. … officers shall issue citations when appropriate in lieu of arrest on non-violent misdemeanor offenses when there are no circumstances necessitating an arrest.”

The misdemeanor offenses affected by Special Order 17-53 include criminal trespass, loitering, criminal damage to property under $1,000, shoplifting under $500, shoplifting under $250, prostitution, receiving or possessing stolen property under $100. Note that the homeless are not mentioned. When I citation is issued for trespass or loitering, the officer can instruct the nonviolent offender to move on under the threat of arrest. The policy remains in place to this day.

The memo makes it clear that officers may make an arrest if it is necessary, and if they do, an incident report must be prepared, and the incident report must include the reasons why an arrest was made. The special-order states that officers have the opportunity to take offenders wanted for non-violent misdemeanor offenses to Metropolitan Court to resolve warrants or fines instead of hauling them off to jail. However, the arrested individual must have the full amount of the fine or bond in cash. Those arrested also cannot go through a bonding agency.


At the time the Special Order was issued, City and police officials pointed out that it made no changes to police policy. APD Chief Jerry Galvin in 2001 issued a similar order, and since then the department policy has been to advise officers to issue citations for non violent crimes where appropriate, and officers have discretion in deciding when to issue a citation or to arrest someone. According to then City Attorney Jessica Hernandez:

“If there is any part of a situation that makes an officer think an arrest is warranted, they’ll make the arrest.”

At the time the special order was issued, then Assistant Chief Robert Huntsman issued the following statement:

“This order in no way restricts officers’ discretion to make arrests when necessary to protect the public. Citations have always been an available option for certain non-violent misdemeanor offenses. This special order … remind officers to issue citations ‘when appropriate’ and ‘when there are no circumstances necessitating an arrest.’ We are still aggressively pursuing repeat offenders, and this order does not change an officer’s ability to arrest.”

APD further made it clear the order would not affect DWI arrests.


Special Order 17-53 was made into SOP 2-80 that deals with felony and misdemeanor arrests. SOP 2-80 is very succinct and provides as follows:


“2-80-1 Police Department policy is to arrest a felony violator of laws which its officers are empowered to enforce. Officers shall issue citations when appropriate in lieu of arrest on non-violent misdemeanor offenses (not to include DWIs) when there are no circumstances necessitating an arrest. In all cases, officers shall follow correct legal procedures required in arresting, booking, and filing charges against such violators.”

2-80-2 Rules Procedures

A. Felony Arrest Authority.

1. Felony arrests may be made through the authority of a warrant, or on probable cause when there are exigent circumstances preventing the officer from obtaining a warrant. …

2. Probable cause arrests may be made for all felonies when there are exigent circumstances preventing the officer from obtaining a warrant.

3. Exigent circumstances include emergency situations requiring swift action:

a. to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property; or
b. to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect; or
c. to forestall potential destruction of evidence; or
d. an exigency may also exist where it is not reasonably practical to secure a warrant under the circumstances, such as where the additional time to obtain a warrant makes it impractical.

4. The New Mexico Supreme Court has held that “exigency will be presumed” where an officer observes the commission of a felony, without reference to imminent danger, escape, or destruction of evidence, and that an on-the-scene arrest supported by probable cause will usually supply the requisite exigency.

5. … .

6. … [A]n officer when deciding whether to effect an arrest or to merely submit the case for indictment consideration may make a probable cause felony arrest when probable cause clearly exists, under the following circumstances:

a. When the offender has no community ties to the Albuquerque metropolitan area, e.g. transient, out of town resident, etc.; or
b. When one or more prior felonies or multiple offenses have been committed by the offender; or
c. When the arrest is approved by a supervisor based on extenuating circumstances; and
d. One or more exigent circumstance as described under A. 3 (1) through (4) above must be present.

B. Petty Misdemeanor/Misdemeanor Arrest Authority

1. Officers shall issue citations when appropriate in lieu of arrest on non-violent misdemeanor offenses (not to include DWIs) when there are no circumstances necessitating an arrest. Whether or not the person has a permanent address may not be the sole factor in determining to arrest the person rather than issuing a citation. If the officer issues a non-traffic citation, the officer must complete an incident report. If an arrest is necessary, the officer will include the reason in the narrative of the corresponding incident report.

