The white peonies flower was my mother’s favorite flower, but I will get to that later.

Rose Fresques Dinelli was born on August 30, 1921 and she passed away on September 6, 1997 at the age of 76 after a five-year battle with breast cancer. Rose Fresques Dinelli left a legacy of love, family, character, compassion for others, and true courage in the face of adversity, struggles and even death. This is a son’s tribute to her.

On August 30, 1921 Rose Fresques was born in Chacon, New Mexico, and raised with 4 sisters and 3 brothers. Spanish was their first language. The family was “dirt poor” with the father Max Fresques being a “carpenter” by trade and a field laborer when he needed to support his family. When the depression hit, Rose remembered that her family would say “What depression, we’re already poor!”

During World War II, Rose saw her older brothers Fred and Alex Fresques go off to war and where they both saw action. During the war, Rose took off to California and worked on an airplane assembly line to help build US war planes. She worked as a “riveter” on the planed assembly line and she said she would laugh when people called her “Rosie the Riveter”.

“Harvey Girl’s” were trained at the Alvarado with dormitory facilities provided to young woman in need of work. A very young Rose Fresques Dinelli lived in the dormitory and was trained to be a Harvey Girl. Many years later, she would meet Paul Dinelli at the Alvarado Hotel. Rose and Paul were married and had 4 children, Vernon, Gail, Pete and Pauline. Paul went to a barber school in Denver, Colorado and returned to Albuquerque and built and opened a barber shop on 3rd Street north of Lomas in Albuquerque.

Rose returned to work as a waitress after Paul became seriously ill from a World War II service-connected disability. Rose was forced to close the barbershop in order to return to work. Rose initially supported the family of 5 on the minimum wage. Paul and Rose were married for 27 years before Paul passed. She never remarried. Rose Dinelli was a waitress for some 30+ years before she passed away on September 6, 1997 at age 76. Rose Dinelli passed away in the very same Mossman-Gladden home she had purchased with her husband Paul around 1962.

My mother Rose Fresques Dinelli supported a family of 5 and was able to kept us together when my dad became 100% disabled from a WWII service-connected disability when I was around 12. Mother returned to work as a waitress working for minimum wage and tips to support the family. For a number of years, she had to work “split shits” from 11:00 am to 2 pm to work lunches and then working from 5:00 pm to 12:00 pm to work dinner hours.

My mother loved being a waitress for over 39+ years. Mother loved people and the restaurant industry! She was one of the most independent, hardworking, determined people I have ever known. Her family was everything to her. Sure, there was love, but just as important there was immeasurable respect for someone who sacrificed so much for her family. I have no doubt she lived the meaning of “woman’s liberation” many years before the term was ever coined. She was part of “America’s Greatest Generation” who lived through the Great Depression and World War II.

Mother worked at some of the best places in Albuquerque, including the Four Hills Country Club Restaurant, the Sundowner on Central West of San Pedro, Diamond Jim’s Restaurant in Winrock, the 4 Seasons Crystal Room located in the 4 Season Hotel. The last restaurant she worked at was Maria Teressa restaurant north of Old Town on Rio Grande. She helped open and then close Maria Teressa after working there for so many years. She often told me the restaurant business was one of the few places to work where you would always see people at their very best behavior and their very worst behavior in the manner of a few hours. She also said that a measure of a person is reflected on how they treat people who work with them and for them.

It was not until many years later when I was an adult and after she had passed that I came to really appreciate how many young woman’s lives she had touched and influenced over the years and who she worked with at the restaurants. After she passed, many would approach me and tell me what she meant to them and had done for them. One woman in particular has opened a very successful restaurant in Albuquerque with her husband and she has told me of the many fond memories she had of “Rose”. What I found is that there were many times young, struggling woman would turn to mother for guidance and help who were struggling to make a living, some single moms, needing help handling a crisis in their personal lives and struggles. She treated many as she would her own daughters and looked out for them.

I remember Winrock Shopping Center growing up as a kid. My family lived on San Pedro north of Menaul in a red brick Mossman Gladden home across from Quigley Park. My mother worked as a waitress at Diamond Jim’s Restaurant at Winrock until the day it was closed. A branch of First National Bank was in the North area outside the mall with a Safeway Grocery store and a Value House Jewelry Store.

Many years later, when I was an adult and running for Mayor in 1989, I ran into a teller who retired from the bank and who was working at a retail store. She asked me in an affectionate tone of voice if I was the son of the “ones” lady. I looked at the woman very puzzled. She knew I did not understand. She then told me she knew my mother simply as Rose. They had become friends when she was a bank teller at First National Bank. She said my mom would deposit her tips daily from her job as a waitress at Diamond Jim’s when she worked “split shifts”, the lunch and dinner shifts. All of her tips were always in one-dollar bills. Bank tellers who did not know my mother by name would call her the “ones” lady.

The white peonies flower is my mother’s favorite flower of all time. The peonies has the sweet smell of a rose when it blooms only once a year. My mother had a very large group of peonies “bulbs” in her back yard she catered to for years at the very house where we grew up. In late October, 1997 after she passed, I remember one very rainy, muddy and cold night going to her home and digging up the cluster of bulbs. I took the cluster of bulbs and ball of dirt transplanting the bulbs in the front of our home. I had serious doubt the plants would live. To our delight, my mother’s flowers survived the winter transplant, grew and on Mother’s Day, May 12, 1998, the white peonies were in full bloom as they have done each year around Mother’s Day!

My mother instilled in me the importance of getting an education, honesty, integrity, hard work, the true meaning of family and the meaning of character and courage in the face of adversity and doing what is right in life. I talk to my mother every day and thank her for what she did for our family and for me over the years.


JOSEPH P. ABBIN GUEST COLUMN: New York City’s Lessons for Albuquerque Crime Control

Joe Abbin is a 36 year veteran of the Albuquerque Police Department Reserve Unit. He is a strong proponent of community policing and served as a member of the Foothills Community Policing Council from 2015 to 2018 and served as Chairman of the Council in 2019. Mr. Abbin is the author of ABQ Blues: Crime and Policing in Albuquerque, NM. In his book he reviews the function of the various elements of the criminal justice system in general and offers his analyses of the ills associated with the local system and its parts. He concentrates on what can be done to improve policing and police-community relations on the way to reducing crime in Albuquerque.

EDITOR’S DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this article are those of Joseph P. Abbin and do not necessarily reflect those of the political blog www.petedinelli.com. Mr. Abbin was not compensated for his guest column.


Between 1990 and 2009, New York City reduced its homicide rate by an astonishing 82%, its auto theft rate by 94%, and all crime rates by a minimum of 63% from their peaks. NYC became “one of the safest big cities in the world” per “The City That Became Safe”. (Reference 1).

The NYC crime rate reduction was almost double the nationwide improvement during the same period. Nationwide improvement was driven by major crackdowns and reforms at the federal level (e.g. the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and later legislation). Reference 1 outlines the NYC crime reduction measures and reviews their effectiveness. The author concludes that none of the NYC declines were accounted for by significant changes in demographics or other social trends, and that the total incarceration numbers actually shrank.


The author, Franklin Zimring, is a law professor and Chair of the Criminal Justice Research Program at UC Berkeley. In this book, he takes a deep dive into the NYC statistics and attempts to rigorously determine which changes were or were not instrumental in NYC’s remarkable crime reduction. He found it difficult to rank the effectiveness of the measures NYC implemented, since many were initiated at about the same time. So what worked? The book concludes the “NYC Effect” resulted from substantial increases in police manpower, but more importantly from massive changes in police crime fighting policy, tactics, and management. Arrest and incarceration as crime fighting tools came under new scrutiny. The findings are believed relevant for reducing crime in any city, including Albuquerque. (Reference 1)


In the following paragraphs, I summarize some of the major findings of the book and add my own comments based on my 36 year police experience as an APD reserve police officer. I visited NYC often from 1966-1971 and infrequently later, so I have some firsthand knowledge of the city and their struggle. Direct quotes from the book are in italics.

“Through 2009, NYC homicides declined 82% from their peak and auto theft declined an astounding 94%! All crimes were reduced from their peak by a minimum of 63%” (page 4).

“None of the declines can be accounted for by significant changes in demographics and immigration (pages 56, 60, and 65), by economic trends (page 65) including unemployment trends (page 68 and 70), poverty alleviation efforts (page 69), other social trends such as the rise of single parent families (page 71) and changes in high school graduation rates (page 71). Likewise NYC achieved its double dose of crime reduction with a “much smaller reliance on incarceration (page 75).”

Zimring does not clearly distinguish between the different levels of arrest and incarceration. These are clarified in Reference 2. Incarceration for over a year usually takes place in prison, and is generally reserved for convicted felons. Incarceration for less than a year usually takes place in jail or detention centers, and is usually reserved for those convicted of misdemeanors (less serious crime), and those awaiting trial for both felonies and misdemeanors.

As NYC’s incarceration rate for misdemeanors went up, the incarceration rate for felonies went down at a faster rate, thus reducing the overall incarceration rates (Reference 2). This is a profound result. Using the opposite approach to incarceration, Albuquerque has utilized little or no incarceration for misdemeanors in recent years! Indeed, the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) issued special orders discouraging arrest and pursuit for most misdemeanors. The result: higher serious and minor crime.

Incredibly, in the middle of a major crime wave, the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) is more than half empty, the previous Westside Overflow Detention Facility has been re-purposed, and the older Bernalillo County Detention Center (BCDC) is scheduled for demolition. ABQ is far from jail overcrowding and “mass incarceration”. Meanwhile, the criminals are on the streets!

NYC’s findings in the 1990-2009 period are extraordinary and upend much of the current “wisdom” as to the causes and remedies for crime.

Unfortunately, in the last two years, NYC has backpedaled on their 1990 – 2009 approach to crime and has suffered predictably poor results. On January 1, 2020 NYC released 3800 prisoners from Riker’s Island (NYC jail) as part of Prison Reform and Bail Reform efforts. James O’Neil, the NYC Police Commissioner quit on the same day predicting disaster. The disaster materialized immediately and is gaining momentum. “New York City’s homicide rate has hit a five-year high as the amount of people shot has jumped 42 percent compared to last year on the heels of an implosion of the city’s judicial system…..”, and “we cannot keep people safe without keeping bad, dangerous, people off the streets” per current NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea (Reference 4). Just a year earlier, Commissioner O’Niel and Mayor DeBlasio visited ABQ touting NYC as the “safest big city in the world” due in large part to their policing and incarceration strategies.

NYC is apparently trying to re-learn what works or doesn’t. They/we forgot valuable lessons. Soft on crime has never worked in the past, so why are NYC and ABQ pursuing this approach again? The cost to society is far greater than the cost of incarceration of criminals. Read on!


“There was real and substantial change in the number of police, in the mission and tactics of street policing, and in the way that the nation’s largest police force was organized and governed (page 100).” Even though NYC and ABQ differ in important ways, we can study their changes to determine if they might be achievable in Albuquerque and have similar outcomes. (Reference 1)

In 1994, NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton, and Jack Maple, his deputy, “initiated the COMPSTAT process (short for COMPare STATistics) to collect and analyze crime data and other police performance measures, to create and implement best-practice strategies to address identifiable issues, and to hold police managers and employees accountable for their performance. The wide variety of NYPD strategic and tactical changes originating from this process are credited with much of NYC’s crime fighting success (page 117).

The APD has adopted their version of COMPSTAT, which has yet to demonstrate its effectiveness, but seems to be a step forward from previous crime analysis efforts. A major part of NYC’s success resulted from holding upper police management accountable for crime fighting success in their area commands. This seems to be lacking in the APD, especially at the lower levels of management. Field officers are not adequately held accountable or rewarded for their individual performance, or lack thereof.

Officers are no longer responsible for a beat (designated neighborhoods within an area command), but are considered area wide assets (which they always were to a large extent, but they had primary responsibility for a much smaller area). This diffuses responsibility and evaluation of results. Their reward system does not promote excellence. Mid-level management belongs to the same union as line officers, which greatly inhibits effective management. See Chapters 6 and 7 in “ABQ Blues,” (Reference 5). Operational compliance to DOJ mandated police reforms has been lagging. See “Compliance Levels of the APD and the City of ABQ with the Requirements of the CASA,” IMR-12 and earlier, 9/20, (Reference 6).

“A further shift worthy of independent mention was emphasis and rewards for aggressiveness in street policing…….the basic methodology is to take control of potentially threatening situations by street stops ….and by making arrests for minor offenses as a way to remove perceived risks from the street and to identify persons wanted for other crimes (page 118).” The APD has taken the opposite approach, and is essentially de-policing in an effort to avoid use of force and jail crowding. Arrest and pursuit are actively discouraged. Citations are recommended for minor crimes, but many citations result in failures to appear generating over one hundred thousand outstanding warrants. This is an important factor in ABQ’s high crime rates and guarantees results counter to NYC’s results.

While incarceration was not the dominant method of crime control, it concedes that “even while felony arrests were falling in New York City, misdemeanor arrests continued to increase substantially…. even with a lower crime rate and a somewhat smaller police force (page 170).” (Reference 1) One might conclude that if you make minor crime accountable, you will deter major crime. The emphasis is on arrest, not the duration of incarceration. Most arrests involve at least limited incarceration with accompanying identification of the arrestee and contact info. As noted before, misdemeanors by definition require that any jail sentence will be a year or less, unlike felony prison sentences which can be a year or more, including life. Again, NYC’s and my own experience demonstrate that arrests, not necessarily the duration of confinement, are an important aspect of crime deterrent/control.

Zimring goes on to say, “…most criminal offenders seem responsive to modest and even temporary alterations in the environment of the city…..small changes in their environments could produce big changes in the number of serious crimes they commit (page 195).” This is related to the preceding paragraphs. Criminals and the public take notice when the police are active and appear to be in charge. Everybody in the neighborhood notices when arrests are being made, whether associated with a current crime or for past crime warrants. The word gets around fast.

“While total felony arrests dropped by more than 50,000 from 1990-2009, the volume of misdemeanor arrests more than doubled from 118,434 in 1990 to 235,131 in 2009. That meant that the arrest volume for all offenses increased 48% while the population increased only 12% and the crime rate set world records for decline” (page 210) and the total prison population declined. These statistics back up the value of misdemeanor arrests. ABQ has chosen issuing citations/summons instead of arrests for most misdemeanors. Our city’s high crime rates and huge numbers of outstanding arrest warrants for failure to appear demonstrate that this approach doesn’t work.

Dealing with previously designated “broken windows” offenses such as gambling and prostitution did not merit large police resources or deter more serious crime in NYC. This led some criminologists to declare that the “broken windows” philosophy had been debunked. However, Zimring disagrees, “.. broken windows policing (dealing with minor crime) reduces felony crime (page 229).” Dealing with other seemingly minor offenses such as subway turnstile jumping and petty theft, greatly discouraged more serious crime in NYC. The analogs in ABQ would be traffic enforcement and arrest for most other misdemeanors including shop lifting. In addition, serving outstanding warrants lets criminals know we haven’t forgotten them.

“The rate of misdemeanor arrests has a significant impact on two offenses, auto theft and robbery (page 230).” This is a major finding that is directly relevant to ABQ. ABQ is in the major city top five for both auto theft and robbery crime rates.

“There is a serious problem that is inherent when police are responsible for collecting and auditing crime statistics because they are also interested parties in the outcome. Outside scrutiny is absolutely essential, and may not be enough,” and “Homicides and auto thefts are the most easily verified (page 233).” Our city’s gross misstatement of our crime rates for 2019 demonstrated that this is true.


“The most important lesson of the last two decades (1991-2009) is that very high rates of violent crime are not hard-wired into the populations, cultures, and institutions of big cities in the US (page xi).”

“New York’s experience ….. proves that targeted violence-prevention policies can reduce drug violence and reclaim public areas from drug anarchy without all-out drug wars (page xi).”

“The New York difference attributable to policing is an achievable target for major cities all over the country…. (page 158).”

“We now know that life threatening crime is not an incurable urban disease in the United States (page 217).”

In other words, any city can drastically reduce crime like NYC did! My personal opinion and experience indicates that Albuquerque can do this in a Constitutional manner.
ABQ can be the safest city in the Southwest. We have little to lose, and much to gain!


As noted previously, NYC drastically reduced crime from 1990-2009 while at the same time reducing the need for incarceration. Amazing! The key finding was that increasing incarceration rates for minor crimes (misdemeanors) resulted in reducing incarceration rates for major crimes (felonies) to the extent that total incarceration numbers were actually reduced! This finding validates the concept that if you deal with the small stuff, the big stuff will take care of itself.

In ABQ we have chosen to do the opposite. We have chosen not to arrest, prosecute, or incarcerate for most misdemeanors (the small stuff). And guess what? Serious crime (the big stuff) is lingering at record high levels. Generally, convicted misdemeanor offenders are incarcerated in jails (e.g. our Metropolitan Detention Center) instead of prison. Looking at our MDC jail population vs. ABQ major crime rate demonstrates the effect of incarcerating or not incarcerating minor crime offenders. Reducing the MDC population by half since 2013 almost doubled the major crime rate by 2017 and these levels have remained for the last four years!

Bottom line: Detention is prevention! Arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate where appropriate.


1) The City That Became Safe – New York’s Lessons for Urban Crime and Its Control, Franklin E. Zimring, Oxford University Press, 2012

2) How New York City Reduced Mass Incarceration – A Model for Change, Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, James Austin, et. all, 2013

3) 14 Things Cops Need to Know to Successfully Use “Stop and Frisk”, John Michael Callahan, Police 1, https:// www.police1.com/investigations/articles/

4) NYC’s Criminal Justice System is Imploding, NBC news, Tom Winter and Jonathan Dienst, 6/24/20, https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/nycs-criminal-justice-system-is-imploding-nypd-boss-says-as-homicides-hit-5-year-high/2483376/

5) ABQ Blues – Crime and Policing in Albuquerque, NM, Joe Abbin, Motorhead Mart, 2018 (out of print but available at the Albuquerque Public Library)

6) Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA), September 2020 and earlier, https://www.cabq.gov/police/documents-related-to-apds-settlement-agreement

City Council Election Update: Borrego and Lewis All In As Public Finance Candidates; 11 Candidates Running For City Council Thus Far

The 2021 Albuquerque Municipal election for Mayor and City Council officially started . March 1 was the first day candidates could declare to seek public finance beginning an 8-month election process. Election day is Tuesday, November 2, 2021.

On the ballot this year will be the 5 odd numbered city council districts of the 9 city council seats. The council seats up for election are City Council seats 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9.

The link to the city web site is here:



Following is the breakdown of the 14 candidates running for City Council and what is known about them.

District 1: Albuquerque’s Central West Side

On Sunday, April 25 District 1 City Councilor LAN SENA announced that she is running for her first full term to the City Council. She was appointed to the City Council in March 2020, by Mayor Tim Keller. To date there are no others running in District 1. Although Councilor Lan Sena has declared she is running, she has yet to file her candidate registration with the city clerk and has not indicated if she will be seeking public financing making it likely she will seek private financing instead.

DISTICT 3: Southwest part of Albuquerque

The City Clerks website reflects no one has filed a candidate registration.

The incumbent is City Councilor Klarissa Peña. She is making it known privately she will be seeking another four-year term. Notwithstanding, she has to file her candidate registration with the city clerk and has not indicated if she will be seeking public financing.

DISTRICT 5: Northwest part of Albuquerque

CYNTHIA BORREGO: On April 29, City Councilor Cynthia Borrego filed her Candidate Registration form with the City Clerk and is listed as seeking public financing. JOSHUA MARTINEZ is listed as her Treasurer. Democrat City Councilor Cynthia D. Borrego was elected to City Council in November 2017. Borrego has yet to make a formal announcement, but her registration and collection of $5 qualifying donations to the city confirms she is running for a second 4 year term.

DAN LEWIS: On April 18 former Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis for District 5 filed his Candidate Registration with the City Clerk. Listed as the the Treasurer for the Lewis campaign is ELLIS MCMATH. Listed as an Alternate contact is MEGAN MCMILLAN who ostensibly is a political campaign consultant who works for Jay Mc Clesky in that the contact email is for MC CLESKEY MEDIA. Jay McClesky is the former campaign manager for former Governor Susana Martinez and former Republican Mayor RJ Berry and is the go-to guy for Republican candidates. It’s very surprising that Lewis is seeking public finance seeing as when he ran for Mayor in 2017, he raised upwards of $800,000 in private donations. Further, MC CLESKEY MEDIA is known amongst politicos as being a high-end political consulting firm.

PHILLIP RAMIREZ has submitted his candidate registration paperwork to run for City Council District 5.. Ramirez was one of 5 candidates in 2017 who initially ran against Councilor Borrego, but Ramirez failed to qualify for the ballot.

Listed as the Treasurer for the Ramirez campaign is CORRINE TREVINO. Also listed as her email address is SISTO@ABEYTAASSICIATES.COM. Sisto Abyeta is a very well know progressive Democrat political consultant who has been involved in many campaigns over the years. He is the primary principal in his political consulting firm Abeyta Associates. It is more likely than not that Abeyta is the campaign manager for Ramirez. In 2019, Sisto Abeyta was the main political consultant for Democrat Joseph Griego who ran for City Council District 2 and was the first to qualify for public financing but District 2 incumbent City Councilor Isaac Benton prevailed beating out 4 opponents.

DISTRICT 7: Albuquerque’s mid-heights including uptown and parts of the near northeast heights

Tammy Fiebelkorn : District 7 is currently represented by Diane Gibson.. On April 20, it was reported that Diane Gibson will not be seeking a third term. The city clerk lists Tammy Fiebelkorn as a candidate for the position but she has yet to announce.

Mauro Walden-Montoya: On April 26, attorney and community activist Mauro Walden-Montoya announced he is running to fill the vacancy. Mr. Montoya was born and raised in Albuquerque, he is a Highland High School graduate, a New Mexico State graduate and he is a 1984 George Washington University Law School graduate. He has been very involved with the Albuquerque LGBTQ community and organizing the Gay Pride Parade in Albuquerque. Mauro Walden-Montoya is the past the president of the Albuquerque LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. He has been the LGBTQ Ambassador for the city’s One Albuquerque program and coordinated the Western Business Alliance conference in 2020. He is a board member for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and works at the City of Albuquerque and Albuquerque Tourism & Scenic Factory. He is married to Andy Walden Montoya since July 5, 2014.

The link to Mr. Walden-Montoya’s announcement in here:


DISTRICT 9: District 9 is the far Southeast Heights and Foothills.

On February 27, Republican City Councilor Don Harris who was first elected to the City Council in 2005, announced he is not running for another term (as if anyone knew he has been on the council for 14 years).

There are 4 candidates that have filed candidate registrations for City Council District 9. Those cndidates with information known are:

1. Andrew Lipman: Mr. Lipman has resided in Albuquerque for the last 28 years. According to his campaign web page, he has “been a community activist, philanthropist, and organizer in Albuquerque’s City Council District 9 for nearly three decades. He currently is a member of the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund Committee, representing District 9 and prior to that served as Government Affairs Director for the Four Hills Village Association for three years. He is a board member of the East Gateway Coalition of Associations. He and his wife currently reside in Four Hills Village. The city clerk lists Charley Rhodes as the Treasurer and lists Garrett Swensen as an alternate contact for the campaign. No confirmed information could be found regarding Mr. Swenson nor Mr. Rhodes.


2. BYRON K POWDRELL: Mr. Powdrell ran 4 years ago for city council in a 3 person race. He is was born and raised in Albuquerque and he is a member of the well-known Powdrell family, the son of Willie Powdrell and related to the owner’s of Powdrell’s Bar be Que. Mr. Powdrell is the owner and manager of 99.9 The Beat LPFM, Albuquerque’s first successful non-profit, low power radio station.

Carlos McMahon is listed as the Treasurer for the Powdrell campaign. Mr. McMahon is a retired State of New Mexico Private Investigator and owner of the McMahon Agency, a private investigations firm also known as McMahon Private Investigations, LLC.

3. ROB GILLY, JR.: is seeking public financing. The link to the Rob Grilly City Clerk page is here:


STEPHANIE TEICH-MCGOLDRICK is listed as the Treasurer for Rob Grilley Jr for City Council.

4. RENNE GROUT: Renee Gout is seeking public financing. The link to the Renee Grout City Clerk page is here:


Listed as the Treasurer for Renee Grout is RUSS HILLER.

Listed as the alternate contact for Renee Grout is MEGAN MCMILLAN.


April 25 to May 30, 2021 is designated as the exploratory period for City Council candidates to collect “seed money” for their campaign.

City Council Candidates in all 5 City Council Districts on the November ballot can collect up to $250 in seed money contributions from voters in their Districts, but there is an aggregate cap on the total amount of seed money because of different voter registration numbers in each City Council District. The aggregate of seed money contribution limits for each city council district is as follows:

City Council District 1: $8,205.40
City Council District 3: $8,000.00
City Council District 5: $10,097.80
City Council District 7: $8,838.80
City Council District 9: $8,358.20

CAUTION: Participating candidates shall not have, within one year prior to the declaration of intent to seek public financing, raised or expended any monies in excess of the pre- and post- Exploratory Period contribution limits with the intent or effect of campaigning for elected office.


From May 31 to July 5, 2021, Publicly Financed Candidates for City Council must gather more than 500 signatures from registered voters and the $5.00 qualifying donations within the district the candidate wishes to represent

Each name and signature on the nominating petition is reviewed and compared to the voter registration rolls and if the person who has signed the petition name is not on the voter registration rolls, it is disqualified. Consequently, as many signatures above the 500 requirement is recommended for a “buffer” in order to ensure the minimum number of nominating signatures are secured.

Public Finance Candidates for City Council must collect $5.00 qualifying contributions from 1% of the registered voters in the district the candidate wishes to represent. All the $5.00 qualifying donations must come from registered voters in the respective districts. The breakdown of $5.00 donations from each city council district is as follows:

District 1: 411
District 3: 315
District 5: 505
District 7: 442
District 9: 418

The guidelines for publicly financed candidates are here:



Once candidates for City Council collect the minimum number of qualifying $5.00 donations, the city advances to the candidates in one lump sum public financing. In exchange for the public financing, the candidates must sign and agree to spend no more than what they are given for the campaign. Following are the amounts that will be advanced to qualifying candidates:

City Council District 1: $41,027.00
City Council District 3: $40,000.00
City Council District 5: $50,489.00
City Council District 7: $44,194.00
City Council District 9: $41,791.00


Candidates who have qualified for public financing are allowed to collect but must claim “in-kind” contributions, which are contributions of goods or services and not cash contributions. In kind contributions for public finance candidates have the following caps for individual in-kind and aggregate in-kind contributions:

City Council District 1: $1,499.68 individual, $4,102.70 aggregated
City Council District 3: $1,499.68 individual, $4,000.00 aggregated
City Council District 5: $1,499.68 individual, $5,048.90 aggregated
City Council District 7: $1,499.68 individual, $4,419.40 aggregated
City Council District 9: $1,499.68 individual, $4,179.10 aggregated


Privately Financed Candidates for City Council must gather more than 500 signatures from registered voters within the district the candidate wishes to represent and can only gather signatures from July 6 to August 10, 2021.

Each name and signature on the nominating petition is reviewed and compared to the voter registration rolls and if the person who has signed the petition name is not on the voter registration rolls, it is disqualified. Consequently, as many signatures above the 500 requirement is recommended for a “buffer” in order to ensure the minimum number of nominating signatures are secured.
You can find these timeframes here:



Privately financed candidates have no fundraising or spending limits. Privately financed candidates can raise and are free to accept campaign contributions from whatever legal source they want including contributions from individuals, businesses and corporations within the city, county, state or out of state and there is no city voter registration required by the donor.

Privately financed candidates can spend whatever amount they want on a campaign. Public finance candidates can only accept the $5.00 qualifying donations from registered city voters and agree in writing to spend only what the city gives them.

There are, however, limits on individual contributions privately financed candidates can accept from donors. Specifically, Article XIII, Section 4(e) limits the total contributions from any one person, with the only exception being the candidates themselves, and the private contribution cannot exceed 5% of the salary of the elected official at the time of filing the Declaration of Candidacy.

The individual aggregate amounts that can be collected by privately financed candidates from donors for the individual city council races are as follows:

City Council District 1: $1,499.68
City Council District 3: $1,499.68
City Council District 5: $1,499.68
City Council District 7: $1,499.68
City Council District 9: $1,499.68

You can find the timeframes here:



The city is facing any number of problems that are bringing it to its knees. Those problems include the corona virus pandemic, business closures, high unemployment rates, exceptionally high violent crime and murders rates, continuing mismanagement of the Albuquerque Police Department, failed implementation of the Department of Justice reforms after a full 6 years and millions spent, declining revenues and gross receipts tax, high unemployment rates, persistent and increasing homeless numbers, a lack of mental health and counseling programs and very little economic development, just to mention a few.

The city can go no longer afford to elect a Mayor and City Council based upon promises and nothing but eternal hope for better times and for a better future. What is needed are elected officials that actually know what they are doing and will make the hard decisions without their eye on the next election or to placate their base. It is hoped that there will be more than just one candidate opposing all the incumbents. What is needed is a healthy debate on solutions and new ideas to solve our mutual problems. Such a debate can only happen with contested elections.

It is hoped far more candidates who truly care about the city will run for City Council with far more than just one or two making the ballot and qualifying for public finance.

A link to a related blog article is here:

Before You Sign Nominating Petitions Or Donate $5, Ask Questions

Der Führer Trump Again Promotes “The Big Lie”; The Liar And The Liars Who Promote It; Gerson Washington Post Opinion Column

On April 3, exactly 6 months to the day he lost the election, Der Führer Trump said in a statement:

The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!”

In response to Der Führer Trump, Wyoming Republican Representative Liz Cheney wrote on Twitter and told the annual retreat of the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Sea Island, Georgia:

“The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system. We can’t whitewash what happened on January 6th or perpetuate Trump’s big lie. … It is a threat to democracy. What he did on January 6 is a line that cannot be crossed.”

Republican Representative Cheney has long been a vocal opponent of Trump. She joined 9 other Republican representatives to vote in favor of Trump’s second impeachment. At the time Cheney said that Trump “assembled the mob” and “lit the flame” that caused the January 6 Capitol insurrection seeking to overturn the election’s results.

Der Führer Trump responded to Cheney’s remarks in a afternoon statement by writing:

“Heartwarming to read new polls on big-shot warmonger Liz Cheney of the great State of Wyoming. She is so low that her only chance would be if vast numbers of people run against her which, hopefully, won’t happen. They never liked her much, but I say she’ll never run in a Wyoming election again!”


It has been reported that Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy considers Cheney’s continued attacks on Trump as a distraction from the party. He has refused either to appear alongside Cheney in public or to say whether she should remain in leadership.


On Tuesday, April 4, McCarthy said that there is growing concern among Republican lawmakers about the ability of Congresswoman Liz Cheney to lead the party’s caucus in the chamber while she continues to assail former President Donald Trump for inciting his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6 McCarthy told the Fox News:

“I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out her job as conference chair, to carry out the message [to take back the House] “We all need to be working as one if we’re able to win the majority. Remember, majorities are not given. They are earned.”

McCarthy was also overheard on a hot mic saying he has “had it” with Cheney and had “lost confidence” in the Wyoming Republican and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.


On April 5, it was reported that Der Führer Trump and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise are openly supporting Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to replace Rep. Liz Cheney as House Republican conference chair. Trump had this to say in a statement:

“Liz Cheney is a warmongering fool who has no business in Republican Party Leadership. … Elise Stefanik is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL Endorsement for GOP Conference Chair. Elise is a tough and smart communicator!”

Scalise’s spokesperson Lauren Fine said in a statement:

“House Republicans need to be solely focused on taking back the House in 2022 and fighting against Speaker Pelosi and President Biden’s radical socialist agenda, and Elise Stefanik is strongly committed to doing that, which is why Whip Scalise has pledged to support her for Conference Chair.”

The endorsements of Stefanik substantially increases the Republican Party’s’ internal feud over Cheney. The internal feud threatens Republicans’ chances of taking back control of the House in the 2022 elections. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise has said he thinks a vote will be taken again within a month and that Cheney will be removed.



On April 4, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) went to the defense of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) during her very public feud with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Romney tweeted:

“Every person of conscience draws a line beyond which they will not go: Liz Cheney refuses to lie. … “As one of my Republican Senate colleagues said to me following my impeachment vote: ‘I wouldn’t want to be a member of a group that punished someone for following their conscience.”

Romney was the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee and has been one of the few Senate Republicans most willing to criticize Trump. He was the only Republican to vote to convict on one of the articles of impeachment during Trump’s Senate trial in 2020.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has also gone to the defense of Cheney and did so during a Sunday, May 2 interview. Both Romney and Collins voted to convict Trump at the end of his second impeachment trial held after President Biden was sworn in. earlier this year.




During a 2016 presidential debate in which Trump had faced off against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, FOX news caster Mike Wallace asked then candidate Trump if he was prepared to concede to the winner, if he didn’t win. “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense” Trump said during the debate. He had also said that if he did not win it meant the election was rigged.

Fast forward to July 15, 2020. In an exclusive wide-ranging interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, President Trump was asked if he was “a good loser”. Trump said that he wasn’t a good loser and he went on to add that he thinks “mail-in voting is going to rig the election.” This led Wallace to ask whether Trump may not accept the results of the election and Trump said “We’ll have to see.”


On September 23, Trump was asked at a press conference if he would “commit to a peaceful transferal of power” if he lost the election, Trump said:

“Well, we’re gonna have to see what happens. … You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. The ballots are a disaster … Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a peaceful … there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation.”


On November 12, the Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees issued the following joint statement that the “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history:

“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result.

“When states have close elections, many will recount ballots. All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary. This is an added benefit for security and resilience. This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors. There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.

“Other security measures like pre-election testing, state certification of voting equipment, and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) certification of voting equipment help to build additional confidence in the voting systems used in 2020.

“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too. When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”


On November 27, President Trump claimed that President-Elect Joe Biden must prove that the votes he received in the presidential election were not “illegally obtained” in order to enter the White House. Following is Trump’s Tweet:

“Biden can only enter the White House as President if he can prove that his ridiculous “80,000,000 votes” were not fraudulently or illegally obtained. When you see what happened in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia & Milwaukee, massive voter fraud, he’s got a big unsolvable problem!”

Twitter added the disclaimer: “!This claim about election fraud is disputed.”


Trump’s tweet came after it was reported by FOX News no less that Biden crossed the 80 million vote threshold as votes are still being counted. Trump’s TWEET is merely one of the many of his TWEETs to cast doubt on the election result. Trump has ordered lawsuits to challenge the results in the swing states, with all those lawsuits having been dismissed, which he has challenged by alleging voter fraud in multiple swing states that he lost, specifically Pennsylvania.

It was on Wednesday, November 15 that Trump said the election was stolen and said:

“This election was rigged and we can’t let that happen. We can’t let it happen for our country. … And this election has to be turned around because we won Pennsylvania by a lot and we won all these swing states by a lot.”


The Trump campaign launched upwards of 51 legal challenges related to how votes were counted. All of the court challenges were dismissed as the states certified their results.

On November 19, 2020, during a news conference at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, with the smell of sweat blackened by his cheap hair dye running down his face, an unhinged former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani had this to say:

“I know crimes, I can smell them. You don’t have to smell this one, I can prove it to you, 18 different ways. I can prove to you that he won, Pennsylvania, by 300,000 votes. I can prove to you that he won Michigan, probably 50,000 votes. …

It’s not a singular voter fraud in one state. This pattern repeats itself in a number of states, almost exactly the same pattern, which any experienced investigator prosecutor, which suggests that there was a plan — from a centralized place to execute these various acts of voter fraud, specifically focused on big cities, and specifically focused on, as you would imagine, big cities controlled by Democrats, and particularly if they focused on big cities that have a long history of corruption.”

It was on November 17 that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, during a five-hour hearing in Williamsport, Pennsylvania before U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann. Giuliani asserted widespread election fraud in Pennsylvania without evidence and that a “Mafia-like” cabal of Democratic leaders in cities nationwide used mail ballots to rig the election in Joe Biden’s favor. United States District Judge Matthew Brann, a Republican appointee, wrote that the campaign’s error-filled complaint “like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together”. Just one example of a pleading error was spelling “poll” as “pole”. The Federal Court denied Giuliani the right to amend the election challenge complaint for a second time. The Trump campaign appealed the ruling.

On November 27, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Brann’s lower court ruling and called any revisions “futile.” 3rd Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote the decision for the Court. Bibas is a former University of Pennsylvania law professor. The Court Panel included Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith and Judge Michael Chagares. Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sat on the court for 20 years, retiring in 2019. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the campaign’s request to stop the Pennsylvania from certifying its results, a demand the court called “breathtaking”. Judge Bibas wrote in the opinion and found:

“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here. … Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections”

Trump’s lawyers appealed the decision to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court declined to hear the case.



After the Wallace interview, Trump engaged in repeated attacks on mail in voting as a pathway to voter fraud. It was a claim that was unsubstantiated and was an outright lie that Trump kept repeating.

In April, 2020 Trump responding to a question about Wisconsin wanting to go to mail-in ballots said:

“Mail ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country, because they’re cheaters. … They’re fraudulent in many cases.”


Trump also said that any expansion of mail ballots would lead to widespread fraud. Attorney General William Barr for his part said people should need an excuse to vote by mail. Trump has said no-excuse absentee voting is fine but claimed the Postal Service couldn’t handle the increase in election mail, which turned out to be totally false.

Trump laid the foundation to dispute the election outcome with his incessant lies that “mail-in ballots” would result in a rigged election. Trump’s false claims were used as an excuse for the Republican Party to purge voter-registration rolls, limit mail-in ballots, close polling stations in minority areas and challenge in-person voting by minorities. The best example was in the state of Texas where Governor Abbot ordered only one polling place or drop off for ballots per county that has millions residents and requiring hours of driving to hand deliver ballots.

Election experts say Trump’s critiques of mail-in voting was just another one of his many lies. Instead, they said mail-in voting was expected to improve voter turnout on the whole and there was little evidence that it will have a partisan effect by benefitting one party over the other.

The experts were proven right. Mail in voting improved voter turnout overwhelmingly. On October 19, 2020, it was over 71 million people had cast their ballots with early voting or mail in voting around the United States, surpassing the 58.3 million total pre-election votes cast in 2016. That’s almost half of the total presidential votes cast in 2016.



Michael John Gerson is a nationally syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in The Washington Post. He is the author of “Heroic Conservatism”, HarperOne, 2007, and co-author of “City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era”, Moody, 2010. He appears regularly on the “PBS NewsHour,” “Face the Nation” and other programs. Gerson serves as senior adviser at One, a bipartisan organization dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases. Until 2006, Gerson was a top aide to President George W. Bush as assistant to the president for policy and strategic planning. Prior to that appointment, he served in the White House as deputy assistant to the president and director of presidential speechwriting and assistant to the president for speechwriting and policy adviser.

On April 3, 2021, the Washington Post published an opinion column entitled “Elected Republicans are lying with open eyes. Their excuses are disgraceful” written by Mr. Gerson. The fact that Gerson was a top Republican advisor and aide to former President George W. Bush makes his observations about Trump spreading the “big lie” important to note. Following is the column with the link to the column:

“For the activist base of the Republican Party, affirming that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential contest has become a qualification for membership in good standing. For the party’s elected leaders, accepting the clear result of a fair election is to be a rogue Republican like the indomitable Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) — a target for Trump’s anger, public censure and primary threats.

Nothing about this is normal. The GOP is increasingly defined not by its shared beliefs, but by its shared delusions. To be a loyal Republican, one must be either a sucker or a liar. And because this defining falsehood is so obviously and laughably false, we can safely assume that most Republican leaders who embrace it fall into the second category. Knowingly repeating a lie — an act of immorality — is now the evidence of Republican fidelity.

This kind of determined mendacity requires rolling out the big guns. Said the prophet Isaiah: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil.”

Moral clarity against lying is sometimes made harder by our loose application of the term. When public figures disagree with you in their analyses of tax policy, or welfare spending or Social Security reform, they’re generally not lying. They’re disagreeing. When it’s revealed that someone was previously wrong about an issue — even on a grave matter of national security — it doesn’t mean he or she was lying all along. It means that person was wrong.

“To preserve the meaning of words,” said Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), “is the first responsibility of liberalism.” Precisely because principled disagreement is essential in a democracy, we can’t attribute every difference to deception. This form of false witness is a tool of polarization and a method of dehumanization.

It’s important to keep perspective about the stakes of any given lie. There is reason the English language has so many words to describe the shades of culpability in a deception. You can equivocate, or dissemble, or palter, or mislead, or prevaricate, or fib, or perjure.

There are mortal lies and venial lies, cruel lies and merciful lies. Context matters.

Speaking of perjury, almost any GOP response to charges of deception will eventually include the words “Bill Clinton.” In a time of rampant whataboutism, Republicans often point out that Clinton was a spectacular liar defended by his party. What they fail to acknowledge is that many elected Democrats criticized his lying under oath, even as they opposed his impeachment. Clinton was not insisting his supporters share in his immorality to show their loyalty, though that might have had some appeal when it came to other human failures.

The context for Trump’s lies has been particularly damning. When Trump falsely asserted that Barack Obama was born in Africa and thus illegitimate as president, it was permission for racism. When he claimed he saw Muslims in New Jersey celebrating on Sept. 11, 2001, it was a vicious lie to feed a prejudice.

But the lie of a stolen election is the foundational falsehood of a political worldview. Believing it requires Trump’s followers to affirm the existence of a nationwide plot against him and his supporters — a plot led by ruthless Democrats and traitorous Republicans, and ignored or endorsed by useless courts and a complicit media. The claim’s plausibility is not the point. Does it really make sense that Attorney General William P. Barr, who found no evidence of election fraud that could have changed the result, was in on the plot? Were the conservative judges Trump appointed who dismissed his rubbish lawsuits really out to get him?

Such considerations don’t seem to matter. In the 1930s and ’40s, was it plausible that the democratic leaders of Weimar Germany had stabbed their own country in the back and betrayed its people? Or that an international conspiracy of powerful Jews was controlling world events?

Trump’s lie is not the moral equivalent of fascist propaganda. But it serves the same political function. A founding lie is intended to remove followers from the messy world of facts and evidence. It is designed to replace critical judgment with personal loyalty. It is supposed to encourage distrust of every source of social authority opposed to the leader’s shifting will.

The people who accepted this political mythology and stormed the Capitol were not lying about their views. They seemed quite sincere. And who knows what Trump really thinks? When a congenital liar surrounds himself with sycophantic liars, he can easily lose radio contact with reality.

No, it is the elected Republicans who are lying with open eyes, out of fear or cynicism, who have the most to atone for. With the health of U.S. democracy at stake, their excuses are disgraceful.



The similarities between Trump and Hitler are no accident as is documented in the below Dinelli blog article Trump: The Once and Future Fascist Who Wants To Be President Again

Since the election and swearing in of President Joe Biden, Republican lawmakers have remained steadfastly behind Der FÜHRER Trump. Many elected Republican officials have also kept their mouths shut in laying blame on him for the January 6 insurrection and the attack on the Capitol. Republican elected officials cower in fear of not supporting Der FÜHRER for fear of suffering his withering attacks and being “primaried” by Trump supporters. Simply put, there is no longer a Republican Party, but the Trump Party.

Several leading Republican lawmakers, including McCarthy and Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham, have traveled to Florida to visit with Trump at his Mar-Maro-Largo Mansion to play golf and talk politics, no doubt including his comeback in 2024. Trump has suggested he will run for President again in 2024 but that he won’t decide until after the 2022 congressional elections.

With any luck, Der FÜHRER Trump will be indicted soon and be relocated to a government gated community before the 2022 congressional elections roll around.

A link to a related blog article is here:

Trump: The Once And Future Fascist Who Wants To Be President Again; US Military Loyalty To Democracy; Trump Needs To Be Moved To A Gated Community

APD Compliance Levels Continue To Nosedive With DOJ Reforms; Three Different Narratives From APD Police Union And Attorneys As To APD Reforms Causing High Crime Rates; City And DOJ Should Ask Court To Hold Police Union In Contempt Of Court

On May 3, 2021 the Federal Court Monitor filed with the Federal Court the 13th Independent Monitor’s Report (IMR-13 ) on the Court Approved Settlement Agreement. The report covers the time frame of August 2020 through January 2021.


Under the terms and conditions of the Court Approved Settlement Agreement, once APD achieves a 95% compliance rate in the 3 identified compliance levels and maintains it for 2 consecutive years, the case can be dismissed.

The 3 compliance levels can be explained as follows:

1. PRIMARY COMPLIANCE: Primary compliance is the “policy” part of compliance. To attain primary compliance, APD must have in place operational policies and procedures designed to guide officers, supervisors and managers in the performance of the tasks outlined in the CASA. As a matter of course, the policies must be reflective of the requirements of the CASA; must comply with national standards for effective policing policy; and must demonstrate trainable and evaluable policy components.

2. SECONDARY COMPLIANCE: Secondary compliance is attained by implementing supervisory, managerial and executive practices designed to and be effective in implementing the policy as written, e.g., sergeants routinely enforce the policies among field personnel and are held accountable by managerial and executive levels of the department for doing so. By definition, there should be operational artifacts such as reports, disciplinary records, remands to retraining, follow-up, and even revisions to policies if necessary, indicating that the policies developed in the first stage of compliance are known to, followed by, and important to supervisory and managerial levels of the department.

3. OPERATIONAL COMPLIANCE: Operational compliance is attained at the point that the adherence to policies is apparent in the day-to-day operation of the agency e.g., line personnel are routinely held accountable for compliance, not by the monitoring staff, but by their sergeants, and sergeants are routinely held accountable for compliance by their lieutenants and command staff. In other words, the APD “owns” and enforces its policies.


In the IMR-13 report, the Federal Monitor made the following findings on the 3 compliance levels:

Primary Compliance: 100%;
Secondary Compliance: 82%;
Operational Compliance: 59%.

Since the last report, IMR-12, the following changes in compliance levels are

Primary Compliance: No change at 100%
Secondary Compliance: A loss of 9.9%
Operational Compliance: A loss of 7.8%

All documents related to APD’s settlement agreement can be downloaded and reviewed at this city web site link:



The 13th Federal Monitor’s report contains 4 very disturbing findings given that over 6 years has elapsed and millions spent on the reforms. To quote the IMR-13


“At this point, the disciplinary system at APD routinely fails to follow its own written policy (guiding disciplinary matrices) and virtually decimates its disciplinary requirements in favor of refusals to recognize substantial policy violations, and instead, often sustaining minor related violations and ignoring more serious violations. In other cases, APD simply defies its own written guidance regarding discipline, for example implementing “discipline” well below that required by its own disciplinary matrix. Examples of these Counter-CASA processes include:

• Replacing a matrix-required 8–32-hour suspension with a written reprimand;
• Refusal to recognize repeat offenses (which by policy require enhanced penalties);
• Failure to consider “aggravating circumstances” in determining appropriate discipline, but nearly always considering “mitigating circumstances”;
• A virtual shutdown of investigations in IAFD, possibly delaying disciplinary action for use of force violations until discipline is “time-barred” by the union contract; and
• Charging lessor included policy violations, instead of the (often more fitting) more serious of the policy violations … .

In short, APD is willing to go through almost any machination to avoid disciplining officers who violate policy or supervisors who fail to note policy violations or fail to act on them in a timely manner.

Interestingly, we note this aversion to discipline does not seem to apply to civilian personnel, who are often subjected to maximum penalties for relatively minor violations.”


“More importantly, it continues to be apparent that APD has not had and currently does not have an appetite for taking serious approaches to control excessive or unwarranted uses of force during its police operations in the field. Command and control practices regarding the use of force continue to be weak. APD continues to lack the ability to consistently “call the ball” on questionable uses of force, and at times is unable to “see” obvious violations of policy or procedure related to its officers’ use of force. We have consistently noted these issues in our highly detailed bi-annual monitoring reports, and each paragraph found not in compliance contains specific recommendations that APD could implement to reduce unwarranted uses of force.

Unfortunately, we find the need to continually make the same recommendations, often times over and over, as APD seems either unwilling or unable to effectively assess, identify, and remediate officers who over-use force. Again, this reporting period, we have made dozens of recommendations, many of them made multiple times in the past. After six years, while progress has been made, i.e., new policies and new training have been implemented, and the Force Review Board is demonstrating that is willing to stand for heightened scrutiny of cases of officer-use of force, there remains much to do.”


“We do note, however, that in IMR-12 we made twelve recommendations for improvements to the IA functions at APD. Those twelve recommendations remain in IMR-13. This is a recurring problem with APD. The monitor includes dozens of recommendations in each monitor report. Unfortunately, in some areas of compliance, we are required to make the same recommendations over and over because APD simply fails to address these recommendations in any way and refuses to implement processes of their own designed to achieve a reduction in unwarranted use of force. For example, the ten recommendations we made regarding “fact-based discipline” in IMR-12 are repeated again in this monitor’s report. The same holds true for multiple paragraphs of our CASA analysis. We recommend, APD demurs, and we continue recommending change, without reciprocal effort by APD.”

“To the monitor, this constitutes clear evidence of deliberate indifference to the requirements of the CASA. Again, during this reporting period, we provided APD with highly detailed step-by-step recommendations regarding the use of force investigations and supervision at all levels of the department, among other critical issues. Despite this advice, APD has actually lost ground in its compliance efforts as it relates to training related to and operational implementation of the requirements of the CASA.”


This monitor’s report can be synopsized in a single sentence. Due to a catastrophic failure in training oversight this reporting period and similar failures at the supervisory and command levels of APD, the agency suffered a 9.9% point loss in compliance elements related to the training and supervisory functions at APD and a 7.8% loss in overall compliance …. Overall, there is an argument to be made that operational compliance rates have held relatively steady, at slightly less than 60 percent, since IMR-8, two and one-half years ago.

The most critical issues confronted by APD in its compliance efforts this reporting period are in training, supervision, and command oversight. As frequent readers of the monitor’s reports will note, supervision and oversight are two of the most important keys to full compliance.

… . As of the end of the 13th reporting period, APD has experienced a drop in compliance levels in both secondary (training) and operational (actions in the field) compliance. APD achieved primary compliance in 100 percent of the applicable paragraphs of the CASA. Primary compliance relates mostly to development and implementation of acceptable policies (conforming to national best practices).

APD is in 82% Secondary Compliance as of this reporting period, which means that effective follow-up mechanisms have been taken to ensure that APD personnel understand the requirements of promulgated policies, e.g., training, supervising, coaching, and implementing disciplinary processes to ensure APD personnel understand the policies as promulgated and are implementing them in the field. This Secondary Compliance figure represents a 9.9% reduction in Secondary Compliance from IMR-12 to IMR-13. Operational Compliance with the requirements of the CASA for the 13th reporting period has also fallen from 64% in IMR-12 to 59% in IMR-13. This means that 59% of the time, field personnel either perform tasks as required by the CASA or that when they fail, supervisory personnel note and correct in-field behavior that is not compliant with the requirements of the CASA.

… .

These declines in compliance levels come despite intensive and extensive and intensive “hands-on” guidance and advice from the monitoring team. The bottom line is somewhat shocking. Operational compliance levels for the 13th reporting period are lower than the compliance figures for the 9th reporting period. Obviously, operational compliance is the most important of the three compliance levels.


On April 26, the Albuquerque Police Officers Association (APOA) launched a $70,000 political ad campaign to discredit the Department of Justice (DOJ) mandated reforms saying the police reforms are preventing officers from doing their jobs and combating crime. The Police Union leaders acknowledge that the city is bound by Federal Court Order but the union claims city leaders still have the ability, within that agreement, to object to and resist policies and procedures that they do not believe work for APD.

The Police Union political ad campaign is at odds as to what the Union Attorneys have told the Federal Judge assigned the case and overseeing the reforms. The Police Union political ad campaign consists of billboards around the city and testimonials on TV, radio and social media from former Albuquerque Police Department officers. The public relations campaign is urging the public to tell city leaders that crime matters more than the Police reforms mandated by the settlement.

The public relations campaign includes providing an email template for the public to use in support of APD and to contact civic leaders. The template says APD has made progress with the DOJ mandated reforms and says:

“[We are] tired of living in a city filled with murder, theft and violence. … I’m urging you to fight for this city, stand up to the DOJ, and help us save the city we love, before it’s too late. ”

APOA Police Union President Shaun Willoughby described the need for the public relations campaign this way:

“You can either have compliance with DOJ reforms or you can have lower crime. You can’t have both. We think it’s time that our city leaders hear from the public that crime matters more because it does. … They want to focus on the growing crime problem, instead of wasting millions of dollars on endless Department of Justice oversight. … This conversation of reform needs to come back to common sense. … Right now, the City of Albuquerque capitulates to everything the DOJ wants and that might not necessarily be the right direction for the City of Albuquerque. … You don’t need enemies when you have friends like the city attorney. … We believe that our community deserves better from this police department. … We believe our community deserves better from this consent decree process.

[We are asking] for the city of Albuquerque to stand up and support Albuquerque police officers and support common sense reforms that allow our officers to succeed. … . We’re talking about the bureaucracy of police officers being taken off the street because somebody that was not used force on said ‘ow”. And how that impacts this community, our ability to respond to the community and this community’s ability to control crime. Your Albuquerque police officers are terrified that they will lose their job for simply doing their job and it’s not fair.”

Links to the new sources for the quotes are here:



The APOA is also using its FACEBOOK page to promote their ad campaign. On April 26, the Police Union posted on FACEBOOK:

“Are you tired of the growing crime problems facing the city of Albuquerque? Are you tired of break-ins, stolen cars, vandalism, theft and murder being part of everyday living in our community? Then do something! If you don’t speak up and get involved right now, things will get worse. Tell your City leaders that you care more about fighting crime then than wasting millions on endless Department of Justice oversight. Share and make your voices heard because crime matters more.”


This is not the first time the police union has tried to undercut the reform process. In a February 11 Target 7 news report Shaun Willoughby, President of the Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association said:

“The whole [reform effort] system is set up to fail and the taxpayers and the people that live in this community like me and my family are the ones that are taking the brunt of [violent crime]. … Really look at this process. … It is absolutely out of control. … The entire department and the processes within it are out of control. Your officers are running out the door. Really look at every single state or agency that’s been involved in this process. … What is happening? Did it bring harmony and trust with the community? I don’t think so.”



The Court Approved Settlement Agreement mandates 271 police reforms that APD is still struggling to implement after 6 years and millions spent. The most recent 13th Federal Monitors report released finds that APD is deteriorating further in not achieving the mandatory compliance levels. The police union is blaming the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) and its mandated reforms for the city’s high crime rates in Albuquerque.

The APD police union employs two highly experience and respected trial attorneys to represent them in union negotiations, personnel hearings and federal court proceedings relating to the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) Order. Police union attorneys Fred Mower and John D’Amato both have been practicing law for decades, not only in State District Court but in Federal Court.

Prior to the Police Union’s April 26 announcement of its $70,000 public relations campaign to disparage the CASA, there were two federal court hearings presided over by Judge James Browning in the case. Police Union Attorney Fred Mower represented the police union in a February 26, 2021 hearing for the approval of a court order. Police Union Attorney John D’Amato represented the union in the April 15, 2021 Status Conference hearing in the case.


On Friday, February 26, U.S. District Judge James Browning held a hearing and approve a Stipulated Order between the city of Albuquerque and the DOJ to create an External Force Investigation Team (EFIT).

The EFIT team will train APD Internal Affairs investigators on how to properly investigate uses of force instances by APD police officers. According to the approved order, the City will ensure that APD maintains at least 25 force investigators assigned to the APD Internal Affairs unit unless and until APD can demonstrate by an internal staffing analysis that fewer investigators are necessary to timely investigate uses of force by APD Officers.

During the February 26 hearing, Judge Browning asked the APD Police Union Attorney Fred Mower if the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) order was causing the city’s high crime rates in the following manner on pages 44, 45 and 46 of the transcript:


“… All right. Let me ask you, Mr. Mowrer, you were very careful both in your issues and concerns and then your motion opposing the joint motion not to get into this area, but I have watched Mr. Willoughby’s comments publicly, and I think they’ve been most pronounced by Nancy Laflin on Channel 7, that the consent decree and then, in addition, this additional layer that we are laying on top with the EFIT is contributing or even a primary or major cause of the rise of crime in the community. Is that the position of the police association or your views, that that’s the reason that crime is rising is because of this consent decree or this EFIT?” [Editor’s emphasis added.]


“Well, Your Honor, I think to simplistically state it like that, no. I don’t think the APOA can take the position that this consent decree that’s gone on, as Mr. Killebrew has indicated, going on seven years now, and the monies, the millions of dollars that have been spent, and now this new proposal with unidentified costs is a driver of what the crime rate is happening in this town. … I can’t say, and I don’t think it’s easy to prove that the money being spent here is what’s driving crime in Albuquerque. I think we’re like a lot of major cities. We’re facing dynamics because of just the city, closeness to cartel issues, closeness to issues concerning violent crime in a lot of major cities. [Editor’s emphasis added.]


Well, that was going to be my next question. You hang around with a lot of policeman in a lot of courtrooms. What do you think the cause of the rise of crime in Albuquerque and particularly violent crime is? … What’s your thoughts … as to why we’re having a rise in crime here? [Editor’s emphasis added.]


“Your Honor, as I’ve kind of indicated, I believe in fairness to all. There are multiple factors. I would say that the last one you just raised is an issue; that there is — the lack of bail bonds and quick release of individuals who are accused of violent crimes is contributing. I think the access and lack of control of arms, weapons, is a problem. I think that — and I hate to go this broad, but, Your Honor, I think there is a breakdown in our society in some ways of our morals, discipline, and control which is contributing. I think the proclivity of drugs present in the city of Albuquerque is contributing to this. There is a factor of mental illness in the city of Albuquerque. There are — I know you’ve seen, Your Honor, as you drive the city streets a lot of homeless people downtown. And all big cities have this problem. But I think there are multiple, multiple factors that are contributing to this, and that’s just a very short list. … ” [Editor’s emphasis added.]


During the February 26 hearing, Albuquerque City Attorney Esteban Aguilar, Jr. addressed the EFIT and the accusation that the consent decree was causing an increase in crime. The comments can be found on pages 51 to 57 of the transcript:


… Let me get the City’s response. And Mr. Aguilar, I may have overlooked you earlier. You may have wanted to talk some about the overview of the process contemplated by the proposed stipulated order. But if you want to contribute to that, let me let you do that now. And also, if you … want to give a response, which I think is largely to the APOA, but you may want to say something about other things that have been raised this afternoon.


Thank you, Your Honor. And if it pleases the Court, the City doesn’t disagree with the data. I think we’ve been very clear, the data that was reflected that showed the failings with our internal affairs review processes as well as 3 other areas. What this plan does is, it accomplishes a couple of things.

One, it establishes a framework for developing and limiting a process for our officers who are currently doing this work to be able to utilize. They’re going to be walking in, or step by step with those officers throughout those investigations. They’re going to be on site in the field. I think a lot of confusion or to the extent that we have heard that there are confusing expectations regarding the quality of their work, confusion regarding what is expected of those folks under the CASA, those will be cleared up. I think, additionally, it provides an additional layer for transparency for the work that 17 the monitoring team is doing.

I want to be sensitive to the comments that we hear publicly that consent decrees add or increase crime in a particular area and that monitors in general have their own financial incentive for changing the bar or prolonging the process. That isn’t happening right now. You know, I want to be very clear that we do not see that happening. What we see are issues with the review process. [Editor’s emphasis added.]

As I’ve indicated before, especially to members of the community, the monitor and his team are officers of the Court and we would expect that they will continue to interact with the parties and with the Court with a duty of candor as officers of the Court. If that were not to be the case and we were to find information that would reflect an ulterior motive or an improper motive, we would address that with our partners. That isn’t going on right now. The cost of this process in general is large. We totally understand that.

I want to push back slightly on the narrative that we’ve been in this for six years. The consent decree has been in place for six years, or a good portion of the beginning phases of that. The APD had not bought in and was not, in my view, taking steps to fully and faithfully execute its obligations under that agreement. [Editor’s emphasis added.]

At this moment in time, I don’t think that we can afford not to make this investment. That is difficult, especially from the policyholder — the 10 policymakers, elected officials, these are very hard decisions. What I will say is that the steps that this department are taking — and to be clear, the vast majority of the women and men of the Albuquerque Police Department have bought into these concepts. Safety, constitutional community-based policing, and this consent decree are not mutually exclusive. They’re doing incredible work. [Editor’s emphasis added.]
… .
This [EFIT] isn’t a permanent fix. I understand Mr. Mowrer and their union, their perspective and their concerns, but these are not permanent positions, and at this moment in time since those individuals are not performing the work that is required, we have to come in and do a hard refit. Because if we don’t, at this moment in time we’re going to lose all the progress that we have been gaining. [Editor’s emphasis added.]

This is a hard process. This is not a Band-Aid approach. What this department is doing is taking the initiative to actually develop systems that will be a model for the country. It is hard, though. We are at the hardest stages of this process and that is where we are working on developing processes, implementing discipline in a way that is fair and consistent, because that’s how culture changes.
… .
… When the results of the data were coming out of the internal affairs division following the implementation of the new use of force policy, there were huge problems. This is designed to, one, address those problems, but also implement a system that will be lasting and sustained past the CASA.

Because one of the other consistent things that we heard about the EFIT plan from all of the members of the community is a concern that once an officer tests out, that they will revert back to those old ways. That can happen. But in order to avoid that, the department has to do this themselves. It’s a habitual change. … fundamental habitual changes are hard. We’re going to have missteps, but at the end of the day, they’re going to be healthier, but it’s not easy and it’s hard work. We have to stay on top of it and the department is going to continue to do that. [Editor’s emphasis added.]

But we also understand that everyone has their own perspective and concerns on the cost. But if we don’t take this action now and invest this money in this department, we’re going to lose ground in the community, and I’m concerned about, frankly, the message that might send to the officers in the department who are doing the right thing.


Anything else, Mr. Aguilar? (Page 57)


Your Honor, I don’t.


On April 15, Judge Browning convened a Status Conference hearing to get a progress report on the implementation of the External Force Investigation Team (EFIT).

The following exchange occurred between Judge Browning and police union attorney John D’Amato as reflected in the court transcript of the proceeding, pages 34 to 38:


… Mr. D’Amato, do you wish to speak on the update of the implementation of the EFIT?


“Thank you, Your Honor. … We don’t have enough information; the Albuquerque Police Officers Association does not have as complete information as does the City or DOJ. But what we have seen causes us a little bit of concern. The obvious concern is bringing a civilian force in.

The secondary concern goes back to our original complaint, when you and I first spoke about the use of force policy. The APOA believes the force policy is a Gordian knot. People have said that CASA is rising crime. CASA is not. CASA is not the problem, Your Honor. [Editor’s emphasis added.]

The City’s response to the strictures of CASA have gotten so convoluted, it’s hard to teach. It’s hard to investigate. It contains so much subjectivity. The second level of this EFIT, I hope they’re not held to the same standard that Internal Affairs Force Division is.

And from my personal experience representing officers through that process, it’s a zero-tolerance policy. I don’t see a successful resolution a year from now, given that standard. [Editor’s emphasis added.] Chief Medina tells me he needs more time. And there is not one person in this room, Your Honor, or on this virtual meeting whose heart is not into this process.

The Albuquerque Police Officers Association isn’t contra CASA. What we are is a representation of those sergeants that the City Attorney Aguilar spoke of … [Emphasis added.] It’s the Field Services Bureau that go out and try to go with what the academy taught them to do. That’s it.

The internal affairs investigators are facing discipline because of deficient investigations, after which a review shows that they have had zero training on investigation. So, I’m hopeful. I believe in my heart that the folks before you a year from now will be successful. I truly hope that. The APOA wishes that to happen. They want a safe community.

And I believe Chief Medina when he said he wants law and order in this community. But until we simplify, until we make things more palatable and edible, in smaller chunks and in simpler terms, you can have two civilian units come in, three, four, five, given the way the City has interpreted the CASA has caused inordinate delay.” [Editor’s emphasis added.]


Do you have a specific on that or is it back to the excessive force policy that you argued last year and that I wrote the opinion on? Is that it?


Well, Your Honor, as I remember that conversation you had and I had, the APOA had to take a hit in moving on that section of policy. As I said, there was internal debate.

From the beginning, we wanted to contest the entire suite. But better practice dictated “Be cooperative, be a partner, work with the City, try to make this thing work.” And despite our concerns both on the application of the use of force and expansion, as well as the internal force investigators, I raised that point back then that there would be problems with the investigators. Why? Unclear policies, confusing directives, and lack of training. [Emphasis added.]

Underlying all of this is staffing issues. But I think if we had 1200 officers, the way we sit right now, it’s not working, Judge. But I’ll give Chief Medina and Deputy Director Stanley, who I’ve known for 30 years, the time that they’re asking for, because I believe that they believe it’s going to work.


If CASA is not the cause of the rise in crime, what do you — as somebody who has your ears close to the rank-and-file officers, what do you think is causing the rise of crime in our community? [Emphasis added.]


I think Mr. Mowrer at the last court hearing indicated the CASA was not the problem. I concur with that initial assessment. But when the city officials looked at the CASA, and they had a political mindset to implement through various protocols and policies, that’s the problem. [Editor’s emphasis added.]

The CASA, in and of itself, Your Honor, is essential. Department of Justice would not have come back in here in 2014 and frivolously said Albuquerque had a problem. Albuquerque had a problem. [Editor’s emphasis added.]

And may I sidebar just a second, just a side note. When Chief Medina was in the shooting, I commend the City of Albuquerque from the time of the shooting until today, to refocus an investment in mental health. And folks like the special CIT units, and the ECIT, and the training in those areas, and the mental health professionals that are on board today didn’t exist in 2002.

So to speculate on various outcomes, I believe, whenever an officer is involved in a shooting, no matter what the result, whether it’s a fatal or critically injuring, that reinforcing in that officer’s mind the sanctity of life. So I believe in some distorted sort of way that experience is making Chief Medina a better chief.


All right. Anything else you’d like to say to the Court?


No, Your Honor.
… .

During the April 15 hearing, City Attorney Esteban Aguilar, Jr. requested to address the Court to take issue with Police Union Attorney D’Amato, with the following comments reflected on pages 61 to 66 of the hearing transcript:


Your Honor, if I may, before we move on, I would like to, if it pleases the Court to address a few of the comments that were made.

All right. Go ahead, Mr. Aguilar.


Thank you, Your Honor. And I apologize, I’ll try to be brief, but I want to vehemently disagree with some of the comments made by Mr. D’Amato.

I think that comments unsupported by data that simply the fact that we have the CASA in place and we have rising crime rates, that there is a tangential connection, unsupported by data, are dangerous, misleading to the public and to the Court. And frankly, it funnels into that false narrative that we hear that gives officers who may not want to comply with the higher degrees of protocols that we’re requiring these officers, or that the department — by the way, the department itself is requiring and holding itself to those standards — it provides them with the ability to obstruct or to violate policies. [Editor’s emphasis added.]

And the real issue, I think is as we stress, and as Mr. Mowrer stressed at the last proceeding: There are multiple factors that lead to a rise in crime. CASA isn’t one of them. Constitutional community-based policing and fighting crime are not mutually exclusive. I think it’s clear from some of the comments that this may be an attempt to reargue or relitigate the use of force policy suite. That’s simply not the case. We’re not there. [Editor’s emphasis added.]

The vast majority of the officers, the men and women of the Albuquerque Police Department are doing everything they can to not only address crime in our community, but also to do so by fully complying with the CASA. As I stressed the last time we had our hearing, my predecessors in the prior city administration did not faithfully execute this Court’s order.

These obligations are not political moves. These aren’t — it’s not a box to be checking. What these are, in the steps of this department is taking to limit these policies are to comply this Court’s lawfully entered order, which is the CASA. Yes, it’s a settlement agreement, but it’s also a lawful order by the court.

What is clear from the data, and that we know from other jurisdictions, is that constitutional community-based policing objectives, which include de-escalation techniques, lead to not only better outcomes for members of our community; it leads to better outcomes and increased safety for our officers and the people on the streets, as well as it prolongs the longevity of their careers. [Editor’s emphasis added.]

What is difficult is learning a new way to do things. And I want to be sensitive to that. That’s a point that I in artfully made at the last proceeding. These officers — while I may have tried to alluded to a “diet,” what these officers are doing is learning a whole new way of interacting with the world in which they live. They are on the front lines again in a very dangerous time, keeping all of media, whether it’s in our community, that are misleading and unsupported by data. And I have made clear that the safety of our officers is the top priority.

Yes, we want to make sure that we are doing so and engaging in constitutional practices. But we have stressed to the Union and to its members that — and to counsel — that if there are provisions that pose unnecessary risk or operational challenges due to gaps, to let us know so we can work together with the partners at the Department of Justice and the members of the monitoring team to revise those policies so that they can be implemented in way that provides, not only for the safety of our officers, but members of the community as well. [Editor’s emphasis added.]

And so I would be remiss if I did not fully address that, Your Honor, because I think it’s dangerous. And I think that comments like that, if they’re going to be made, they need to be supported by data because it leads to confusion, and it also funnels into the distrust with members of the community and our police department. [Editor’s emphasis added.]

And that is something that is — we’re at the critical stage where we cannot and will not engage in anecdotes that are unsupported by facts, particularly at this momentum time where we are all trying to move forward for the betterment of our community. So thank you, Your Honor. [Editor’s emphasis added.]


Thank you, Mr. Aguilar. Mr. D’Amato, anything you want to say on that subject?


Well, Your Honor, thank you for the opportunity to respond. I believe I would refer the viewers and the listeners to those cities with either consent decrees or settlement agreements and draw their own conclusions. This isn’t the forum where Mr. Aguilar and I get to debate. But I would be most happy to take him up on a debate to show him simply how out of touch he is with Field Services Bureau and what the officers are experiencing. That’s all I have. Thank you. [Editor’s emphasis added.]


Soon after the entry of the CASA on November 10, 2014, the police union intervened in the lawsuit and became a third party to the case to advocate police union interest in city policy. The police union has been at the negotiating table for 6 years over the “use of force” and “deadly force policies” and even filed and objection with the court to those policies that the court denied. The Police Union officers and their lawyers have sat in the court room during all the hearings. It was the police union that was a major contributing cause for a full one-year delay in writing the new use of force and deadly force policies. At one point, the Federal Monitor noted told the Court that 51 changes were demanded that had to be addressed.

It was on September 10, 2018, at a status telephone conference call held with the Federal Judge assigned the case that Federal Monitor Dr. James Ginger first told the federal judge that a group ofhigh-ranking APD officers” within the department were trying to thwart reform efforts.

The Federal Monitor revealed that the group of “high-ranking APD officers” were APD sergeants and lieutenants. Because sergeants and lieutenants are part of the police bargaining unit they remained in their positions and could not be removed by the APD Chief. Federal Monitor Ginger referred to the group as the “counter-CASA effect.” Ginger described the group’s attitude as “certainly ambivalent” to the reform effort and the CASA. According to the transcript of the proceeding, Dr. Ginger told the Judge:

“The ones I’m speaking of are in critical areas and that ambivalence, alone, will give rise to exactly the sort of issues that we’ve seen in the past at the training academy. … So while it’s not overt, you know, there’s nobody sabotaging computer files or that sort of thing, it’s a sort of a low-level processing, but nonetheless, it has an effect. … It’s a small group, but it’s a widespread collection of sworn personnel at sergeant’s and lieutenant’s levels with civil service protection that appear to be, based on my knowledge and experience, not completely committed to this process … It is something that is deep-seated and it’s a little harder to find a quick fix or solution to it, but I think, in the long term, by having this foundation with new leadership and a new direction from the top down, we should be able to get through this and survive it.” [Editor’s emphasis added.]

The entire 53-page transcript of the conference call can be read here:


The 10th Federal Monitor’s report provided specific examples where APD, after 4 years of implementing the reforms, are still resisting the reform effort.

“Some members of APD continue to resist actively APD’s reform efforts, including using deliberate counter-CASA processes. For example:

• Sergeants assessed during this reporting period were “0 for 5” in some routine aspects of CASA-required field inspections;
• Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) disciplinary timelines, appear at times to be manipulated by supervisory, management and command levels at the area commands, letting known violations lie dormant until timelines for discipline cannot be met; and
• Spin up of “new” FRB processes will require persistent and candid review, assessment, oversight and support at the field level. “

On November 2, 2020, the Federal Court Appointed Monitor said for at least the 4th time in his reports that the “Counter Casa” effect was interfering with APD accomplishing the implementing the CASA reforms. According to the 12th report:

“[The federal monitor] identified strong under currents of Counter-CASA effects in some critical units on APD’s critical path related to CASA compliance. These include supervision at the field level; mid-level command in both operational and administrative functions, [including] patrol operations, internal affairs practices, disciplinary practices, training, and force review). Supervision, [the] sergeants and lieutenants, and mid-level command, [the commanders] remain one of the most critical weak links in APD’s compliance efforts.

… the monitoring team often found in its reviews of management and oversight practices, a near myopathy at APD when it comes to assessing actions in the field against the requirements of APD policy and the CASA. Supervisors and command level personnel have a deleterious tendency to ignore the requirements of policy and training, and at times to even support processes to hide or circumvent internal systems designed to ensure compliance to established policy.

“APD’s compliance efforts have exhibited serious shortfalls during the … reporting period. These range from critical shortfalls in management and oversight … significant and deleterious failures relating to oversight and discipline; and executive-level failures regarding oversight, command and control, discipline, supervision, and training.” [Editor’s emphasis added.]


The contract negotiated by Keller Administration with the Albuquerque Police Officers Association (APOA) was for the time period of July 7, 2018 to June 30, 2020 and therefor expired on July 1, 2020. Despite the expiration, the terms remain in effect until a new contract is negotiated.

The 65-page APOA police “Collective Bargaining Agreement” (CBA) can be down loaded as a PDF file at this link:


Three sections of the police union contract are worth noting. Those sections are:


“ 1.3.1 The APOA is recognized as the Exclusive Representative for regular full time, non-probationary police officers through the rank of Lieutenants in the APD … . [Editor’s emphasis added.]
1.3.2. The City of Albuquerque extends to the Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association representing such unit of employees the following rights: To represent the employees in negotiations and in the settlement of grievances; To exclusive representation status during the term of this agreement as provided in the Employee Relations Ordinance;

2.5 The City and the APOA recognize the necessity to collaborate on issues that arise as a result of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation and proposals related to the findings of the DOJ regarding the Albuquerque Police Department. If the City anticipates the implementation of policies or directives related to its agreement discussions with the DOJ that impacts Officers’ terms or conditions of employment, the City will notify the APOA of its anticipated changes and provide APOA the opportunity to meet and confer with the City in a timely manner on the anticipated changes. The commitment will not prevent the APOA from submitting the changes for negotiations when the parties negotiate a successor collective bargaining agreement. [Editor’s emphasis added.]
… .
Under the union contract the APOA is recognized as the exclusive representative for regular full time, non-probationary police officers through the rank of Lieutenants in APD. This means the ranks of Sergeants, Master Police Officer, Senior Police Officers, Patrol Officers First Class, and all Detectives are included in the bargaining unit. Approximately 16 years ago, the positions of APD Captains, who are now called Area Commanders, were included in the bargaining unit until the City demanded their removal from the union in that they are management.


The New Mexico Public Employees Bargaining Act, Sections 10-7E-1 to 10-7E-26 H (NMSA 1978), governs the enforcement of the city’s collective bargaining agreement with the APD police union. The link to the statute is here:


The sections on the “rights of employees”, “rights of employers, ” and “impasse resolutions are worth noting:

Section 10-7E-5 provides for the rights of public employees:

“Public employees, other than management employees and confidential employees, may form, join or assist a labor organization for the purpose of collective bargaining through representatives chosen by public employees without interference, restraint or coercion and shall have the right to refuse any such activities.”

The link to Section 10-7E-5 is here:


The Public Employees Bargaining Act is very clear that “management employees” are strictly prohibited from joining the police union. Lieutenants and Sergeants are management positions, yet the City has allowed APD Lieutenants and Sergeants to be part of the collective bargaining unit and has done so for years.


It is disingenuous for the APD Police Union to say that the union is not trying to get the city to end the reform process, especially 7 months before the November 2, 2021 municipal election where Mayor Tim Keller is seeking a second term.

Four years ago, the police union endorsed Keller and the union is now saying it does not know who it will be endorsing this year. Sources have confirmed many of the union members and police union advocates are advising and supporting Sheriff Manny Gonzalez for Mayor with a few working on his campaign. There is little doubt that once again APD and the union are attempting to run out the clock on another Mayor, this time the Keller Administration, knowing full well the municipal election is on November 2, 2021.


Once the Police Union became a party to the Federal lawsuit, it agreed to subject itself to the jurisdiction of the Federal Court and all the rules of the Federal Court. To a limited degree, all parties to any Federal Court action lose rights of free speech in order to protect the proceedings and the courts obligation to be fair and impartial and not be subject to political pressures. “Gag orders” are a commonly used by the courts on parties to prevent parties from discussing cases outside of the courtroom, especially with the media.

A major mistake the union has now made is that as a party to the lawsuit it should be taking its grievances to the Federal Court. The police union has no business talking and taking their grievances to the “court of public opinion” by undertaking a $70,000 political ad campaign that the other two parties, the city and the DOJ, cannot respond to any false claims.

Both the union attorneys are more than capable of filing pleadings in support or opposition of the CASA, have union membership present evidence under oath to the Judge and make argument in a court of law as to how the CASA reforms should be changed. The union attorneys could file any number of motions including a Motion To Dismiss The Case For Substantial Compliance, A Motion To Modify The Terms And Conditions Of The CASA, a Motion For And Order To APD To Rewrite Disciplinary Rules On Use of Force Reports.

Instead of taking their grievances to the Federal Judge, the union is expending an astonishing $70,000 for a political ad campaign. What the police may have bought with their $70,000 is a Contempt Proceeding for interference with a court order in a case that they are a party. No one knows if the Union attorneys had anything to do with the ad campaign or if they approved of it, but it’s not likely they did, especially with the Union spending $70,000 to disparage a Federal Court order.


The biggest failure made clear in Federal Court Monitor’s 12th report filed on November 2, and now the 13th report relates to “Operational Compliance”. Operational Compliance is defined as “managements adherence and enforcement to APD policies in the day-to-day operation of APD” . Operational compliance is where line personnel are routinely held accountable for compliance by their sergeants, and sergeants are routinely held accountable for compliance by their lieutenants and upper command staff. In other words, APD “owns” and enforces its own policies and without expecting the Federal Monitor to do it for them.


Under the terms and conditions of the Court Approved Settlement Agreement, once APD achieves a 95% compliance rate in the 3 identified compliance levels and maintains it for 2 consecutive years, the case can be dismissed. On May 3, the Federal Court Monitor released the 13th Independent Monitor’s Report (IMR-13 ) .APD’s compliance levels merit repeating:

Primary Compliance: 100%;
Secondary Compliance: 82%;
Operational Compliance: 59%.

Since the last report, IMR-12, the following changes in compliance levels are

Primary Compliance: No change at 100%
Secondary Compliance: A loss of 9.9%
Operational Compliance: A loss of 7.8%

It is not at all farfetched to conclude that the Police Union knew exactly what the Federal Monitor was going to report, and hence they started their $70,000 ad campaign.

All documents related to APD’s settlement agreement can be downloaded and reviewed at this city web site link:



APD police sergeants and lieutenants, who are management but allowed to be part of the police union, are on the front line to enforce personnel rules and regulations, standard operating procedures, approve and review work performed and assist in implementing DOJ reforms and standard operating procedures policies. They are where the “rubber meets the road” when it comes to police reforms.

The point that has been repeatedly made by the Federal Monitor is that “until the sergeants are in harness and pulling in the same direction as the chief, things won’t get done as quickly”. In other words, without the 100% support of the sergeants and lieutenants to the CASA mandated reforms, there will be little or no progress made with police reforms.

Only until APD becomes in complete compliance will APD be able to fight crime without violating people’s civil rights and thereby allow the dismissal of the DOJ consent decree. One thing for certain is that only APD management, the police union and all APD police officers can make the consent decree actually work and have the court dismiss it sooner rather than later.


Federal Judge James Browning has scheduled for June 9 a day long hearing on the Federal Monitor’s 13 report. Before the June 9 hearing, the City of Albuquerque and the Department of Justice need to file a Motion for Contempt of Court, either individually or jointly, and seek sanctions against the APOA Union for intentional interference with the Court Approved Settlement Order with its $70,000 political ad campaign and the CASA reforms.

Three sanctions the city and the DOJ should seek are:

1. The removal of all APD Sergeants and Lieutenants from the bargaining unit.

2. Seek to dismiss the APOA Union as a Third Party to the federal lawsuit.

3. Issue a “gag order” to the Police Union officials and allow the Union Attorneys to do their jobs in a court of law without constant public comments from the Police Union officials on the settlement.

Otherwise, the disruptive nonsense of the union will continue as it attempts to disrupt the APD reform process mandated by the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA).

Forty Five Mass Shootings In One Month; Choice Between Repealing Second Amendment, Ban Assault Weapons & Regulate Militias Or Have More Funerals

This blog article provides a legal Analysis and Commentary in the context of mass shootings and the need to repeal the Second Amendment, ban assault weapons, regulate militias and on what responsible gun control legislation should be enacted on the federal and state levels.


In just 4 months, the United States has seen at least 147 mass shootings in 2021 according to data from the “Gun Violence Archive” (GVA) a non-profit based in Washington. A link to the statics is here:


According to GVA, starting on March 16, when 8 people were killed at 3 Atlanta-area spas, the US had at least 45 mass shootings in just one month. CNN compiled a list of the shootings and you can review them in the postscript below in reverse order from most recent to the latest.

On April 16, 2021, when 8 people were killed in the mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility, the total killed within the month was 53.

On April 8, President Joe Biden, accompanied in the Rose Garden by Vice President Kamal Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland, proclaimed in a Rose Garden press conference:

“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic. And it’s an international embarrassment”.

Biden announced Executive Orders to deal with gun violence. Biden repeatedly argued that his executive actions do nothing to impinge on the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

The Executive Orders are limited in scope and fall short of what Biden vowed to pressure Congress to take. The orders do fulfill his March pledge to take “common-sense” steps on his own after a number of shootings that occurred in March. One order directly relates to the March shooting in Boulder, Colorado where a device known as an arm brace was used. Biden is ordering heavy regulation of arm braces used to make firing a pistol more accurate.


Taken together, the actions amount to the first real steps by the Biden administration to combat gun violence. The executive actions include:

1. Efforts to restrict weapons known as “ghost guns” that can be built using parts and instructions purchased online. Ghost guns are handmade or self-assembled firearms that don’t have serial numbers. Some can be fabricated in as little as 30 minutes using kits and individual parts purchased online that do not require a background check, meaning they can essentially be bought by anyone. Biden wants the kits to be treated as firearms under the Gun Control Act. Key parts of the gun making kits would be required to have serial numbers so they can be traced. The act would also require background checks for people purchasing kits.

2. New investments in intervention programs in violence-prone communities

3. A directive to the Justice Department to publish model “red flag” laws for states that allow the temporary removal of guns from people deemed at high risk of harming themselves or others. Last year, the New Mexico Legislature enacted a “red flag” law.

4. On order is for a comprehensive report on firearms trafficking.

President Biden also announced that he is nominating gun control advocate David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which hasn’t had a permanent director in place since 2015.

Biden emphasized the announcements only amount to the first steps toward addressing gun violence, with later action, such as a ban on assault weapons or rules requiring universal background checks, requires Congressional action.

Biden, who is in the midst of implementing a national corona virus inoculation program and advancing a massive infrastructure plan, has previously voiced uncertainty on the likelihood of passing major new gun laws.


American voters have already said “enough is enough” when it comes to gun violence and they are demanding responsible gun control by congress and state legislatures. The Second Amendment is always cited by gun advocates.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides in full:

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

On January 14, 1990, Warren Burger, Conservative US Supreme Court Chief Justice, (1969-86) had this to say about the Second Amendment:

“The Gun Lobby’s interpretation of the Second Amendment is one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American People by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies – the militia – would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires. “

Over many years, former Chief Justice Burger often said that the “right to bear arms” belongs to the states to regulate. He attacked the National Rifle Association (NRA) for promoting the opposite view with political manipulation using political donations to exert influence over America’s elected officials, especially Republican law makers.

Burger wrote in 1990 that the Second Amendment grew out of the founding fathers’ political philosophy that a state military force was necessary to protect the security of the state. He often quoted Elbridge Gerry, one of the founders and eventually James Madison’s vice president, as arguing that a state militia was necessary “to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.” Burger acknowledged that after 200 years of national defense, the role played by state militias was overshadowed and said:

“A state militia, like a rifle and powder horn, was as much a part of life as the automobile is today; pistols were largely for officers, aristocrats – and dueling.”



Former Chief Justice Warren Burger passed away on June 25, 1995 at the age of 87. He likely turned over in his grave when in 2008, the United States Supreme court issued its ruling in the case District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008). The Heller decision was the very first US Supreme Court case to decide whether the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms for self-defense or if the right was intended strictly for state militias.

The US Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional the District of Columbia’s handgun ban and requirement that lawfully owned rifles and shotguns be kept “unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock” violated the second amendment to the US Constitution. The landmark decision ruled the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms even if those arms are unconnected with service in a militia, for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

Second Amendment advocates always ignore that the case District of Columbia v. Heller also made it very clear that the right to bear arms is not unlimited and that guns and gun ownership can be regulated. The Supreme Court said in Heller that restrictions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, on the carrying of arms in sensitive locations, and with respect to the conditions on the sale of firearms could be permissible under the constitution.

Instead, Second Amendment advocates cry out that they should be able to buy and sell guns of whatever type of gun they want, from whomever they want, and carry them and use them however they want because they are “responsible law-abiding citizens” and not criminals.


According to the “Gun Violence Archive”, the number gun violence death has spiked going from 12,356 deaths in 2014 to 19,378 in 2020. Following are the numbers:

2014: 12,356 killed
2015: 13,571 killed
2016: 15,121 killed
2017: 15,718 killed
2018: 14,885 killed
2019: 15,442 killed
2020: 19,378 killed


According to the “Gun Violence Archive”, the number of mass shootings incidents for the last 7 years has more than double going from 269 mass shootings to 611 mass shootings in one year.

Following are the numbers:

2014: 269 mass shootings
2015: 335 mass shootings
2016: 382 mass shootings
2017: 346 mass shootings
2018: 336 mass shootings
2019: 417 mass shootings
2020: 611 mass shootings


The on-line publication Mother Jones has compiled a database of mass shooting from 1982 to the present. The data base is broken down by location, date, summary of the facts, the number of fatalities, and the number of injured. You can review the entire Mother Jones data base here:


According to Mother Jones the mass shooting with guns in the last 11 years include: Orlando, Florida (49 killed, 50 injured), Blacksburg, Va. (32 killed), San Ysidro, Cal (21 killed), San Bernardino, (14 killed), Edmond Oklahoma (14 killed), Fort Hood (13 killed), Binghamton, NY (13 killed) Washington, DC (12 killed), Aurora, Colorado (12 killed), Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Conn (21 children and 6 adult staff members killed) and the largest mass shooting in this country’s history that occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada with at least 59 dead and at least 515 wounded and the Parkland/Stoneridge High School shooting that resulted in 17 children’s deaths, El Paso, Texas, 23 dead and 23 injured, Atlanta, Georgia (Atlanta Message Parlor) 10 killed, Boulder, Colorado (Boulder Supermarket) 8 killed.

“The deadliest mass shootings … have had one thing in common: the perpetrator used an assault rifle. These weapons possess an incredible amount of killing power, and amplify the destructive will of the person who carries out an attack. Nine people died and 27 were injured in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio in an attack that lasted 32 seconds. The killer used an AR-15 style assault rifle. Since 1999, there have been 115 mass shootings in which 941 people were killed and 1,431 were injured. Of those 115 attacks, 32 — just over a quarter — involved semi-automatic rifles. But those attacks accounted for 40% of all deaths and 69% of all injuries. Since 2017, 12 of the 31 mass shootings involved assault rifles — which caused 39% of the deaths and 92% of the injuries. That includes the Las Vegas massacre — which alone accounts for almost 40% of all mass shooting injuries since 1999. The perpetrator of that shooting used over 20 assault rifles during that attack.”



A Wall Street Journal- NBC News poll was conducted between August 10 to 14, 2019 after the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. The poll found that an overwhelming majority of Americans favor Congress expanding background checks for firearm sales, passing “red flag” laws and instituting a voluntary buyback program.

According to the poll, overall, the public remains divided over the government’s role in gun control, despite widespread support for those specific measures. 50% of Americans say they’re more concerned that the government won’t go far enough to regulate access to firearms, while 45% are more concerned gun control laws will be too restrictive. Only 46% of the 834 registered voters surveyed have a gun in their household.

Highlights of the poll are:

89% say they favor Congress expanding background checks to all firearm sales and transfers.
76% back “red flag” laws that help law enforcement temporarily remove guns from those deemed to pose a danger to themselves or others.
75% support a voluntary program where the government would buy back firearms that people no longer want.
62% favor banning the sale of selected semi-automatic firearms referred to as assault weapons.
25% support banning the sale of handguns.

Methodology: The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Aug. 10–14 of 1,000 adults — more than half reached by cellphone — and it has an overall margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points. The margin of error for the 834 registered voters interviewed is ±3.4 percentage points.



Over the years, the United State Supreme Court has expanded the Second Amendment right to right to keep and bear arms. It is referred to as the “right to bear arms” as a right for people to possess weapons or arms for their own defense.

In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that the right to arms preexisted the Constitution and, in that case, and in Presser v. Illinois (1886) recognized that the Second Amendment protected the right from being infringed by Congress.

In United States v. Miller (1939), the Court again recognized that the right to arms is individually held and, citing the Tennessee case of Aymette v State, and indicated that it protected the right to keep and bear arms that are “part of the ordinary military equipment” or the use of which could “contribute to the common defense.”
In its first opportunity to rule specifically on who’s right the Second Amendment protects, District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Court ruled in the landmark case that the amendment protects an individual right “to keep and carry arms in case of confrontation,” not contingent on service in any militia.”


Republicans and right-wing conservatives are always the very first to scream out “judicial activism” whenever the United States Supreme Court expands or interprets the United States Constitution as protecting civil rights or privacy rights that are actually not outlined nor contained in the United States Constitution. The best example is the constant and relentless attack on the landmark case of Roe v. Wade that held that state bans on abortions were unconstitutional and the court protected a woman’s right to choose.

The outcry of “judicial activism” was nowhere to be heard from Republicans and conservatives when the Heller decision essentially ignored the specific language that the Second Amendment that deals with “well-regulated Militia militias.” It was the United States Supreme Court that decided to ignore the intent and purpose of the Second Amendment and expand it to apply to all citizens which was not necessary given the prior United States Supreme Court decisions of United States v. Cruikshank (1876) and United States v. Miller (1939) highlighted earlier in this article.


A point all too often overlooked by the NRA and the defenders of the Second Amendment is the historical context of when the Second Amendment was enacted and the advancement of our technology to make and wage war. Simply put, times change, scientific advancements are made and fiction becomes a reality.

When the Second Amendment was enacted, the mode of transportation was horseback, flint locks were used to defend and wage war, there were no planes and no satellites. All mankind could do is look to the stars through telescopes. Life expectancy was around 50 years old if you survived childbirth and if you were lucky, you did not die of disease.

Today, our mode of transportation are cars, massive ships and jet airplanes. The US defends itself with nuclear warheads and cruise missiles. The United States has gone to the moon and back more than once. Medical advances are allowing people to live into their nineties, some over 100 and organ transplants are common place.

Sooner rather than later, gunpowder will be replaced by technology. No doubt Second Amendment advocates will want to hold a weapon of mass destruction in their hands like seen in Star Trek or Star Wars. It is not at all hard to imagine in 100 years an NRA member, if the NRA is even still around, and Second Amendment rights advocate going into a gun store and asking to buy the updated, hand held “Laser Death Star 100” saying it’s needed for the weekend hunt and proclaiming “My Laser Death Star 100 can take out an entire herd of elk, butcher it, cook it and make jerky out of it with just one shot!”


The purpose and intent of why the United States Constitution allows for amendments is contained in our Declaration of Independence when it says:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.“


The “right to bear arms” is NOT a right embodied or guaranteed in the original constitution. Second amendment advocates ignore that all the Amendments to the US Constitution that have been enacted and can be repealed or substituted by the will of the people.

Our founding fathers knew that for a democracy such as ours to survive, it needed a process to allow government to be able to reflect changing times, grant and protect human rights and civil rights and allow the US Constitution to conform with changing norms and make corrections. Otherwise, we would still have slavery, women would not be able to vote and we would not be able to drink wine and spirits.

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declares that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”, and it formally abolished slavery in the United States. The Civil War over slavery ended on April 9, 1865. The 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.

The 19th amendment granted women the right to vote. It was passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920.

The 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution repealed the 18th Amendment mandated nationwide prohibition on the production and sale of alcohol. The 21st Amendment passed congress on January 16, 1919 and was ratified by the states on December 5, 1933.


“Private Militias”, more commonly known by the general public as “Citizen Militias” are loosely defined as “armed military groups that are composed of private citizens and not recognized by the United State Government or state governments.” Upwards of half the states maintain laws regulating private militias. Generally, these laws prohibit the parading and exercising of armed private militias in public, but do not forbid the formation of private militias.

A Wyoming, a very conservative and reliable “red state” has a statute that prohibits the very formation of private militias. Wyoming State Statutes provides:

“No body of men other than the regularly organized national guard or the troops of the United States shall associate themselves together as a military company or organization, or parade in public with arms without license of the governor.”

Section 19-1-106, Wyoming Statutes Annotated

The Wyoming statute also prohibits the public funding of private militias. Anyone convicted of violating the provisions of the law is subject to a fine of not more than $1,000, imprisonment of six months, or both, for each offense.


“Legal and political scholars have argued that citizen militias are driven by what is known as the insurrection theory of the Second Amendment. Under this view, the Second Amendment grants an unconditional right to bear arms for self-defense and for “rebellion against a tyrannical government” defined as when a government turns oppressive and private citizens have a duty to “insurrect” or take up arms against their own government.

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a qualified rejection of the insurrection theory. According to the Court in Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494, 71 S. Ct. 857, 95 L. Ed. 1137 (1951):

“[W]hatever theoretical merit there may be to the argument that there is a ‘right’ to rebellion against dictatorial governments is without force where the existing structure of the government provides for peaceful and orderly change.”

Legal scholars have interpreted this to mean that as long as the government provides for free elections and trials by jury, private citizens have no right to take up arms against the government. This is particularly relevant to the January 6, 2021 storming and takeover of the United States Capital to prevent Congress from certifying the electoral college vote for President Joe Biden. The January 6 takeover of the capital was sedition, pure plan and simple.


In states that allow militias, private militias are limited only by the criminal laws applicable to all. In other words, if an armed private militia seeks to parade and exercise in a public area, its members are subject to arrest on a variety of laws, including disturbing-the-peace, firearms violations, or even riot statutes.”

Links to quoted sources are here:




There is no comprehensive federal law that regulates militias under the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and citizen militias are not regulated in the State of New Mexico.

Those who take it upon themselves to associate and bear arms calling themselves “citizen militias”, such as those who stormed the United States Capital on January 6 insighted by Führer Trump with his false claims that the election was stolen are insurrectionist. They take it to the extreme when they attend protests fully armed in military attire proclaiming, they attend to assume the responsibility law enforcement to protect people and property and “take back our country”.

As shootings escalate with mass murders and protests, the State of New Mexico and the United State Congress need to enact legislation that defines what a “citizen miltia” is and either ban them entirely or regulate all citizens militias.

A Citizen’s Militia Registration Act needs to be enacted. Citizen militias need to be defined along similar lines of how “gangs” are defined under federal criminal law.


A “citizens miltia” can be easily defined as:

“An association of three or more individuals, whose members collectively identify themselves by adopting a group identity employing one or more of the following: a common name, slogan, identifying sign, symbol, flag, uniforms or military apparel or other physical identifying marking, style or color of clothing, whose purpose in part is to engage in the protection of private property and other people. A registered citizens militia may employ rules for joining and operating within the militia and members may meet on a recurring basis.”

A Citizen Militia Registration Act would require citizen militias to:

1, Allow only American Citizens to be members of a citizen militia.

2. Register with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATFE) within the United States Department of Justice.

3, Require members to register their firearms with the ATFE.

4.Pay yearly regulation fees and firearm certification fees and carry liability insurance.

5. Identify all their members by name, address and contact information.

6. Prohibit felons from joining.

7. Limit their authority and powers so as to prevent militias to engage in law enforcement activities.

8. Require members to pass criminal background checks and psychological testing.

9. Mandate training and instructions on firearm use and safety.

10. Require all militias and its members to agree to follow all local and federal laws.

11. Failure to register as mandated by federal would be a felony.


There are many other legislative proposals, too controversial for Republican United State Senators to stomach, that need to be considered and enacted by congress.

The United State Congress should:

1. Implement mandatory background checks on the sale of all guns.

2. Close the “Charleston loophole” or “delayed denial” where federally licensed dealers can sell guns if three business days pass without FBI clearance.

3. Call for the update and enhancement of the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NCIS).

4. Institute mandatory extended waiting periods for all gun purchases.

5. Implement mandatory handgun licensing, permitting, training, and registration requirements.

6. Ban “bump-fire stocks” as was used in the Las Vegas mass shooting and other dangerous accessories.

7. Ban future manufacture and sale of all assault weapons and regulate existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act of 1934, and initiate a federal gun buyback program.

8. Impose limits on high-capacity magazines.

9. Prohibit firearm sale or transfer to and receipt or possession by an individual who has: (1) been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor hate crime, or (2) received from any court an enhanced hate crime misdemeanor sentence.

10. Institute mandatory child access prevention safe storage requirements and prohibit the sales of handguns with “hair triggers”.

11. Provide more resources and treatment for people with mental illness.

12. Enhance accountability of federally licensed firearms dealers.

13. Implement micro stamped code on each bullet that links it to a specific gun.

14. Produce ‘x-mart guns’ with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or biometric recognition (fingerprint) capability.

15. Limit gun purchases to one gun per month to reduce trafficking and straw purchases.

16. Prohibit open carry of firearms.

17. Digitize Alcohol, Tobacco and Fire (ATF) gun records.

18. Require licensing for ammunition dealer.

In New Mexico, our legislature should:

1. Repeal the New Mexico Constitutional provision that allows the “open carry” of firearms. This would require a public vote and no doubt generate heated discussion given New Mexico’s high percentage of gun ownership for hunting, sport or hobby.

2. Prohibit in New Mexico the sale of “ghost guns” parts. Ghost guns are guns that are manufactured and sold in parts without any serial numbers to be assembled by the purchaser and that can be sold to anyone.

3. Requiring in New Mexico the mandatory purchase of “liability insurance” with each gun sold as is required for all operable vehicles bought and driven in New Mexico.

4. Enact a gun violence restraining order and extreme risk protection process to temporarily prohibit an individual deemed by a judge to pose a danger to self or others, from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition and allow law local law enforcement to remove any firearms or ammunition already in the individual’s possession.

5. Restrict and penalize firearm possession by or transfer to a person subject to a domestic violence protection order or a person, including dating partners, convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor.

6. Mandate the school systems and higher education institutions “harden” their facilities with more security doors, security windows, and security measures and alarm systems and security cameras tied directly to law enforcement 911 emergency operations centers.


Of all the legislation suggested it is enacting a Militia Registration Act that makes the most sense. A registration of citizens militias would go along way to deal with the insuration that occurred in the United State Capitol on January 6, especially citizens militias such as the Proud Boys.

There is no comprehensive federal law that regulates militias under the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and citizen militias are not regulated in the State of New Mexico.

Of all the legislation suggested its the registration of militias that is needed now as a result the January 6 insurrection and takeover of the United States Capitol to prevent the certification of the 2021 election.

What is needed at a minimum on federal level are prohibitions and the ban of the manufacture, sale and distribution to the general public of semi-automatic firearms, AR-15 style rifles, assault weapons, semi-automatic pistols, semi-automatic shotguns and weapons that result in the most murders in the shortest amount of time.

Until the United States congress does something to enact reasonable and responsible gun control measures and ban assault weapons, we can expect many more mass shootings at soft targets. Soft targets include all public schools, movie theaters, malls, department stores and major public events like concerts and state fairs. The mass shootings will again be followed by the predictable cycle of news coverage, more outrage, more nighttime candle vigils, more funerals, more condolences, more rhetoric demanding action.

Congress and our legislators can end the madness but only if they have the backbone and will to act and help fulfill the goal of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as declared in our Declaration of Independence.



Following an edited CNN listing of the 45 mass shooting incidents reported from March 16 to April 15 in reverse order.

April 15: Indianapolis
Eight people were killed and several others wounded in a mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility on Thursday night, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Genae Cook said.

April 15: Pensacola, Florida
At least six people were injured at an Escambia County apartment complex. No suspects are in custody.

April 15: Washington, DC
Four people were shot, including a teenage girl, Thursday in Northeast Washington, DC..

April 13: Baltimore
Police said a dice game turned violent when two shooters opened fire on a group, injuring four.

April 12: Chicago
Four people were shot, one fatally, and a fifth person was hit by a car in a shooting early Monday on the Eisenhower Expressway.

April 11: Wichita, Kansas
One person was killed and three others injured in a shooting at a house party at an East Wichita Airbnb.
A toddler and three other people were injured when suspects fired into a business parking lot.

April 10: Memphis, Tennessee
One person was killed and three others were injured, including a mother and child, after gunfire was exchanged in a Memphis neighborhood.

April 10: Koshkonong, Missouri
One person was killed and three others injured in a shooting at a convenience store.

April 10: Waterbury, Connecticut
Police responded to calls of a weapons complaint and found blood trails and four injured victims.

April 10: Allendale, Michigan
An incident outside a house party resulted in four people being shot and one critically injured.

April 9: Fort Worth, Texas
One person was killed and at least five others injured when people in two vehicles shot at each other on a Fort Worth, Texas, freeway Friday night, officials said.

April 8: Bryan, Texas
A gunman killed one person and wounded at least five others — four of them critically — at a cabinet manufacturer, police said.

April 7: Rock Hill, South Carolina
A former NFL player killed six people — including a prominent doctor, his wife and their two young grandchildren — before killing himself, authorities said.

April 7: Milwaukee
A 26-year-old man was charged with the shooting that killed two people and injured two others at a gas station.

April 6: Detroit
One person was killed and three others injured after gunfire erupted from a car.

April 5: Baltimore
Five victims were taken to a hospital with multiple gunshot wounds.

April 4: Monroe, Louisiana
Police responded to Bobo’s Bar, where they found six victims with gunshot wounds.

April 4: Birmingham, Alabama
An argument between two groups of men devolved into more than 30 shots fired at a park on Easter — killing a woman and wounding five other people, including four children, police said.

April 4: Beaumont, Texas
A man arrived at a home, threatening several people with a firearm before shooting four victims.

April 3: Wilmington, North Carolina
Three people were killed and four others injured in a mass shooting at a house party.

April 3: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Two men were arrested and charged with attempted murder after five people were injured during a shooting outside an Alabama bar, police said.

April 3: Dallas
In what police said was an apparent murder-suicide plot, 21-year-old and 19-year-old brothers made a pact to kill their parents, sister and grandmother.

April 3: Quincy, Florida
Seven people were injured by gunfire near a nightclub after a fight broke out into gunshots.

March 31: Orange, California
Four people, including a child, were killed and another person wounded in a mass shooting at an office complex in Orange, California, according to authorities.

March 31: Washington, DC
Five people were shot in Washington, the DC Police Department said. The incident started as a dispute and ended with two people dead and three injured.

March 28: Cleveland
Seven people were shot at a Cleveland nightclub, according to CNN affiliate WOIO. The victims, four men and three women, were all between 20 and 30 years old, and police believe several people fired inside the nightclub, the station reported.

March 28: Chicago
Four people in an SUV were shot on the I-57 expressway, according to CNN affiliate WLS. All were taken to hospitals in critical condition.

March 28: Essex, Maryland
A man fatally shot his parents before shooting three people at a convenience store, killing two of them, CNN affiliate WBOC reported, citing Baltimore County police. The suspect died by suicide.

March 27: Chicago
Four people were shot in Chicago’s South Austin neighborhood, according to CNN affiliate WBBM. The victims, who included men ages 42, 53 and 64, were near a sidewalk when they were shot, the station reported.

March 27: Yazoo City, Mississippi
At least seven people were injured in a mass shooting at a nightclub, CNN affiliate WLBT reported. At least six people were shot and another person suffered a laceration, the station reported.

March 27: River Grove, Illinois
A shooting on a party bus left three people injured and one dead, according to CNN affiliate WLS. Police say the occupants of another vehicle fired at the bus while stopped at an intersection, the station reported.

March 26: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Three shootings in the city left eight people injured and two dead, according to the City of Virginia Beach.

March 26: Chicago
A gathering in Chicago’s Wrightwood neighborhood turned into a mass shooting, according to CNN affiliate WLS. Two gunmen opened fire inside the gathering, wounding seven people and fatally shooting a 26-year-old man, the station reported.

March 26: Norfolk, Virginia
Police responded to a shooting that left four people wounded, CNN affiliate WTKR reported. The victims — two 18-year-old men, a 17-year-old girl and a 21-year-old woman — sustained non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

March 26: Memphis, Tennessee
Five people were shot, the Memphis Police Department said on Twitter. Three victims were pronounced dead at the scene, two were taken to a hospital in critical condition, and one was in non-critical condition, the tweet said. Michael Tucker, the man identified as the suspect, was found dead in a motel in Nashville Thursday. Police spokesman Don Aaron said it is believed Tucker died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

March 26: Philadelphia
Outside of the Golf and Social Club, police say two suspects shot seven people, CNN affiliate WPVI reported. Video released by police shows two suspects approaching a gathering crowd and opening fire.

March 23: Aliceville, Alabama
A shooting reported at an Aliceville home left two people dead and two injured.

March 23: Boulder, Colorado
Ten people, including a Boulder police officer, were killed in a shooting at a King Soopers supermarket, according to police.

March 20: Philadelphia
One person was killed and another five were injured in a shooting at an illegal party, CNN affiliate KYW reported. “There were at least 150 people in there that fled and believed they had to flee for their lives,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.

March 20: Dallas
Eight people were shot, one fatally, by an unknown assailant, according to police.

March 20: Houston
Five people were shot after a disturbance inside a club, according to police. One was in critical condition after being shot in the neck, and the rest were in stable condition.

March 18: Gresham, Oregon
Four victims were taken to the hospital after a shooting in the city east of Portland, police said in an initial report.

March 17: Stockton, California
Five people who were preparing a vigil in Stockton, in California’s Central Valley, were shot in a drive-by shooting, the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department said. None had life-threatening injuries.

March 16: Atlanta
Eight people, including six Asian women, were killed when a White gunman stormed three spas, police said.

March 28: Cleveland
Seven people were shot at a Cleveland nightclub. The victims, four men and three women, were all between 20 and 30 years old, and police believe several people fired inside the nightclub, the station reported.

March 28: Chicago
Four people in an SUV were shot on the I-57 expressway. All were taken to hospitals in critical condition.

March 28: Essex, Maryland
A man fatally shot his parents before shooting three people at a convenience store, killing two of them. The suspect died by suicide.

March 27: Chicago
Four people were shot in Chicago’s South Austin neighborhood. The victims, who included men ages 42, 53 and 64, were near a sidewalk when they were shot, the station reported.

March 27: Yazoo City, Mississippi
At least seven people were injured in a mass shooting at a nightclub. At least six people were shot and another person suffered a laceration, the station reported.

March 27: River Grove, Illinois
A shooting on a party bus left three people injured and one dead. Police say the occupants of another vehicle fired at the bus while stopped at an intersection, the station reported.

March 26: Virginia Beach, Virginia,
Three shootings in the city left eight people injured and two dead.

March 26: Chicago
A gathering in Chicago’s Wrightwood neighborhood turned into a mass shooting. Two gunmen opened fire inside the gathering, wounding seven people and fatally shooting a 26-year-old man, the station reported.

March 26: Norfolk, Virginia
Police responded to a shooting that left four people wounded, The victims — two 18-year-old men, a 17-year-old girl and a 21-year-old woman — sustained non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

March 26: Memphis, Tennessee
Five people were shot Three victims were pronounced dead at the scene, two were taken to a hospital in critical condition, and one was in non-critical condition, the tweet said. Michael Tucker, the man identified as the suspect, was found dead in a motel in Nashville. Police spokesman Don Aaron said it is believed Tucker died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

March 26: Philadelphia
Outside of the Golf and Social Club, police say two suspects shot seven people. Video released by police shows two suspects approaching a gathering crowd and opening fire.

March 23: Aliceville, Alabama
A shooting reported at an Aliceville home left two people dead and two injured.

March 23: Boulder, Colorado
Ten people, including a Boulder police officer, were killed in a shooting at a King Soopers supermarket, according to police.

March 20: Philadelphia
One person was killed and another five were injured in a shooting at an illegal party, CNN affiliate KYW reported. “There were at least 150 people in there that fled and believed they had to flee for their lives,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.

March 20: Dallas
Eight people were shot, one fatally, by an unknown assailant, according to police.
March 20: Houston: Five people were shot after a disturbance inside a club, according to police. One was in critical condition after being shot in the neck, and the rest were in stable condition.

March 18: Gresham, Oregon
Four victims were taken to the hospital after a shooting in the city east of Portland, police said in an initial report.

March 17: Stockton, California
Five people who were preparing a vigil in Stockton, in California’s Central Valley, were shot in a drive-by shooting, the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department said. None had life-threatening injuries.

March 16: Atlanta
Eight people, including six Asian women, were killed when a White gunman stormed three spas, police said.