2. When exigent circumstances justify the arrest.

C. Use of the Metropolitan Court Bonding Window

1. Officers will use the bonding window at Metropolitan Court … [for an offender] to post a bond, pay a fine, or to resolve or quash a warrant in lieu of taking an arrested person to the Prisoner Transport Center (PTC) or the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) when feasible.

… .

The link to review to review online all of APD’s Standard Operating Procedures is here:

The link to quoted source material is here:


Both New Mexico state law and city ordinance define a public nuisance.

Under state law, a public nuisance is define as follows:

30-8-1 Public Nuisance (Defined)

A. public nuisance consists of knowingly creating, performing or maintaining anything affecting any number of citizens without lawful authority which is either:

A. injurious to public health, safety and welfare; or

B. Interferes with the exercise and enjoyment of public rights, including the right
to use public property.

Whoever commits a public nuisance for which the act or penalty is not otherwise prescribed by law is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.

Under City ordinance, a public nuisance is defined in terms of use of property as follows:


“(A) It shall be unlawful for any owner, manager, tenant, lessee, occupant, or other person having any legal or equitable interest or right of possession in real property …or other personal property to intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently commit, conduct , promote, facilitate, permit, fail to prevent, or otherwise let happen, any public nuisance in, on or using any property in which they hold any legal or equitable interest or right of possession.

(B) … .”


Confidential sources with APD have said that an environmental health study or ground testing has been performed either by the APD crime lab or the city’s Environmental Health Department on the Coronado Park grounds. According to the APD source, the study revealed a highly toxic level of contaminates, including drugs, human waste and fluids and dangerous levels of molds to the extent that the park grounds are dangerous and where exposure can affect a person’s health.

According to the APD source, a final report was provided to the Mayor’s Office and APD Chief Harold Medina and once reviewed, orders were issued that the study was not to be released to the general public for fear that the City would have to permanently close the park. Upon information and belief, a request for Inspection of Public records has been made by media outlets for the Coronado Park environmental study, but no response by the city has been reported.


Research shows that housing is the most effective approach to end homelessness with a much larger return on investment than offering temporary housing such as government sanctioned encampments. When Mayor Keller in his State of the City address advocated rental-assistance vouchers, affordable housing development, hotel-to-apartment conversions, and the long-awaited Gibson Health Hub and Homeless Shelter on Gibson he was advocating a “housing first” policy which is sound policy that will solve the city’s homeless crisis in the long run.


What has been a common public relations ploy of the APD police union for the past 3 years is that APD officers feel their hands are tied and they are afraid to do their job for fear of being disciplined or that the DOJ reforms are the cause of the city’s high crime rates and officers being shot. It is not that their hands are tied. The blunt truth is that APD police officers reluctance to do their jobs and enforce the law is more out of fear as opposed to the reality.

If an APD officer adheres to their training in constitutional policing practices and APD standard operating procedures, the likelihood of any lawsuit being filed against them or discipline being imposed is not at all likely or for that matter remote at best. The fact that police are required to file offense reports with nonviolent misdemeanor arrests justifying the arrest more likely than not contributes to an officer’s reluctance to act given the high volume of calls for service police are dispatched to on any given day. The time it takes to write and offense report detailing the facts and circumstances of a nonviolent crime can be time consuming with time better spent dealing with more urgent emergency 911 calls.


It was false for Keller to say “the law is the law” and “those people are there [at Corando Patk] by choice, a 100% by choice and they are protected federally.” Keller admitted in his State of the City address that he and city policies are what is standing in the way of APD enforcing the law when it comes to the homeless.

Keller in his state of the city address objected to criticism that the city does not do enough to clean up encampments by saying crews “legally” disband dozens each week, but he will not allow the city to pursue what he deemed “simplistic” and inappropriate solutions.

Keller essentially went off the rails for dramatic effect in his State of the City Adress when he became animated and said:

“We will stand up against shallow ideas that will neither work, nor are remotely humane … We will not round up people; we will not force people on to a bus; we will not arrest people who have not committed an arrestable crime; we will not pull your officers off your 911 calls for somebody passed out under a tree.” This coming from Mayor Keller who embraced “safe outdoor spaces” and “living lots” which are as simplistic and inappropriate a solution as one can get. Both are city sponsored homeless encampments that are temporary tent encampments.

No one is advocating rounding up people or forcing people onto a city bus and taking them where they do not want to go. No one is advocating arresting people who have not committed a crime.

Keller on the other hand has no problem advocating “grouping”of the homeless, as he put it, Coronado Park, which is just as simplistic and cruel as to what he is condemning. What Keller has allowed at Coronado Park is not working and it’s not “remotely humane”.

The are no state or federal laws nor court rulings that say if you are homeless, you are given immunity to break the law and you cannot be arrested for violating the law. Keller knows damn well that being homeless is not a crime but his attempt to blame the federal courts and saying “the law is the law” is pathetic and a lie. Being homeless is not a crime, but that does not mean the homeless are allowed to violate the law.

It is a dereliction of his duty for Mayor Keller to allow APD to ignore the city’s anti-camping ordinances, vagrancy laws, civil nuisance abatement laws and criminal laws, and for him to pretend those laws do not exist to accommodate the homeless.


It was an astonishing admission of failure when Mayor Tim Keller said this about Coronado Park:

“[The federal courts] will not allow us to just walk in and arrest someone because they’re homeless and the current situation beats the alternative. … It is not lost on me that we created Coronado Park because Wells Park said, ‘We don’t want these folks in our neighborhood,’ and we agree with them. And that’s why they were all grouped to one area. … So you also got to remember the alternative. You can’t have it both ways — you want to close Coronado Park, you are going to open all of Wells Park neighborhood to something none of us want to see.”

Link to quoted news source:

Grouping the homeless, as Keller says, in a city park should not be an alternative given all the resources the city is spending to help the homeless. This so called “grouping” coming from a mayor who for his entire first term made dealing with the homeless crisis a corner stone of his administration. A Mayor whose administration spent $40 million in 2022 and will spend $60 million in 2023 to provide assistance to the homeless. A Mayor who saw to it that the city purchased the 529,000 square-foot Lovelace Hospital facility on Gibson for $15 million to have it converted into a Gateway Shelter and who made the westside shelter a 24-7 facility.

It was disingenuous for Keller to say [The federal courts] will not allow us to just walk in and arrest someone because they’re homeless and the current situation beats the alternative. … .“ The current situation does not beat the alternative of having a zero tolerance of allowing illegal encampments and allowing the homeless to squat all over the city and not enforce the law.

There have been 4 homicides at Coronado Park since 2020. How many more killings, rapes, aggravated assaults and how many more crimes have to be committed at Coronado Park before the Mayor Keller and the City realize the mistake made to allow the park to become overrun with the homeless and allow them to camp illegally?

The city has allowed a once beautiful and pristine park dedicated to public use to become a festering blight on the community. Simply put, it has become an embarrassment with the city violating its own ordinances and nuisance laws by allowing overnight camping and criminal conduct in the park thus creating a public nuisance both under state law and city ordinance. Coronado Park has now become a symbol of Keller’s failure as Mayor to deal with the homeless crisis.

Mayor Tim Keller could use the inherent authority of his office and issue executive orders to clean up and remove unlawful encampments and permanently close Coronado Park. After a full term in office, Keller is reluctant to do just that out of fear of being accused of being insensitive to the plight of the homeless. What Keller has now shown is that he has been a failure dealing with the homeless crisis and he is being insensitive to the needs of the general public and to public safety.


It is clear from the plain meaning of the state statute and the city ordinance defining a public nuisance that Coronado Park is being operated as a unlawful encampment that is “injurious to public health, safety and welfare … and interferes with the exercise and enjoyment of public rights, including the right to use public property. The city is violating its own public nuisance law when it comes to Corondo Park by “intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently commit, conduct, promote, facilitate, permit, fail to prevent, or otherwise let happen, any public nuisance in, on or using any property in which they hold any legal or equitable interest or right of possession.”

Now that Mayor Keller has ignored and condoned a festering problem that is known as Coronado Park for 4 years affecting a public facility, the City Council needs to fill the leadership gap. The city council needs to enact forthwith a resolution calling for the immediate and permanent closure of Coronado Park, order its cleanup and “decommission” the open space as a public park and order the fencing off of the park. The city council resolution needs to order the Parks and Recreation Department to conduct a study as to how the open space can be better utilized within the city’s park system.

As for Mayor Tim Keller, before he says “the law is the law”, he may want to try and become a licensed attorney or at least hire city attorneys that have a practical understanding of both civil and criminal law who can advise him what the law really is and not what he thinks it is.

Dinelli Guest Column In “New Mexico Sun”: Godfather-like shake down by Keller for police protection

On June 27, the New Mexico Sun published the following guest column provided by

HEADLINE: Godfather-like shake down by Keller for police protection

By Pete Dinelli
Jun 27, 2022

“On June 21, Mayor Tim Keller and APD Chief Harold Medina held a news conference to announce a new law enforcement initiative they dubbed “Targeted Enforcement Action Monitoring” (TEAM). The new program is tailored specifically for the Central Downtown Business area. Extra police officers will be assigned to focus on traffic enforcement, DWIs, modified car exhaust citations, illegal firearms and to patrol parking lots where after parties and violence break out after the numerous bars close. The city is planning to open a new substation on Central between Third and Fourth in the Rosenwald Building.

What is astonishing is that Mayor Keller and Chief Medina are asking Downtown businesses to contribute to a fund to pay for the TEAM police protection. They have actually said to downtown businesses that if they are concerned about crime and public safety issues in downtown and they want police protection, they need to pay extra for it.

Due to the officer shortage in Albuquerque, officers will participate on a volunteer basis through the chief’s overtime program. Chief’s overtime consists of private businesses, organizations or event organizers paying for off duty officers to provide security. According to Medina, the TEAM program will be of no cost to the taxpayer. Instead, it will be funded by the city, downtown business owners, and private donations.

Chief Medina when asked why private businesses should pay for police presence said this:

“This is a way for people to fund Downtown, specifically, and not us devoting all our resources and money to just one specific part of town. … Because the moment I devote our resources and funding to Downtown, I guarantee there’s going to be another part of town asking ‘where’s my cut?’”

The TEAM program requiring private funding is as about as messed up as any Mayor can get with a police department. The biggest problem with Chief’s Overtime is that it is essentially a program where city personnel resources, sworn police, are being used to make a profit for the city. Any city program that uses public funded resources to make a profit is dangerous and is a ripe for corruption and severe public criticism and scrutiny.

Over the last 4 years of city budgets under Keller, enough money was budgeted to pay for 1,100 officers each year. During the April 28 budget hearing APD Chief Harold Medina acknowledged for the very first time that APD employing 1,100 sworn police is likely unrealistic. Medina told the city council that APD estimates that it will finish the fiscal year 2023 that ends on June 30, 2023 with just 982 officers.

Budgeted sworn officer positions carry a price tag of upwards $105,000 apiece when you include base salaries and add benefits such as the city’s portion of retirement pay. That means that by next year’s end there are only 982 officers as Medina told the city council, and APD is budgeted for 1,100 sworn positions, 118 salaries will go unspent. That translates into $12,390,000 in unspent salaries calculated as follows: 118 vacant positions at $105,000 a piece equals $12,390,000 salaries will accrue as unspent.

Keller and Medina proclaimed they are working in a resource-constrained environment. The only constraint that really exists is in the inability of Mayor Tim Keller and Chief Harold Medina to manage APD resources. The fact that APD has a shortage of police officers is Keller’s and Medina’s fault, not the taxpayer’s fault, and is a result of their failure, some would say, incompetence, to staff APD at the levels that have been fully funded.

APD is awash with unused funding that is dedicated to funding sworn police positions never filled. Police protection is the most important city essential service that the city provides its citizens and which they pay for with taxes. Yet Keller and Medina seek private funding, telling Downtown business owners they need to take “control of their own future” by paying for police protection.

Mayor Keller and Chief Medina telling downtown business that if they want police protection, they must pay extra for it is akin to a godfather like “shake down.” In making the request for donations to fund police, both essentially concede that they are failures in managing the personnel resources of the largest budgeted department in the city despite a 14.7% increase in APD’s annual budget which is $255.4 million.

Instead of kissing Keller’s ring and paying more for police protection, Downtown business owners should demand Keller and Medina deliver on the police protection they are already paying for.”

Pete Dinelli is a native of Albuquerque. He is a licensed New Mexico attorney with 27 years of municipal and state government service including as an assistant attorney general, assistant district attorney prosecuting violent crimes, city of Albuquerque deputy city attorney and chief public safety officer, Albuquerque city councilor, and several years in private practice. Dinelli publishes a blog covering politics in New Mexico:

The link to the New Mexico Sun guest column is here:


On June 28, the Albuquerque Journal published the following editorial repeating many of the argument made in the Dinelli blog article above:

Editorial: ABQ’s Downtown police OT scheme like TV mob plot

It sounds a lot like a deal they can’t refuse: Pay police a little extra and they’ll protect your Downtown business. If it sounds somewhat shady, that’s because it’s the stuff of gangster movies and TV shows.

Mayor Tim Keller and Albuquerque Police Department leaders announced the scheme last week that involves businesses paying “chief’s overtime” to have officers stationed Downtown at night. Called “Targeted Enforcement Action Monitoring” it is set to begin July 4.

“Now I want to mention not all of the businesses are supporting this,” the mayor said during a Downtown news conference last week. “We want them to; we need them to.”

When questioned why private businesses should pay for extra police presence instead of the city, Police Chief Harold Medina said the city has to make choices: “This is a way for people to fund Downtown, specifically, and not us devoting all our resources and money to just one specific part of town.”
Stuart Dunlap, president and CEO of The Man’s Hat Shop, told KOAT-TV he already pays taxes for police protection.

“Businesses pay property taxes,” Dunlap said. “We pay business tax when you buy a business license. I don’t think that that’s the correct answer. Additional monies com(ing) from business owners Downtown is completely out of line.”

“For us to have to pay the government to protect us, I just don’t think it’s right,” added Jessica Zubia of Katrina’s Ice Cream Shop.

Never mind the city is experiencing a revenue boom. The city’s 2022-23 budget of $1.4 billion is about $200 million more than the current budget.

Or the city’s $857 million operating budget, which is supposed to cover most basic city services, will increase by about 20%. The bulging budget includes funding for a new police union contract that recently boosted police pay by 8% and will bump it another 5% in July.

Or APD’s $255.4 million budget funds 1,100 sworn police officers when it has just 888. Why not use that unspent money if the brass think more overtime is a good idea?

Never mind the city budget doubles spending on Albuquerque Community Safety and funds 74 new positions for the fledgling unit to take calls related to public inebriation and homelessness.

Or the COVID-19 pandemic has caused about 40% of small businesses to close, taking a heavy toll on Albuquerque’s Downtown. And patrons of Downtown businesses will be the ultimate losers when the cost of a hot dog hits $10 and a beer goes for $15.

At its core, it is just wrong to shake down businesses for police protection.

Keller says Downtown businesses must take control of their own future. That attitude ignores government’s, in this case the city’s, basic responsibility to maintain law and order and will have a chilling effect on new businesses locating Downtown.

Keller also says the Downtown officers — and they are not extra officers, as they are coming from the same limited pool of trained, sworn law enforcement professionals — will be able to focus on things like illegal firearms and fights in parking lots when the bars close. But that type of “chief’s overtime” — for which the city in December 2020 received between $57 and $72 an hour for each shift — is a lot more high stress than simply managing traffic after a large church service or athletics event. It adds the risk of burning our officers out even faster.

Focusing “chief’s overtime” on officers working extra hours Downtown also means they aren’t available for OT in other neighborhoods in an endless game of Whac-A-Mole. What happens if, say, the Winrock/ABQ Uptown area offers to pay more? Only those who pay get police presence?

The bottom line is APD needs to recruit and hire more officers so it can perform the basic functions it’s more than adequately funded to do.

Downtown has to be saved, but Keller and Medina need to come up with something better than pulling a scheme from a mob script and sticking businesses with the bill.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.



The New Mexico Sun is part of the Sun Publishing group which is a nonprofit. The New Mexico Sun “mission statement” states in part:

“The New Mexico Sun was established to bring fresh light to issues that matter most to New Mexicans. It will cover the people, events, and wonders of our state. … The New Mexico Sun is non-partisan and fact-based, and we don’t maintain paywalls that lead to uneven information sharing. We don’t publish quotes from anonymous sources that lead to skepticism about our intentions, and we don’t bother our readers with annoying ads about products and services from non-locals that they will never buy. … Many New Mexico media outlets minimize or justify problematic issues based on the individuals involved or the power of their positions. Often reporters fail to ask hard questions, avoid making public officials uncomfortable, and then include only one side of a story. This approach doesn’t provide everything readers need to fully understand what is happening, why it matters, and how it will impact them or their families.”

The home page link to the New Mexico Sun is here: