Federal Judge Overrules APD Police Union Motion On “Use of Force” Policy; Union Needs To Get On Board With New Policy

On April 10, 2014, the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued its report of an 18-month civil rights investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). The DOJ reviewed excessive use of force and deadly force cases and found APD had engaged in a “pattern and practice” of unconstitutional “use of force” and “deadly force” and found a “culture of aggression” within APD. The result was that on November 13, 2014 Albuquerque and APD entered into a federal court-approved settlement agreement mandating 276 reforms.

U.S. District Judge James Browning is the federal judge who is presiding over the reform efforts of the City and the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) under the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA). Late last year the Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association (APOA) filed a motion challenging APD’s new “use of force” policy.

In January, APD implemented the new use-of-force policies. One sentence of the policy reads as follows:

“Supervisors and (Force Investigation Section) detectives shall consider the facts that a reasonable officer on scene would have known at the time the officer used force in evaluating whether the force was in compliance with department policy.”

In the motion APOA argued the sentence was vague and undefined and it is difficult to determine what facts “a reasonable officer” would have known at the time they decide to use force or deadly force . The union requested the court to replace the sentence with the following language:

“The determination of ‘objectively reasonable’ is based on the totality of the circumstances and the facts known to the officer at the time of the incident.”


On June 25, it was reported that Judge Browning denied the unions motion. In his written order denying the union’s motion, Judge Browning overruled the union’s objections. According to his order, Judge Browning said he can only amend the use-of-force policy if it violates the constitution, federal law or the court-approved settlement agreement between the city and the Department of Justice and he found it did not.


Judge Browning ruled the language in the use-of-force policy is consistent with the “objective-reasonableness standard”. This is the legal standard articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Graham v. Connor , 490 U.S. 386 (1989). The US Supreme Court decided the case on May 15, 1989.

“Graham v. Connor determines the legality of every use-of-force decision any police officer makes. Using the Graham standard, an officer must apply constitutionally appropriate levels of force, based on the unique circumstances of each case. The officer’s force should be applied in the same basic way that an “objectively reasonable” officer would in the same circumstances. The Supreme Court has repeatedly said that the most important factor to consider in applying force is the threat faced by the officer or others at the scene.”


Judge James Browning wrote:

“the determination whether a reasonable officer would have known that the offender suffered from mental illness is not based on whether it surfaces after the situation that the offender suffered from mental illness. Instead, the determination is based on whether a reasonable officer at the crime scene would have known from the circumstances that a person suffered mental illness.”


It took the city years to revise APD’s use-of-force policies in a manner consistent with the court-approved settlement agreement, policies the police union has also been objecting to for a number of years.

According to Assistant City Attorney Lindsay Van Meter who is handling the case for the city, the dispute all started in early 2019 as disagreement between the city and the Albuquerque Police Union over the wording of one use of force policy.

The city’s policy reads that detectives investigating use of force cases “shall consider the facts that a reasonable officer on the scene would have known at the time the officer used force.” The Police Union wanted to change it for investigators to consider the facts “known to the officer at the time of the incident.” An example the police union gave was if an officer is rushing to a scene but doesn’t have time to see on his computer that the person is mentally ill, then uses force, they would be scrutinized for what they “would” or “should have known.” The APOA said this ruling says the officer should have read and known the person was mentally ill, which could have changed his interaction.

The APOA believes the wording is unconstitutional. Police Union President Shaun Willoughby had this to say:

“It is kind of subjective in our opinion to what I would have heard on the radio or on the scanner or what if, what if, what if.”


City spokeswoman Jessie Damazyn wrote in a news release about Judge Browning’s ruling:

“A key component of the Settlement Agreement with the DOJ – and the work to repair APD’s relationship with the public – was an overhaul of the department’s Use of Force Policies”

The City Attorney’s reaction to Judge Browning’s ruling is that the ruling is a clear a victory for the City and APD. The ruling puts a bigger responsibility on police officers to investigate and gather more information about a suspect before they resort to using force.

Assistant City Attorney Lindsay Van Meter who is handling the case for the city had this to say:

“I was never really clear why they took as much objection to it as they did. These policies put very clear limits on the use of force by officers, make sure officers are investigated thoroughly and fairly and make sure everyone is held accountable when they use force. By limiting it to facts known to the officer at the time of the incident, that in our view would not allow the investigator to consider that other officers on scene did observe that particular circumstance and would show if an officer actually had reason to know something they say they didn’t know.”

The city said the policy creates an incentive for officers to fully assess a situation before deciding to use force. Both the city and APOA agree it’s a higher standard from the department’s policy prior to the Department of Justice reforms, which Van Meter said did not identify a standard. Van Meter said with this increased level of oversight it is easier to hold officers accountable when force is used.



Federal Court Appointed Independent Monitor Dr. James Ginger who is overseeing the reforms has reported that since December 1, 2017 Mayor Tim Keller took office there has been a change in attitude and level of cooperation by APD. However, Ginger has also reported significant resistance to the reforms by APD mid-level management consisting of sergeants and lieutenants. The Federal Monitor has labeled the resistance the “counter CASA” effect.


The CASA was negotiated to be fully implemented over a four-year period. On November 14, 2020, it will be 6 full years that have expired since the city entered into the CASA with the DOJ. Under the terms and conditions of the CASA, once APD achieves a 95% compliance rate in 3 compliance areas, and maintains compliance for 2 years, the case can be dismissed.

For the purposes of the APD monitoring process, “compliance” consists of three levels: primary, secondary, and operational compliance levels.

The 3 compliance levels are:

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.

Page 9 of 307, Case 1:14-cv-01025-JB-SMV Document 578 Filed 05/04/20


Notwithstanding the passage of almost 6 years, APD continues to struggled with the implementation of all the mandated reforms and is still under a federal court ordered consent decree.
It was in the Federal Monitors 10th audit report that the “Counter CASA” effect was fully explained. According to the Federal Monitor’s 10th report:

“Sergeants and lieutenants, at times, go to extreme lengths to excuse officer behaviors that clearly violate established and trained APD policy, using excuses, deflective verbiage, de minimis comments and unsupported assertions to avoid calling out subordinates’ failures to adhere to established policies and expected practice. Supervisors (sergeants) and mid-level managers (lieutenants) routinely ignore serious violations, fail to note minor infractions, and instead, consider a given case “complete”.

“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;”

In his 11th “Independent Monitor Reports” Dr. Ginger again noted APD’s struggle to implement and maintain policy changes. He laid blame by stating that APD personnel
“were still failing to adhere to the requirements of the CASA found in past monitoring reports, including some instances moving beyond the epicenter of supervision to mid- and upper management levels of the organization. … Some in APD’s command levels continue to exhibit behaviors that “build bulwarks” [walls] preventing fair and objective discipline, including a process of attempting to delay and in some cases successfully delaying the oversight processes until the timelines for administering discipline had been exceeded. [The] delays prevented an effective remedial response to behavior that is clearly in violation of established policy.”

… Since the beginning of the CASA compliance process that there were a few at APD who were overtly resistant to the CASA. [The Monitor] in the past [has] found evidence of a “counter-CASA effect” among some at the supervisory, mid-management, and command levels at APD. Those who knowingly or subconsciously count themselves in this group are beginning to face pressure to change their assessment of the value of the CASA. In some cases [they] have faced reasonably prompt and appropriate corrective efforts from the current executive levels of the APD for behavior that is not congruent with the CASA. … This as an essential way forward if APD is to move into full compliance [with all the CASA mandated reforms]. The remaining issue is that this pressure is neither uniform nor persistent.”

See pages 4 and 303 of 11th Federal Monitors Report with the link to the entire report here:



On May 4, 2020, the Federal Court Appointed Monitor James Ginger filed with the Federal Court his 11th Compliance Audit Report of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reforms mandated under the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA). The report covers the eleventh monitoring period from August 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020.

EDITORS NOTE: The postscript to this blog article contains links to 10 articles reporting on the Court Approved Settlement Agreement and the 11 Federal Monitors Reports

In the previous 10th Federal Monitor’s Report, APD was reported to have met 100% of CASA-established primary compliance requirements during the reporting period. To quote the audit “This means, in effect, that policy requiring compliance actions and processes are complete, and are reasonably designed to achieve the articulated goals of the CASA.” Secondary compliance rates (training) were reported at 81%, up from 79% and overall compliance rates are at 63%, the same as the 9th audit report.

In the 11th audit report that covered the time period of August 1, 2019 and ended in January 31, 2020, the federal monitor found APD was 100% in primary compliance, no change from 10th report, a 93% in secondary compliance, a change of 14.8% from the 10th report, and 66% in operational compliance, a change of 3%.

Primary Compliance relates mostly to development and implementation of acceptable policies and conforming to national practices.

APD is now in 93% Secondary Compliance as of the 11th reporting period, which means that effective follow-up mechanisms are beginning to be taken to ensure that APD personnel understand the requirements of promulgated policies in the areas of training, supervising, coaching, and disciplinary processes to ensure APD personnel understand the policies as promulgated and are capable of implementing them in the field.

APD is in 66% Operational Compliance with the requirements of the CASA, which means that 66% 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.


Six years ago, the APD Union was not a named party to the original civil rights complaint for excessive use of force and deadly force filed against the city by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Soon after the DOJ initiated the federal lawsuit against APD and the City, the APOA police union intervened to become a party to the federal lawsuit in order to advocate for union interests in city policy and changes to the “use of force” and “deadly force policies.”

The Police Union, despite public comments of cooperation and comments made to the court, have never fully supported the agreed to reforms. The Police Union contributed significantly to the delay in writing the new use of force and deadly force policies. The union leadership has always been at the negotiating table and for a full year were involved with the drafting of the “use of force” and “deadly use of force” policy.

The union contributed to the one-year delay in writing the policies objecting to many provisions of the policies. The police union repeatedly objected to the language of the use of force policy asserting the policy was unreasonable. This was evidenced by the monitors claim that submitted use of force policy was missing key components and the monitor saw 50-plus changes needing to be made to satisfy union objections.

The union leadership has attended and has sat at counsel table during all court hearings and the Federal Monitor presentations on his reports. During all the Court proceeding where the federal monitor has made his presentation to the federal court, the APOA union has made its opposition and objections known to the federal court regarding the use of force and deadly force policies as being too restrictive with rank and file claiming rank and file cannot do their jobs even with training on the policies.

Six of the 9 Federal Monitor’s status reports have been scathing against the city accusing the previous APD chain of command of delaying and obstructing the DOJ reform process, yet the police union had no comment and took no position. When the previous administration accused the federal monitor of biasness and attempted to have the monitor removed, after the Assistant Chief secretly tape a conference meeting with the monitor, the police union remained totally silent ostensibly giving its support to have the federal monitor removed.


It is pathetic that after almost a full 6 years of the consent decree, APD is only at a 66% operational compliance rate with progress in the single digits percentage wise each year. The most likely reason for this is the police union where APD sergeants and lieutenants are part of the union and management at the same time. The federal monitor has reported repeatedly in no uncertain terms that there are problems with APD sergeants and lieutenants enforcing policies and to discipline officers who violate those policies.

The police union and its leadership have said in open court that the mandated reforms under the consent decree are interfering with rank and file officer’s ability to perform their job duties. A mere 10 months ago during the August 20, 2019, a day long status conference, the APOA union President Shaun Willoughby made is clear that the attitude towards the CASA has not changed in the least.

District Court Judge Browning asked APOA Union President Shawn Willoughby what he and the union rank and file felt about the CASA. Willoughby’s responses were a quick condemnation of the CASA when he said “we hate it”, “we’re frustrated”, the reforms and mandates are “a hard pill to swallow”, that “all change is hard”. According to Willoughby, police officers are afraid to do their jobs for fear of being investigated, fired or disciplined. In the same breath, Willoughby went on to brag about how his union, unlike other police unions in city’s with consent decrees, actually worked and cooperated with the city and the DOJ.

The police union has never articulated in open court and in clear terms exactly what it is about the reforms that are keeping rank and file from “doing their” jobs and “why they hate” the CASA as articulated by the union president. It’s likely the union feels what is interfering with police from doing their jobs is the mandatory use of lapel cameras, police can no longer shoot at fleeing cars, police can no longer use choke holds, police need to use less lethal force and not rely on the SWAT unit, police must use de-escalating tactics and be trained in crisis intervention, and management must hold police accountable for violation of standard operating procedures.

According to the Federal Monitors 10th report:

“Sergeants and lieutenants, at times, go to extreme lengths to excuse officer behaviors that clearly violate established and trained APD policy, using excuses, deflective verbiage, de minimis comments and unsupported assertions to avoid calling out subordinates’ failures to adhere to established policies and expected practice. Supervisors (sergeants) and mid-level managers (lieutenants) routinely ignore serious violations, fail to note minor infractions, and instead, consider a given case “complete”.

All APD police sergeants and lieutenants are clearly part of police management and chain of command and should not be a part of the union. APD Police sergeants and lieutenants cannot serve two masters of Administration Management and Union priorities that are in conflict when it comes to the CASA reforms. The police union refuses to acknowledge or agree to removal of the sergeants and lieutenants from the bargaining unit knowing it will eliminate the unions ability to influence them in management and it will reduce the size of the dues paying union membership.


There is no word yet if the police union will seek to appeal Judge Browing’s decision. If it does, the appeal will take time and no doubt delay even further to APD’s achieving 100% compliance with the reforms to allow for dismissal of the case.

The current police union contract expires on June 30. The City and the Union have now suspended their negotiations because of the corona virus pandemic and the uncertainty of the city’s revenues for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. It has been made known that union contract negotiations will again commence some time in August, and until a new union contract is negotiated and approved, the terms and conditions of the old contract will remain in effect.

One term that the city needs to negotiate is that Sergeants and lieutenants need to be made at will employees and removed from the police union bargaining unit in order to get a real buy in to management’s goals of police reform and the CASA. APD Police sergeants and lieutenants cannot serve two masters of Administration Management and Union priorities that are in conflict when it comes to the CASA reforms.

Until sergeants and lieutenants are removed from the union and made at will employees, do not expect the CASA reforms to be in 100% compliance allowing the dismissal of the case.



Following are related blog articles on the DOJ Court Approved Settlement Agreement and the Federal Monitors Reports:











APD “Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t”; Keller, Davis and Benton Political Consultant Involved With June 15 Onate Statue Protest; DA Torrez Grooms His Onate Beard For Press Conferences

On June 15, a man was shot in Old Town over the “La Jornada” (The Journey) sculpture in front of the Albuquerque Museum. The shooting occurred during a protest for the removal of the figures of Juan de Onate de Salazar in the sculpture. There were 5 to 6 heavily armed New Mexico Civil Guard members, some dressed in military camouflage, present trying to “protect” the sculpture. It was reported that the shooting occurred when at least 3 of the protesters attacked a person who was walking away from them, he was struck in the head with a skateboard and the person attacked drew a gun, shot numerous times, with one shot hitting one of the protesters. The shot protester was rushed to the hospital and is listed in critical but stable condition. The shooting and violence resulted in the City taking down the single figure of Onate in the sculpture.


On Monday, June 23, Albuquerque Police Department Deputy Chief Harold Medina and Lt. Joe Viers discussed APD’s response to the protest and shooting in front of the Albuquerque Museum in Old Town.

Lt. Joe Viers gave a detailed timeline of events. The events for APD started to unfold when incident command staff learned there would be a “peaceful prayer” gathering calling for the removal of the Oñate statue. According to Viers:

“There was no indication they would try to remove or tear down the statue and there was no indication of any anti-protesters or militia members trying to show up to instigate any events. ”

Viers went on to explain that around 5:20 p.m. the first call came into 911 about armed men at the protest. In one 911 call, a woman reported that armed men carrying assault style weapons were present but they were not pointing weapons at anyone. Under New Mexico Law, it is legal to carry a gun openly and the caller was told that by APD.

According to Lt. Viers:

“I did contact the tactical commander to form a quick response team. Basically their goal is to not be part of the demonstration or crowd control or anything like that. Basically since there was an armed individual introduced at this protest, at that time, we just needed to have a response team for medical care, as well as if there was a rescue that needed to take place.”

APD Incident Command ordered a mobile camera trailer across the street to monitor the gathering and events as APD compared the 911 calls coming in to what they could see from the feed to the Real Time Crime Center. Twenty three calls about the incident were made to 911. Eight of the calls occurred before the shooting and 4 of those referenced the armed men. One caller mentioned the men pointing guns at teenagers in the crowd, but APD said they didn’t have any evidence of that actually occurring other than the call.

Lt. Viers went on to explain that two Emergency Response Teams were staged at the Albuquerque Museum and the Old Town substation nearby. As a protest began to unfold, undercover APD detectives kept their distance and observed the events as they unfolded. Viers explained it this way:

“The undercover officers who were monitoring the crowd from a distance obviously did not convey any information that there was any threats of violence at that time. … There were no immediate threats of life and ERT (Emergency Response Team) was basically on standby if things were to escalate. … [The undercover detectives] were standing outside the protest and didn’t have a good visual on what was happening inside the crowd.”

According to Deputy Chief Medina, the “temperature of the group” would rise and then fall and he said:

“When the civil guard surrendered the statue you can clearly see through the photos and video it was a sense of victory for the protesters. … It kind of diffused the situation there. From them surrendering the statute and pulling away to the moment that shots were fired was literally minutes.”

According to the time line provided, at 8:04 p.m., shots were fired. Emergency Response Teams were deployed a minute later, arriving at 8:07 p.m. It was APD para medics who first rendered aid to the injured man and he was taken from the scene in an ambulance 8 minutes later.

Lt. Viers said APD still had members of the New Mexico Civilian Milita Guard detained at the scene while they waited for marked units to arrive and transport them: .

“We had the individuals who were being detained between those two vehicles to deal with and then we also had a crime scene to try to preserve as best we could until the investigators were able to come on scene and continue that investigation. … At 20:28 hours [8:28 p.m.], a small group of protesters refused to move to a safe distance from where the group of individuals were being detained so smoke was used to help disperse the crowd.”

According to Viers , protesters kicked the smoke canisters back and officers deployed seven “sponge rounds”. A few dozen protesters remained in the area but eventually dispersed around 9:30 p.m. In the hours that followed, crime scene investigators arrived to process the scene and search it to locate physical evidence and tag into evidence. The processing of the location continuing into the next morning.


During the press conference, short clips of video were released by APD. The video released shows a line of officers, armed with batons, marching toward the protesters while another group wearing tactical gear dispatched out from an armored vehicle and they took several members of a civilian militia group into custody, also seizing their weaponry.

The videos released did not show any attempts by APD at investigating the shooting, whether by interviewing witnesses or combing the streets for evidence. Deputy Chief Medina explained that shots had been fired, the crowd was angry, and that made it very difficult to process the scene in the normal manner as done for serious crime. According to Medina, the decision was made that rather than interviewing the witnesses who remained on scene, many of whom were present immediately before and during the shooting, they asked the media to report that anyone with information about what happened to please contact APD.

During the press conference, Deputy Chief Medina explained it this way:

“We knew a lot of individuals when shots were fired … had left the area. There were others there that had gotten caught up in a clash with law enforcement so we knew that we weren’t going to have the witnesses that we typically do right away, and we knew that we didn’t have the luxury of securing the scene as usual.”

On June 16, the Albuquerque Police Department released a photo of the 13 guns and 34 magazines taken from militia members at the protest in front of the Albuquerque Museum Monday. In the APD photo are 4 semi-automatic rifles ostensibly seized from the citizen milita.

The day after the protest, APD was severely criticized and scrutinized over the decision not to send officers into the fray much sooner and failure to infiltrate the crowd. During the June 22 press conference, Deputy Chief Medina said after watching similar events unfold all across the country, APD has been mindful of the way officers respond to such protests knowing it will affect the department’s relationship with the community. Medina responded this way:

“The Albuquerque Police Department recognizes that our past approach to use of force caused the community to distrust and fear the police. … Throughout this time of dealing with protests we have been cautious to hold the use of force to a minimum and use only for significant property damage or when life is threatened. We simply will not allow simple property crime damage to be the tipping point of when we decide to use force on a crowd that has a lot of individuals who are still peacefully demonstrating their constitutional rights.”

APD has announced that the entire investigation of the June 15 protest has been turned over to the New Mexico State Police.


On June 15, APD arrested Steven Ray Baca, 31, who was suspected of shooting Scott Williams at the protest during an altercation he had with Williams. Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez was forced to drop the most serious charge against Baca relating to the shooting of Williams. Baca was instead charged with felony aggravated battery and two petty misdemeanor charges stemming from interactions with 3 unidentified women during the protest with the confrontation caught on video. Unless the 3 unidentified women are found, its likely those charges will have to be dismissed. Without a victim to testify that they were the ones assaulted by Baca and they were not assaulting Baca, there is no crime. Baca is also charged with carrying a gun without a concealed carry permit.

On Monday, June 22, Baca was released pending trial after a detention hearing on charges of aggravated battery and unlawful carrying of a handgun. The charges Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez have not filed are related to the shooting that injured Scott Williams, saying the investigation is ongoing. As part of his release conditions, Baca has been ordered to not attend any protests nor have any contact with any witnesses and he is prohibited from caring a weapon.



On June 16, less than 24 hours after the protest, Albuquerque City Councilors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton released statements concerning APD’s handling of the violence connected to the June 15 protest. Councilors Benton and Davis have asked the Keller administration to provide a public accounting for the events and decisions as they unfolded, and to make those available for public review through the Council’s hearings process.

Following are both statements:


“I am deeply disturbed by the escalation of events that transpired last night in our city. Like all of us, I am hopeful for the full recovery of the victim of the shooting. While we deserve to quickly see a full detail of the events and decisions as they unfolded, I have real concerns about the decisions made before and during the planned prayer vigil and protests at the Albuquerque Museum that allowed at least three different groups, including one armed militia, with three different agendas to converge and antagonize each other unimpeded. Those charged with making decisions about engagement have put our officers in the impossible situation of protecting the rights of conflicting protesters while not intervening to prevent the inevitable conflicts. At its core, policing is about protecting life and property. By that standard, the city failed on both counts last night. It is time for the City to engage in serious soul searching about how we help de-escalate conflicts across the board.”


“There appear to be similarities between last night’s actions and those in our downtown a few weekends ago. In each case, outside opportunists were able to take advantage of a thoughtful and peaceful protest to advance their own agendas that include mayhem and destruction, targeting public and private property and endangering innocent persons. It is the responsibility of the police and senior leadership to understand and anticipate the dynamics and potential conflicts, and take appropriate precautionary measures.In events last night and a few weekends ago, the City failed to plan for or respond quickly enough as the dynamics evolved. There is now an unfortunate perception that the City has been willing to stand aside as destruction occurs. That perception must be changed. It is easy to engage in Monday morning quarterbacking and criticism after the fact. But we must learn the lessons of our mistakes and adjust the City’s strategy publicly and quickly to ensure that the right to protest is protected, without allowing intimidation or destruction. I’ve joined African-American leaders in efforts to remove Confederate monuments in Old Town. I completely understand the concerns of Native Americans and others about the Oñate statues and the glorification of other symbols of oppression. These efforts cannot be hijacked by opportunists who would deny a civil discourse about their meaning and our common history.”


On Wednesday, June 17, Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez held a press conference to complain that his office was searching for more witnesses who were at a June 15 protest when it became total chaos after a protester Scott Williams was shot Steven Baca. Torrez said that APD’s lack of control over the scene posed major challenges for prosecutors.

After the protest, APD recovered guns, knives and ammunition, including the 13 guns and 34 magazines taken from militia members . Torrez claimed he asked APD about what weapons were at the scene and who they belonged to and lamented:

“We don’t have yet a complete inventory from the APD about who collected those items. Were they all put together and assigned ownership to somebody? Did we interview each individual person or did we just gather up weapons?”

Torrez was very critical of APD’s handling of the investigation and the failure to secure witness interviews and statements. Torrez said that the investigation had been “adversely affected” by APD’s response of riot police especially with the use of smoke munitions. According to Torrez:

“More importantly and more troubling from our perspective is the fact that after APD and police arrived at the scene because of the dynamic situation and the tense situation that developed between police officers and members of the crowd protesters and counter protesters there were tactics that were used by APD that made it impossible for key witnesses to the event to actually make statements. … Frankly, we have been put in a situation too many times in this community where investigations are rushed, investigations are incomplete and there is an expectation that quick decisions are made. As … prosecutors who have to uphold an oath to be objective and impartial, we can’t do that. We have to get it right.”

During his press conference, Torrez said the biggest question that needed an answer is whether Scott Williams, the shooting victim, had a knife in his hand during his confrontation with Steven Baca and said:

“There was some contention that [Scott Williams] was armed. The only item we could see in his possession are the eye glasses falling from him in this moment”.

District Attorney Raúl Torrez is highly critical of APD’s handling of the investigation, calling it a fundamentally incomplete police investigation. According to Torrez, the original complaint omitted the fact that Baca was seen on video assaulting a woman in the crowd, which would negate his claims of self-defense.

Steven Baca’s attorney believes Williams was armed with a knife and used it to threaten Baca before Baca shot him.



An interesting aspect of the June 15 protest is that a paid political consultant for Mayor Tim Keller, Councilors Isaac Benton and Pat Davis, attended the June 15 protest. The paid political consultant is Neri Olguin. She is a well-known, very progressive consultant who progressive candidate go to manage their campaigns. She has clientele all over the state. Olguin is the principal of “Olguin Campaigns and Communications” . The web page includes the listing of the following clientele:

Isaac Benton, Albuquerque City Council, District 2 , 2019 campaign.
Isaac Benton, Albuquerque City Council, District 2 , 2013 campaign.
Pat Davis, Albuquerque City Council, District 6, 2019 campaign.
ABQ Forward Together MFC, PAC supporting Tim Keller for Mayor, 2018
Tim Keller, State Senate District 17 , General Election campaign 2012

A link to the clientele of list of “Olguin Campaigns and Communications” is here:


Neri Olguin is also identified on the City Clerk’s campaign finance reports web site for the 2017 Mayor’s races as the chairperson for “ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER” whose purpose was “to support Tim Keller’s bid for Mayor” and that raised over $600,000 to spend on Keller’ s behalf to get him elected.

Olguin’s FACEBOOK page reveals that she attended the June 15 protest and she claims on her FACEBOOK page the protesters were the peaceful ones at the event. Confidential sources are saying Olguin was actively involved with the planning and recruiting of people to attend the protest. There is no information available if Olguin contacted Mayor Keller, Issac Benton nor Pat Davis about APD’s handling of the incident.


The term “fog of war” has been defined by various sources as “the uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations. The term seeks to capture the uncertainty regarding one’s own capability, adversary capability, and adversary intent during an engagement, operation, or campaign. Military forces try to reduce the fog of war through military intelligence and friendly force tracking systems.”



Many will say that whatever mistakes were made by APD during the June 15 protest can be attributed to the “fog of war”. How APD reacted and dealt with the protest amounts to being a case of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” when it comes to the general public. When it comes to City Councilors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton both appear way too anxious to get their statements out and in less than 24 hours after what had happened and not holding back their fire. Neither disclosed to what extent they had been briefed by APD command staff nor the Keller Administration. What is totally unknown is to what extent Davis and Benton were briefed by their political consultant and what spin was placed on the events that unfolded and who was claimed to be at fault by their political consultant.

One thing is for certain is that Davis and Benton have stepped up their efforts to be critical of APD ever since the killing of African American George Floyd by a police officer. Their motivations are highly questionable and is nothing but political opportunism. The Albuquerque City Council plays a crucial oversight role of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) including controlling its budget. Benton and Davis did nothing when it comes to Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reforms mandated under the Federal Court Consent decree. For over 4 years, both never challenged the previous Republican Administration and the former APD command staff in any meaningful way demanding compliance with the Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree reforms. Each time the Federal Court appointed Monitor presented his critical reports of APD to the City Council, Benton and Davis remained silent. Both declined to demand accountability from the prior Republican Mayor and hold the APD command staff responsible for dragging their feet on the reforms. Both Benton and Davis failed to attend any one of the federal court hearings on the consent decree.



District Attorney Raul Torrez, now that he has been elected to a second term by not having any opposition, does not help much by laying all the blame on APD as to what happened at the June 15 protest of the Onate Statue that resulted in a man getting shot.

Torrez is the same DA who immersed himself personally in the Victoria Martens prosecution case, the brutal murder of the 9 year old who was murdered and her body dismembered and burned, with DA’s office rushing to indict. Torrez held on to forensic evidence review, did not expedite his own review, only to announce he had to dismiss charges and the murderer was still on the loose.

Torrez use to brag about his great relations with APD, that it was far better than that of his predecessor, and that he got along great with APD. At one time Torrez said he had assigned Assistant District Attorneys to all the area command substations. Just exactly where was Torrez when APD was implementing the tactical plan for the June 15 dealing with the protest? The answer is grooming his Onate beard he has grown and getting ready for his next press conference to lay the blame on all other agencies for the shortcomings of his office’s prosecutions in high profile cases.


APD Deputy Chief Harold Medina says of the June 15 protest investigation “we knew that we didn’t have the luxury of securing the scene as usual.” Medina’s comments were very unfortunate. The public perception is that it is not a question of luxury. APD should have been able to dispatched enough officers to deal with separating the 3 groups: the protesters, the “anti-protesters” and the citizens militia. The undercover officers should have been able to have acted faster to secure the area.


The investigation has now been turned over to the New Mexico State Police and after it is completed and reported on, the public and APD should have a better understanding of what happened. More importantly, the State Police investigation should be able to identify what APD did wrong and make recommendation on how to fix it, and if more training is needed by APD in handling protests. The State Police need to expedite their recommendations given the fact the city is facing a very hot summer and even more protests are likely.

City Councilor Pat Davis Needs To Step Down To Atone For His Own “Black Lives Matter” Moment And Violations Of Peoples Civil Rights As A Police Officer

“For far too long we’ve seen people of color targeted by police and underserved by those in power. Seeing the brutalization and death of individuals at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and serve is a disgrace to our nation and I’m glad to see so many people stand up, say “Black Lives Matter.” … As former police officer myself, I acknowledge that … I also made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today.”

Albuquerque City Council President Pat Davis, June 2020 , APD Reform Survey, using the “Black Lives Matter” logo.

“[I was a] “zero-tolerance cop – the kind you wouldn’t want to pull you over. … I came from a conservative background. … If you broke the laws, there are consequences for that.”

City Councilor Pat Davis, February 6, 2017, Albuquerque Journal, “ABQ councilor seeking police reforms has an insider’s perspective”, acknowledging his own police officer shooting as a DC Police Officer.


“While on patrol, the officers observed a red … Nissan … occupied by two black males. The passenger in the vehicle was observed without his seatbelt on, and the vehicle also failed to use a turn signal while making a left turn. … [A]t that time, [officers] conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. … Davis approached the driver’s door of the vehicle and observed the driver with a semi-automatic pistol in his hand attempting to conceal the handgun in the middle of the console area of the vehicle. … Officer Davis reached inside the vehicle and attempted to grab the handgun from the driver and a struggle ensued. … The driver of the vehicle then sped off at a high rate of speed with Officer Davis partially inside of the driver’s window struggling with the driver and being dragged by the vehicle. … Officer Davis, fearing for his life, fired his service weapon into the vehicle. … Officers continued to canvass the area and … located the defendant … hiding under a stairwell … The defendant was suffering from a gunshot wound to the left shoulder. … . ”

United States Federal Judge John H. Bayly, adopted “FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW”, September 30, 2004


This blog article is a detailed in-depth report on 3 known court actions that have been resolved. The cases involve actions of City Council President Pat Davis as a police officer before his election to the Albuquerque City Council. The cases are no longer pending with two settled and charges dismissed in another. The article provides the caption and cause numbers of the cases with all the court filings public record and includes analysis. Both Federal and State litigation are involved.

The cases reflect that Pat Davis as a police officer had a very troubling pattern of violating people’s civil rights and used deadly force during a traffic stop of two African Americans. It is fortunate that the person shot by Davis survived from his injuries. The “Black Lives Matter” movement and voters need to decide if the new found desire of APD police reformer Pat Davis as a city councilor is sincere or is it opportunism to garner political support and favor from the progressive movement in Albuquerque.

Pat Davis has been appointed to positions of trust and confidentiality by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, the Albuquerque City Council and the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Two of those positions affect the New Mexico Bar, the criminal justice policy in Bernalillo County and the selection of judges. The past actions as a police officer by Davis, and his arrest for Aggravated DWI, should have disqualified Davis from the appointments, presuming he disclosed them before the appointments were made. (See POSTSCRIPT below for information on the DWI charge and how it was disposed.)


Discussion of the work history of Albuquerque City Councilor President Pat Davis is in order to “connect the dots” of his past conduct as they relate to his current actions on the Albuquerque City Council and positions of trust he now holds.

In December 2004, after about three years with the Washington D.C. Police Department, and several months after his officer involved shooting, Pat Davis was employed as a lieutenant on the University of New Mexico (UNM) Police Force. He left the UNM Police and around 2009 he became a spokesman for Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg. He left the District Attorney’s Office and founded ProgressNow and became its Director. ProgressNow New Mexico is a non-profit progressive advocacy group working on public policy campaigns, including efforts to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and to defend women’s ability to access healthcare. ProgressNow is known for opposition research on conservative issues and candidates for office. He was the Chair of the Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers Program but resigned when he was arrested on July 28, 2013, for aggravated DWI after he was found to have a blood-alcohol concentration of .19 and .18 respectively.


Pat Davis was a candidate for Bernalillo County Sheriff in 2009, and twice a successful candidate for city councilor in October, 2015 and November, 2019. In 2018, Davis was an unsuccessful candidate in the Democratic Primary for the United State Congress. In January, 2020, Davis was elected by the City Council as their President.



In 2019, Davis was appointed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham as the chairman of her marijuana legalization task force. The Governor has appointed Davis to serve on the Judicial Selection Commission to nominate attorneys to fill court vacancies in the state courts.

Davis is the current Chairman of the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (BCJCC). The BCJCC is a 13 member commission consisting of the Chief Judges of the District Court and Metropolitan Court, the District Attorney, the Public Defender, the President of the NM Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Bernalillo County Sheriff, the Albuquerque Police Chief, a Bernalillo County Commissioner, a City Councilor, the ABQ Chief Administrative Officer, the Regional Administrator of New Mexico Probation and Parole and the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

The purpose of the BCJCC is to serve as a forum concerning the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice, which includes identifying issues and their solutions, proposing actions, and facilitating cooperation that will enhance public safety and reduce crime in Bernalillo County, advance the fair and timely disposition of cases, maximize the efficient use of criminal justice resources, and ensure justice and improved outcomes for those accused of crimes and the victims of crimes.



The “Black Lives Matter” movement is now sweeping cities across the country as is a movement it started referred to as “Defund the Police”. Major recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement emerged in the wake of the killing of African American George Floyd, 46, who was killed by Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck to subdue him. “Defund the Police” can be defined in simple terms as meaning taking funding away from police forces and invest or reallocate those funds into social programs to address the real causes of crime.

On Friday, June 13, Pat Davis announced that he and the city council have a plan to overall the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). The city council proposal would change multiple levels of the department, from reorganizing the police budget and officers’ jobs on the street to emphasizing behavioral health assistance and studies to determine the best route for community engagement. Davis said he believes the city can rededicate $1 million of APD’s $207 million budget to community organizations and social services. Davis is also suggesting a 24/7 dispatch line for calls regarding the homeless that would be answered by those in a public health role and not by the APD reducing APD’s volume of 911 emergency calls. Davis also announced that the council will meet with the community in July to gain input into possible changes to APD’s budget, police operations and other avenues where funds could be placed to better the community.



City Councilor Pat Davis initiated and conducted a citywide survey on policing strategies. In announcing the survey, Davis had this to say on the city web page:

“For far too long we’ve seen people of color targeted by police and underserved by those in power. Seeing the brutalization and death of individuals at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and serve is a disgrace to our nation and I’m glad to see so many people stand up, say “Black Lives Matter,” and work to reconfigure our systems in ways that work for all.

As former police officer myself, I acknowledge that among the many good things I did for those I served, I also made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today. As President Obama’s 21st Century policing task force says, we have to move policing from a warrior to guardian mentality.

… .”

The link to the survey with the full statement is here:


The survey was conducted and made available by email and online from Friday, June 13 through Monday, June 15, 2020. According to the survey city web page, 10,053 completed the survey by June 15. On June 16, Davis announced the results of the survey on the city web page and said:

“Our country is coming to a reckoning with the systemic racism inherent in our policing systems, and our city is not immune. In a time when options for in-person dialogue is limited, we have to work even harder to include community input into the decisions elected leaders will be called to make in the coming months. That’s why we created this platform for input and why I’m proud to share the results with our City”

You can review the results of the survey here:


News coverage is here:




One reaction to the on line survey was confidential sources coming forward with information regarding the civil litigation where Pat Davis was named as a defendant for his conduct as a UNM Police Officer and in a Washington, DC criminal case and his involvement in an officer involved shooting where he shot someone.

The earliest case where court documents were provided is a 2004 officer involved shooting case where Davis use deadly force against an African American during a traffic stop. Court documents were also provided in 2 civil cases, one filed in 2007 and one in 2008. Davis was sued along with others he was working with, for civil rights violations, false arrest and imprisonment, and negligence while he was a UNM Police Officer relating to unlawful searches of private residences for marijuana and illicit drugs.


In December 2004, after about three years with the Washington D.C. Police Department, and several months after his officer involved shooting, Pat Davis came to Albuquerque and became a lieutenant for the University of New Mexico campus police. It was in October, 2015 that Davis was elected to the City Council

On February 6th, 2017, the Albuquerque Journal published a story on the August 31, 2004 police officer shooting by then DC Police Officer Pat Davis.

Following are relevant portions of the report:

HEADLINE: ABQ councilor seeking police reforms has an insider’s perspective

Monday, February 6th, 2017 at 12:02am

“The officer, Pat Davis, now a city councilor in Albuquerque, drew his weapon and fired into the car twice, striking the suspect in the shoulder. Davis fell to the ground and the car ran over his leg. The driver crashed the car and was taken into custody.

The shooting occurred about 2:30 in the afternoon outside of a low-income Lincoln Heights housing project in the nation’s capital in August 2004.

The driver, Moses Bell, would later represent himself pro se in a civil rights lawsuit against Davis, his supervisors, the police department and others. A federal judge ultimately dismissed the case.

Davis, who is also the executive director of ProgressNow New Mexico, which advocates for progressive policies and issues, has introduced legislation on the City Council to change the way Albuquerque police respond to and investigate officer-involved shootings.

Davis’ legislation would call for an agency other than the Albuquerque Police Department to take the lead into shootings by APD officers and in-custody death investigations. It also calls for the city to try to get the Attorney General’s Office or a district attorney outside of the 2nd Judicial District to review the investigations and decide whether charges are warranted.

Davis said he relied on the experience he had going through a police shooting and his years as an officer when crafting the bill, which hasn’t been considered yet by the full council.

He described himself as a “zero-tolerance” cop – “the kind you wouldn’t want to pull you over,” he said – and added that he often led the D.C. police department in arrests, wrote lots of tickets for traffic and marijuana violations and was involved in the previously mentioned shooting.

“I came from a conservative background,” he told the Journal in an interview. “If you broke the laws, there are consequences for that” and added that he often led the D.C. police department in arrests, wrote lots of tickets for traffic and marijuana violations and was involved in the previously mentioned shooting.

DOJ reforms

At the time of Davis’ shooting, the Metropolitan D.C. police were in the middle of a reform effort instigated by a U.S. Department of Justice investigation, which found the department too often used excessive force, including in police shooting cases. The department responded to the shooting in a way that was outlined in the settlement agreement between the DOJ and D.C. police, Davis said.

Albuquerque police are currently involved with a similar reform that also was brought on by a DOJ investigation into Albuquerque police use of force.

He said that gives him a unique perspective on the reform process underway in Albuquerque.

Davis said that after his shooting he had to take a mandatory three months of administrative leave and complete therapy sessions.

He said it took him about a month to realize the gravity of the situation and to realize that he needed additional time to decompress.

Davis said a group of D.C. officers trained by the DOJ completed the investigation and submitted the case to a federal grand jury, which produced a report on the shooting before Davis returned to work.

The link to the complete Albuquerque Journal article is here:



The version and details given of the August 31, 2004 shooting by Pat Davis and reported by the Albuquerque Journal are significantly different than what was found by a Federal Court Judge in the criminal case. (See below case study)

What the Journal news report failed to report on the incident are the following:

1. The shooting happened after a routine traffic stop for the drivers failure to signal a left turn and the passenger failing to wear a seat belt.

2. The driver and the passenger were both male African Americans.

3. It was Pat Davis who escalated the traffic stop by lunging into the vehicle to get a gun he had seen that the driver was trying to hide in the vehicle console or glove compartment resulting in a struggle.

4. The driver did not crash the car but drove off injured and it was only much later that he was found and taken into custody after Davis identified him.

5. Davis did not say he was threatened by the driver with the gun nor did Davis say the driver pointed the gun at him.

6. Davis fired his service revolver into the moving vehicle escalating the incident instead of backing off or standing down.

7. The driver was charged by the police with “Assaulting, Resisting or Interfering With a Police Officer With A Dangerous Weapon” but the federal grand jury Davis referred to in the Journal article returned a “NO BILL”, meaning it declined to charge the driver with the felony and resulting in the case being dismissed against the driver who he had shot.


The first case is a 2004 officer involved shooting in Washington D.C. where Police Officer Patrick Davis shot and seriously injured an African American after a minor traffic stop for failure to signal a left turn and a passenger not wearing a seat belt.

The next two cases are civil actions filed in 2007 and 2008. One case involves the execution of a “sealed search warrant” for marijuana by 21 law enforcement personnel, including Pat Davis as a UNM Police officer, who stormed a home, broke in and caused $20,000 in property damaged searching the home. The next case involves the unauthorized search of 2 homes without search warrants where the homes located in Corrales were occupied by single women. UNM Police officer Pat Davis along with two other UNM Police officers essentially coerced both woman to allow searches of their homes without court approved search warrants.

All 3 cases combined reveal an alarming pattern of violating people’s civil rights and unconstitutional policing practices by Pat Davis as a police officer. As City Council President, Pat Davis is calling for major changes and reforms to the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). Davis is questioning and challenging police practices, policies, procedures, training and funding of APD.


Davis in his February 6th, 2017 Albuquerque Journal article described himself as a “zero-tolerance” cop, “the kind you wouldn’t want to pull you over”. and is quoted as saying “I came from a conservative background. … If you broke the laws, there are consequences for that.” Washington, D.C. resident Moses Bell, who is African American, found out the hard way that Davis was indeed “the kind of cop you wouldn’t want to pull you over.”

On September 30, 2004 United States Federal Judge John H. Bayly, Jr. for the Superior Court for the District of Columbia , Criminal Division, filed adopted “FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND ORDER OF DETENTION PENDING TRIAL” in Case No. F-5513-04, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA VS. MOSES M. BELL.

The court order contains the following introduction and “findings of fact”:

“This matter came before the Court on September 13, 2004, upon the motion of the United States to hold the defendant without bond pending his trial within one hundred days pursuant to 23 D.C. Code§ 1322(b)(l)(A). Having considered the factors enumerated in 23 D.C. Code§ 1322(e), the Government’s proffer of the defendant’s prior record and indicia of risk of flight, and the arguments of counsel for the defendant and Government, in accordance with 23 D.C. Code § 1322(g)(l), the Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:

… There is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the offense for which he is before the Court, that is, Assault on a Police Officer While Armed. At the defendant’s detention hearing, the Government called Det. Stephen McDonald of the Metropolitan Police Department as a witness.

Det. McDonald testified that on August 31, 2004, at approximately 4: 10 pm, Officers Patrick Davis and David Tucker of the Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) were on routine patrol in the area of Minnesota Avenue and East Capitol Street, Northeast, Washington, D.C. Both officers were in full uniform and operating a marked MPD cruiser. While on patrol, the officers observed a red in color 1986 Nissan 300ZX bearing Maryland registration LPJ-588 occupied by two black males. The passenger in the vehicle was observed without his seat-belt on, and the vehicle also failed to use a turn signal while making a left turn onto the unit block of Ridge Road, Southeast. Officers Davis and Tucker followed the vehicle which turned onto 37th Street, Southeast. Officers observed the vehicle pull over in front of 301 37th Street, Southeast, and at that time, conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle.

Upon approaching the vehicle on foot, officers observed a black male subject exit the passenger side of the vehicle and remain on the sidewalk near the vehicle. Officer Davis approached the driver’s door of the vehicle and observed the driver with a semi-automatic pistol in his hand attempting to conceal the handgun in the middle of the console area of the vehicle. Officer Davis reached inside the vehicle and attempted to grab the handgun from the driver and a struggle ensued.

The driver of the vehicle then sped off at a high rate of speed with Officer Davis partially inside of the driver’s window struggling with the driver and being dragged by the vehicle. The driver said to Officer Davis, “Get off my shit.” Officer Davis, fearing for his life, fired his service weapon into the vehicle. Officer Davis was able to untangle himself from the driver, and he fell backwards onto the street. The vehicle then fled the scene south on 3 7th Street and made a left tum onto Ely Place, Southeast.

Officers Davis and Tucker radioed for assistance, and at 4:31 pm officers canvassing the area located the Nissan 300ZX, parked and unoccupied, in the rear parking lot of 3 710 Ely Place, Southeast. Further examination of the vehicle revealed apparent blood stains on the driver’s side door of the vehicle and a bloody Ruger 9mm semi-automatic pistol on the pavement just outside of the driver’s door.

Officers continued to canvass the area and at 4:39 pm located the defendant, later identified as Moses Bell, hiding under a stairwell in the rear of 405 Ridge Road, Southeast. The defendant was suffering from a gunshot wound to the left shoulder. Officer Davis responded to the 400 block of Ridge Road, Southeast, and positively identified the defendant as the person with whom he struggled over the gun, and who drove away, dragging Officer Davis along.

The defendant was transported to Howard University Hospital where he was treated for his injuries. A WALES check revealed that the defendant is also currently wanted for Kidnapping While Armed on USW#l 723-03 held by the D.C. Superior Court.
… .”


There are a number of questions that arise when you analyze the fact scenario of the shooting found by the federal judge in his adopted “Findings of Fact”.

The first question is whether Officer Davis was looking for a reason to pull over the 1986 Nissan 300 ZX. The routine traffic stop was justified in part because the passenger was not wearing his seat belt and the driver failed to make a left turn signal, both minor traffic offenses. The minor traffic offenses observed were grounds to stop the two individuals and to further investigate them. Nothing is mentioned if Davis nor his partner knew anything about the criminal background of the two passengers or if any outstanding arrests warrants were pending. In other words, at the time of the traffic stop all they knew they had were two minor traffic offenses and nothing more.

Only Davis and his law enforcement partner know if the traffic stop was a pretense to investigate the two African Americans. The court’s findings of fact are verbatim from the charging document that states “two black males” and “a black male subject exit the passenger side of the vehicle.” It is troubling that the charging language makes two references to “black” and not to suspects. Ethnicity has nothing to do with the misdemeanor charges. This distinction was ostensibly important for Officer Davis and his partner to place in the charging document. Otherwise, they he would not have done it.

The second question is whether Officer Davis took the appropriate action under the circumstances to protect himself, his partner and for that matter the suspects from any injury. When Davis saw Mr. Bell trying to hide the handgun, the courts findings of fact are made clear by what was not found by the court. First, Mr. Bell is not aiming the handgun at or trying to shoot Officer Davis. Second, Bell was not described as agitated and was not yelling or making verbal threats to Davis. Third, and most importantly, Mr. Bell is seen trying to hide the weapon in the console and is not threatening anyone with the handgun. This was a critical point in time. Officer Davis had the choice to either de-escalate or to escalate the situation to a confrontation.

Had Davis chosen to de-escalate the situation, Officer Davis would have stepped back along the side of the car, away from the car door and into Mr. Bell’s “blind side”, ordered him to first take his hands off the gun, turn off the vehicle, and place his hands on the steering wheel first and then step out of the car, and once out of the car, step away from the vehicle, removing himself from the proximity of the car and the handgun. Tragically, this did not happen and it can only be speculated if Mr. Bell would not have been shot and killed.

Instead, Officer Davis escalated the situation by reaching into the vehicle apparently not saying anything in order to get a surprise advantage and he tried to grab the gun from Mr. Bell resulting in a struggle to retrieve the handgun. This act alone was a likely violation of police standard operating procedure. By reaching into the car, Davis placed himself in a completely vulnerable position and endangered his own life and the life of his assisting officer. Davis reaching into the car as he did resulted in Bell reacting. Bell decided to drive off while Davis was partially in the vehicle dragging Davis along.

The third question and most concerning action is the unnecessary use of deadly force that Officer Davis decided to use against Mr. Bell. While Davis was partially in the vehicle, he was able to withdraw his service revolver and shoot Bell. There is no indication that Officer Davis ordered Mr. Bell to stop the vehicle or that he would use potential lethal force against him. There is also no indication that Officer Davis was willing to let Mr. Bell escape and then find him later. The car was not stolen and Officer Davis had already taken down the license plate information. Instead, Officer Davis shot Mr. Bell in the shoulder at almost point-blank range. At this point, we can only speculate just how close Officer Davis came to shooting Mr. Bell in the head or heart to kill.

A major red flag is what community members thought of how Officer Par Davis conducted himself in regards to Mr. Moses Bell. The court record indicates that on October 13, 2004, the Grand Jury declined to indict Mr. Bell on the charges of “Armed Kidnapping” (pulling Davis along in the vehicle) and “Assaulting, Resisting or Interfering With a Police Officer With A Dangerous Weapon” (the scuffle over the handgun). The Grand Jury were not willing to indict Mr. Bell with two very serious felony charges, Armed Kidnapping and Assault on a Police Officer With a Dangerous Weapon. This means the grand jury felt there was “no probable cause” to charge Mr. Bell. The grand jury essentially did not believe what Officer Pat Davis was alleging, which was he was “fearful for his own life” .


Following is a summary of 2 civil lawsuits where Pat Davis was sued along with other law enforcement sworn police.



In both cases, Davis was sued in his individual and personal capacity and in his official capacity as a UNM Police Officer. Both civil cases were settled with thousands paid in taxpayer money to the Plaintiffs for damages. In one case, the amount of taxpayer money paid to settle is disclosed. The specific amounts of the settlement paid in the second case and the terms of any release of claims is not known likely because the release of claims was not filed with the court to keep it confidential from the public.


In 2008, CV-2008-03890 was filed in the Second Judicial Court, County of Bernalillo, by Plaintiffs AARON FLORES, ARTURO FLORES AND CECLIA FLORES naming as a defendant PATRICK DAVIS, in his individual and personal capacity and in his official capacity as a University of New Mexico Police Officer.

This lawsuit names as defendants 14 Albuquerque Police Officers (APD) and 7 Bernalillo County Sheriff Officers (BCSO) in their individual and personal capacities and official capacities.

The alleged facts of the civil complaint relate to the execution of a court “sealed search warrant” on December 17, 2007 of a private residence owned by Arturo Flores and Celia Flores as husband and wife who resided elsewhere in another home they owned. The home searched was occupied by their son Plaintiff Aaron Flores along with a recent tenant who was a friend from high school of Aaron Flores and was renting one room of the home. According to the facts alleged in the complaint, a search warrant was secured for the home with the tenant boarder as the “target” of the warrant and who was alleged to be a marijuana drug dealer.


On December 17, 2007, at approximately 9:10 pm in the evening when no one was at home at the residence, the 21 named defendant law enforcement officers stormed the residence to execute a “sealed search warrant”. Three “flash bang” grenades were hurled into the home causing damages to the walls and which started a fire that required the Albuquerque Fire Department to be dispatched. According to the complaint, the defendants, which included Davis, broke in two front doors, wrought iron works, broke windows and interior doors, broke a car window, broke a sliding gate to the home and “”trashed” the interior of the home including breaking furniture in a search for evidence of a crime, but no evidence of any crime was found against the plaintiffs nor their renter.

A neighbor called Arturo Flores about what was happening at the rental home and Flores immediately went to the residence. Arturo Flores was told by the defendants “a lot of traffic came to and from this house”, and that it was a “drug house” an allegation which was false. At least $20,000 in damages to the home were alleged making it un occupiable and needing extensive repairs. The theft of personal items including a laptop belonging to Aaron Flores was reported. It is not known if any inventory of what was seized under the warrant was filed.

On November 14, 2008, the civil lawsuit filed against Pat Davis, in his individual and personal capacity and in his official capacity as a University of New Mexico Police Officer was settled for the sum of $25,000 for a full and final release of any and all claims against him as alleged by Aaron Flores, Arturo Flores and Cecelia Flores. No information is available as to what the claims against the remaining 20 law enforcement officers were settled for nor when.


On April 29, 2008, CIV No. 08-C433 MV ACT was filed in United States District Court for the District of New Mexico by Brooke Bender and Joan Hughes naming the Board of Regents and the University of New Mexico d/b/a as University of New Mexico Police Department and UNM Police Officers Patrick M. Davis, John Doe Pacheco and Jane Does I and II, in their individual capacities and as employees of the University of New Mexico Police Department.

The factual background of the case alleged in the complaint relate to a January 8, 2008 law enforcement investigation undertaken by the Defendants against plaintiff Brook Bender at her home in Corrales, Sandoval County, New Mexico and a separate and distinct law enforcement action taken against Plaintiff Joan Bender, also at her home in Corrales.


The complaint alleges that on January 8, 2008, the Defendant Pat Davis, along with other UNM Police went to the home of Brook Bender looking for a person named Richard Hughes and telling Bender they needed to search her home. According to the complaint, the officers did not identify themselves until Bender noticed a UNM Police Badge. The complaint alleges that Davis and the defendants told Plaintiff Bender that they knew she worked for UNM because they had found her UNM employee identification in her car next to some contraband and told her she needed to “work with them” or they would inform UNM officials about the alleged contraband found.

According to Bender’s allegations, she responded to the threats by allowing Davis and the other defendants into her home and asked to see a “search warrant”. They told Bender they did not have a search warrant, that they could easily obtain one and if she insisted on a search warrant they would “rat her out” to her UNM employer.

Bender told the defendants that Richard Hughes did not live at her home. According to the complaint allegations, Defendants insisted on searching the residents and ordered Bender to stand in her kitchen with her hands behind her back as they “tossed” the entire residents emptying out drawers and cabinets and leaving the residence in disarray. After the unauthorized search without a warrant, Bender alleges that she told Pat Davis and UNM officers she knew where the mother of Richard Hughes lived in Corrales and offered to take them to that residence. Defendants escorted Bender to their police car and assisted her into the police vehicle. Bender sat between two UNM Police as she showed them the Hughes residence. No one was home and Bender was taken back to her home by the UNM Police Officers.


The Bender-Hughes civil complaint alleges that on the morning of January 9, 2008, at approximately 10:30 am, Davis and the UNM police returned to the home of Plaintiff Joan Hughes, made contact with her and announced that they were looking for her son Richard Hughes with Pat Davis providing Plaintiff Hughes with his business card.

Hughes told the Defendants that her son was in jail in Grants, New Mexico, which the defendants later confirmed, and that her son had not lived with her for several years. Davis none the less told Hughes that they had to “search her house”. Davis and the other defendants had no search warrant for the home and did not ask Hughes for permission to search her home. According to the complaint, Davis and the 3 other officers entered the home and ordered Hughes to sit on her couch while two of the defendants watched Hughes and while the others conducted and extensive searched of her home which lasted for about one hour.

According to the complaint, one defendant UNM Police Officers found pistol cartridges in Hughes bedroom, asked Hughes where the gun was and she notified them it was in her kitchen. Davis or another defendant retrieved the gun and made a call to see if it was stolen, and it was not. The complaint also alleges that Defendants found marijuana belonging to Hughes’s boyfriend. The defendants confiscated the gun found in the home and the marijuana. On January 11, 2008, Hughes secured the return of the gun from the UNM Police.

Confidential sources have disclosed that the Bender and Hughes case was settled for at least $75,000, but no verifiable court pleading nor “release of claims” in the case to confirm the date and amount of the settlement was provided by the confidential source.


On November 27, 2014, the City and the Department of Justice entered into the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) mandating 276 reforms. APD is one of 18 municipalities in the United States under a Federal Court consent decree for excessive use of force and deadly force. The link to the CASA is here:


For the last 6 years, APD has been struggling to implement all 276 reforms. The city has spent virtually millions to implement the reforms, change and write use of force and deadly force policies, provide training to all personnel, recruit and hire more sworn police, implement community base policing and training in mental health crisis intervention. The Federal Court Appointed Media has written and filed 11 Federal Monitor’s report. The Court Approved Settlement Agreement was to be fully implemented within 4 years and it has been almost 6 years and the case has not been dismissed


Each time the Federal Court appointed Monitor presented his critical reports of APD to the City Council, Pat Davis remained silent. He declined to demand accountability from the prior Republican Mayor and hold the APD command staff responsible for dragging their feet on the reforms. Davis failed to attend any one of the federal court hearings on the consent decree. Now that APD is once again embroiled in controversy with the handing of the recent protests, Davis steps in and advocates changes and reforms to APD’s structure and management.

City Councilor Pat Davis did nothing during the last 5 years when it comes to Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reforms. Not once did Pat Davis challenge the previous Republican Berry Administration and the former APD command staff in any meaningful way demanding compliance with the Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree and all the CASA reforms.

The litigation history of Pat Davis , especially his officer involved shooting, speaks volumes as to why for the last 5 years Davis has not challenged and has remained silent regarding the Department of Justice reforms, until now and since the murder of George Floyd.

Pat Davis’s conduct as a police officer in the Bell case coupled with his litigation history in New Mexico, reflects a clear pattern and practice of unconstitutional policing, “use of force” and “deadly force” and an attitude that he embraced a police “culture of aggression” and violations of civil rights that the reforms are designed to prevent.
No amount of opportunistic soul searching by Pat Davis to impress the Black Lives Matter movement will erase his past conduct.


All of Pat Davis’ political opponents over the years, as well as the local news media, have never fully investigated, reported on nor confronted Pat Davis in any meaningful way about the civil litigation he has been involved with as a Defendant relating to his actions as a sworn police officer here in New Mexico and in Washington, DC. His actions have cost taxpayers thousands in settlements paid.

Given what is known about City Councilor Pat Davis, his actions as a police officer, his litigation history, his credibility is in serious doubt as are his political motives. The real Pat Davis, and his lack of respect for constitutional rights are revealed by his pattern of conduct he engaged if for years and was sued for as a UNM Police Officer and his conduct as a DC Police Officer. Pat Davis has no business making decisions regarding police reforms, law enforcement policy let alone be involved in the process deciding who is fit to be a judge.

If Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis is sincere and truly wants to make amends for his past conduct as a police officer, he needs to show some degree of honesty and integrity and step down and remove himself as City Council President, resign from any Judicial Selection Commission he has been appointed to by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham as well as resign as chairman of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. All 3 appointed positions are positions of trust and influence in our criminal justice system. His constituents can decide if they want him to continue as their city councilor.

The very last thing that is needed is for Pat Davis to serve in any one of the 3 appointed positions as someone who has “made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today” and who has engaged in “brutalization … of those who [he was] supposed to protect and serve.”



On July 28, 2013, Pat Davis, then age 35, was the chair of the Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers and the Executive Director of Progressive Now when he was arrested by BCSO Sherriff’s Deputies around 12:30 a.m. on the 1300 block of Broadway under suspicion of drunk driving. Deputies arrived at the minor accident where Davis had ran into another vehicle to find Davis who appeared drunk, had slurred speech, bloodshot watery eyes and the smell of alcohol on his breath.

On the police audio tape, Davis was told by the BCSO Deputy he could smell alcohol on Davis and asked Davis if he had consumed any alcoholic beverages that evening. Davis is heard to say “no” on the tape, said he had not been drinking and what the officer was smelling was SCOPE mouthwash. Davis referred the officer to a mouthwash bottle in his car. When asked about his slurred speech, Davis can be heard on the audio tape telling the deputy “My speech is not usually slurred. I have a southern accent and been a cop for 10 years.” Davis was born in Georgia, and was claiming he still had an accent. The investigating deputy found a travel-sized bottle of SCOPE mouthwash in Davis’ vehicle but at the license revocation hearing the sheriff officers could not say if and when Davis may have used it the night of his arrest. Davis was administered a field sobriety tests which he failed. Davis submitted to 2 separate alcohol breath tests that showed his blood-alcohol concentration was .19 and .18 respectively.


Under New Mexico law, DWI is driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. Aggravated DWI occurs when .16 BAC or above is found or when there is refusal to take breath or blood test, or being involved in a crash that caused bodily injury while DWI. The mandatory minimum jail time for a first time Aggravated DWI/DUI is 48 hours in jail. The 1st offense carries a basic sentence up upwards of 30 days in jail with an additional mandatory 2 days jail without suspension.


Davis plead guilty in February 2014 to a first-offense driving under the influence of alcohol and fought the Aggravated DWI charges. Davis was given a deferred sentence with no jail time if he completed 6 months’ probation and 6 months of having an ignition interlock system in his car with random breath alcohol tests and random urinalysis and was given no jail time.

The link to the story on fighting the DWI charges by Davis is here:


On November 6, 2013 after an administrative law hearing before a hearing officer with the Department of Taxation and Revenue, which issues drivers’ licenses, the driving privileges of Pat Davis were suspended for 6 months and he was ordered to install an ignition interlock in any vehicle he drove.


“A Tale of Two Cities, A Tale Of Two Mayors” ; News Update: Keller Political Consultant Involved With June 15 Onate Statue Protest

On June 9, the blog article entitled “Defund The Police”: A Tale of Two Cities, A Tale Of Two Mayors, The Crossroads They Both Face And What It Means To Their Political Futures” was published. It was a lengthy read but had a higher than normal spike of “reads and shares”. A lot has happened since. Below is a “cliffs notes” version of the article followed by news links to recent events:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us … “

Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities

Minneapolis and Albuquerque are a tale of two cities. A tale of two young, highly educated, up and coming, charismatic, progressive, Democrat Mayors. Two Mayors essentially coming from white privilege backgrounds.

Both cities are the largest cities in their states with large minority populations, one African American the other Hispanic. Both cities have police departments roughly the same size. Both cities are dealing with deadly force killings by the police, one city with an extensive history of it and the other with a recent killing. Both cities are dealing with protests, sometimes peaceful, sometime violent, sparked by the killing of African American George Floyd by the police.

The first Mayor, Jacob Frey, 38, had the murder of George Floyd occur in his city. The second Mayor, Tim Keller, 41, is dealing with a police department struggling to implement sweeping federal court mandated reforms relating to “excessive use of force” and “deadly force” after a finding of a “culture of aggression”. Both Mayors consider themselves civil rights advocates, condemn racism, want inclusion and racial equality. It’s doubtful both Mayors have ever experienced police racism. Both Mayors are walking a tight rope while juggling police relations and protests over the murder of African American George Floyd. Both are being confronted with cries to “defund the police” and to do more to deal with racism.

Mayor Frey attended a June 6 Minneapolis protest advocating the abolishment of the Minneapolis Police Department. Looming above Frey was an African American woman with a microphone who asked Frey if he would commit, on the spot, to defunding the police department shouting to the Mayor, “It is a yes or no.” Mayor Frey took the microphone, and said in a barely audible voice muffled by a face mask: “I do not support the full abolition of the police.” Protesters booed him loudly chanting “Go home, Jacob, go home!” and “Shame! Shame!” Frey then turned and left.

Mayor Keller has spoken at protests events, but has not been met with the hostility Mayor Frey has endured, until recently. At a vigil for George Floyd, Keller took to the podium and began by saying “I can’t breathe” quoting George Floyd. As Keller continued, he was heckled with the chant and the slogan “defund the police”. Based on the surprise look on his face, Keller was puzzled why he was being interrupted. The chant was coming from young protesters in the back that had attended a rally the night before. Undeterred, Keller ignored the hecklers, proclaimed his “Office of Equity and Inclusion” and police reforms are working. Keller left after being questioned about defunding APD.

Some people will no doubt say politicians invited to appear at protests to speak is a good thing and leadership. It’s not governing. It makes it very difficult for elected officials to make the hard and necessary decisions and encourages pandering. Now is not the time for politicians to try and say what they have done in the past, how good they are doing on the job and what they are trying to do to solve problems.

What is happening in both cities is the protesters movement, their moment in time. Both Mayors need to listen to the concerns of the minorities that they are not a part of but nonetheless represent as Mayor of their respective cities. Attend the protest, listen to what is being proposed, confer, not confront protesters and then move for substantive change.

The link to the full blog article is here:




On Friday, June 13, Albuquerque City Council President Davis announced that he and the city council have come up with their own plan to overall the Albuquerque Police Department. Davis does not think the council’s reform plan will mean fewer police officers for the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). Davis said police officers should not be responding to many calls involving a mental health crisis, homelessness and other behavioral health-related issues.

The Davis proposal would change multiple levels of the department, from reorganizing the police budget and officers’ jobs on the street to emphasizing behavioral health assistance and studies to determine the best route for community engagement. Davis said he believes the city can rededicate $1 million of APD’s $207 million budget to community organizations and social services. Davis is also suggesting a 24/7 dispatch line for calls regarding the homeless that would be answered by those in a public health role and not by the APD reducing APD’s volume of 911 emergency calls.
Davis also announced that the council will meet with the community in July to gain input into possible changes to APD’s budget, police operations and other avenues where funds could be placed to better the community.


On June 14, Mayor Tim Keller announced plans to create a new Public Safety Department that would send trained professionals to respond to certain calls for help in place of armed officers. The Albuquerque Community Safety Department would have social workers, housing and homelessness specialists and violence prevention and diversion program experts who would be dispatched to homelessness and “down-and-out” calls as well as behavioral health crises. The new department would connect people in need with services to help address any underlying issues. The department personnel would be dispatched through the city’s 911 emergency call system. The intent is to free up the first responders who typically have to deal with down-and-out and behavioral health calls.

The link to a full front-page journal article is here:


The day after the Mayor Keller’s announcement that he would like to create a Public Safety Department involving behavioral health, homelessness, addiction and other social issues, it was reported that very few details had been worked out and the new department is still in the planning process. According to the Keller Administration, the city has some of the groundwork laid out through existing programs but that a lot of the details still need to be worked out. The Keller Administration said rough estimates suggest the new Community Safety Department will need 32 people for each its 6 area commands, staffed around the clock, to respond to tens of thousands of calls a year. The Keller Administration intends to submit a final fiscal year budget in August for City Council budget hearing.


Mayor Tim Keller, despite the change in the national conversation and calls for police departments to be defunded, said his goal is still adding 100 police officers every four years to the point APD is fully funded with 1,200 sworn police. It is projected APD will have 985 sworn police officers after the graduation of the July APD Academy class.


Another controversy is emerging across the country from the protests over the killing of African American George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police Officer. The controversy is the appropriateness of monuments or statues erected across the country to individuals or causes viewed as representing the oppression of African Americans, slavery and racism.

On June 15, a man was shot in Old Town over the “La Jornada” (The Journey) sculpture in front of the Albuquerque Museum. The shooting occurred during a protest for the removal of the figure of Juan de Onate de Salazar in the sculpture. Ornate is the European and Spanish explorer who came to New Mexico . Onate is extremely controversial, especially with New Mexico Native Americans, and is known for the 1599 Acoma Massacre. Mayor Keller is now dealing with the after-math controversy over APD’s handling of the protest.

An interesting aspect of the June 15 protest is that one of Mayor Keller’s political campaign consultants, Neri Olguin, attended the protest. In 2017, Tim Keller was the only candidate for Mayor who had a measured finance committee called “ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER” formed on his behalf to support his run for Mayor. Neri Olguin is identified on the City Clerk’s web site as the chairperson for “ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER” whose purpose was “to support Tim Keller’s bid for Mayor”. Neri Olguin is with “Olguin Campaigns and Communications” and its web site lists as former clients the “2008 Tim Keller for State Senate (Primary)” and “Tim Keller for State Senate District 17 (General, 2012)”. The September 22, 2017 Campaign Finance report for “ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER” reflects that it it raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Keller, even though he was a public financed candidate.

Olguin’s FACEBOOK page reveals that she attended the June 15 protest and she claims on her FACEBOOK page the protesters were the peaceful ones at the event. Confidential sources have disclosed that Olguin was involved with the planning of the protest. There is no information available as to if Olguin has contacted Mayor Keller about APD’s handling of the incident. Olguin was also involved with the recent city council campaign of Isaac Benton for re-election with Benton now highly critical of APD’s handling of its response to the protest and demanding an inquiry.


On Jun 15, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a resolution intending to disband their police department and create a new model of public safety in response to the death of George Floyd. The resolution states the council will start the year-long process of research and community engagement to discover a replacement. the Minneapolis 2020 budget allocated $193 million to its police department, which the resolution said was more than double the amount allocated for affordable housing and violence prevention. the city’s total adopted budget was about $1.5 billion.

A key element of the Minneapolis City Council plan is the creation of a “Future of Community Safety Work Group” tasked with coming up with “strategies for building this new model for cultivating community safety.”


According to the text of the resolution, those strategies could include:

• Intermediate policy changes, investments and partnerships that center a public health approach to community safety and support alternatives to policing

• Research and engagement to inform the potential creation of a new City Department of Community Safety with a holistic approach to community safety, including a review and analysis of relevant existing models and programs and practices that could be applied in Minneapolis

• Recommendations that advance the work of the 911 working group and other strategies for transitioning work of the Minneapolis Police Department to alternative, more appropriate responses to community requests for help and identifying the resources needed to perform this work in City departments, other agencies, and/or community partners while the work of creating a new public safety system is in progress

• Recommendations for additional community safety strategies that build upon existing work across our city enterprise that approaches public safety through a public health lens.

You can review the full text of the resolution here:


After the vote, Mayor Jacob Frey said he had not changed his opposition to ending the Minneapolis Police Depertment and said:

“I remain opposed to abolishing the Police Department. … We should unite behind deep structural reform and transformative public safety changes in partnership with community and under Chief Arradondo’s leadership. Minneapolis residents deserve clarity in purpose and deliberate planning as we move forward.”

Mayor Frey announced the formation of three Public Safety Transformation task forces. The groups are expected to include “national partners, local systems, and community partners” who will deliver recommendations to the mayor. The national subgroup will study practices used by other cities, while the local subgroup will be asked to develop plans for implementing any changes. Mayor Frey had this to say:

“Undertaking significant, structural change to how we do public safety will demand the best ideas not just from local government but from community and national experts as well. By considering best practices and policy recommendations from across the country, centering community in the conversation, and thinking big about solutions beyond policing, we’re setting the stage for deliberate and lasting change for the people of Minneapolis.”





Disbanding entire police departments has happened before in the United States cities. In 2012, with crime rampant in Camden, New Jersey, the city disbanded its entire police department and replaced it with a new force that covered Camden County. Compton, California, took the same step in 2000, shifting its policing to Los Angeles County. Like it or not, the same thing could easily happen here in Albuquerque.
The “defund the police” movement can be defined in simple terms as meaning taking funding away from police forces and invest or reallocate those funds into social programs to address the real causes of crime.

Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement put it this way:

“It’s not just about taking away money from the police, it’s about reinvesting those dollars into [minority] communities. Communities that have been deeply divested from, communities that, some have never felt the impact of having true resources. And so we have to reconsider what we’re resourcing. I’ve been saying we have an economy of punishment over an economy of care.”


Advocates of “Defund the Police” insist that it is not about eliminating police departments or stripping police agencies of all of their money. What they do say is that it is time for the country to address systemic problems in policing in America and spend more on what communities across the United States need such as housing, education and economic development and job growth.
In Minneapolis the group MPD150 says it is “working towards a police-free Minneapolis,” and the group wrote on its website:

Defund the Police is more about strategically reallocating resources, funding, and responsibility away from police and toward community-based models of safety, support, and prevention. The people who respond to crises in our community should be the people who are best-equipped to deal with those crises, [not the police]”

United States Representative Karen Bass, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said part of the “defund the police” movement is really about how money is spent and had this to say in an interview with CNN:

“Now, I don’t believe that you should disband police departments. … But I do think that, in cities, in states, we need to look at how we are spending the resources and invest more in our communities. … Maybe this is an opportunity to re-envision public safety,”

Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza asked during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press said:

“Why can’t we look at how it is that we reorganize our priorities, so people don’t have to be in the streets during a national pandemic?”.

Activists acknowledge that to “defund the police” will be a long and drawn out process, predominantly because law enforcement in general are supported by their communities. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city would move funding from the NYPD to youth initiatives and social services, while keeping the city safe, but he didn’t give details. In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti vowed to cut as much as $150 million that was part of a planned increase in the police department’s budget.

Links to news sources and related news coverage are here:




Special Session Begins; Governor MLG’s And Legislator’s Solvency Plans; Governor’s Call List Includes Law Enforcement Reform Measures

June 18 is the start of the New Mexico special legislative session to deal with the state’s deficit and to adjust the state budget amid historical deficits the result of the COVID-19 pandemic business closures and the collapse in oil revenues. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and New Mexico lawmakers are faced with more than $2 billion budget deficit that they will be dealing with during the special session. The state is projecting a $375 million revenue loss for the current budget year and a $1.976 billion revenue loss for the Fiscal Year 2021 budget which begins on July 1, 2020. The Governor and legislative leaders are expected to rely heavily on reserves to fill the shortfall.


Governor Lujan Grisham has said her solvency plan would largely protect public schools from budget cuts while leaving the state’s cash reserves at about 12% of spending levels. The Lujan Grisham Administration is recommending using $193 million in reserves to partly cover the current budget shortfall using $873 million to plug the 2021 fiscal budget. Overall spending would be reduced in fiscal year 2021 by $652 million. State agency spending would be reduced by between 1% and 4%. Under the Governor’s proposal, salary increases for teachers and state employee’s government would be cut in half, from 4% to 2%. If the state uses nearly $800 million in reserves to help fill the budget gap, as the Governor is proposing, that would leave the state with upwards of $900 million in reserves representing about 12% of the state’s recurring budget.

During a news conference announcing her solvency plan, Governor Lujan Grisham had this to say:

“I think it’s an incredibly responsible approach. … I feel as good as I can that we’re going to be in the best possible position. … It’s smart, it’s effective and that’s why you have reserves so that you don’t collapse your entire operational system because you weren’t prepared for a rainy day. … We’re prepared and I think that legislators are going to feel like this is responsible investing in our futures and a good solvency plan.”



Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) solvency plan is to reduce fiscal year 2021 spending by $587 million, not by the $652 million proposed by the Governor, and trim state agency spending by between 2% and 4%. The LFC plan would provide for either 1% or no salary increases for teachers and state employees

In addition to using upwards $800 million in reserves, lawmakers are looking at using about $725 million of Federal “CARES Act” stimulus funding to help close the budget gap. However, budget cuts are also expected.

The LFC is also recommending eliminating the $17 million for a tuition-free college program that Governor Lujan Grisham successfully was able to secure during the 30-day legislative session. The funding is left intact under the governor’s solvency plan.

Disagreement is emerging over what to cut and was highlighted in an LFC meeting. When discussing capital outlay cuts, Democrat House Representative Javier Martinez, Bernalillo, raised concern over the possibility that most of the cut projects would be coming from Bernalillo County and said:

“It’s a big lift for us to carry and looking at that list, there are parts of the state that are not losing any capital outlay, certainly not in the way we [Bernalillo County] are, so I’m just putting that out there for you guys to think about. … With the economy of Albuquerque, that’s where the rest of the state is going to go, I mean, at this point we are the economic engine, it’s not the southeast anymore, it’s us.”


The Governor’s solvency plan and the LFC’s solvency plan do share some common ground in a few areas Both solvency plans will reduce the size of the annual State Government spending to about $7 billion which is roughly the same level spending as that of the current year’s fiscal budget that ends June 30, 2020.. Both call for canceling some approved road construction and other infrastructure projects and reducing the funding for a newly approved early childhood trust fund by $20 million, which would be going from $320 million to $300 million.


On June 17 Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued her call on other legislation she wants to be considered during the special session. According to a press release, the Governor wants New Mexico Legislature to consider legislation that includes tax relief for individuals, loans for small businesses and local governments, police reform and election improvements.
Following is the additional legislation she is requesting to be considered during the special session:

1.Requiring police officers to wear body cameras, banning chokehold restraints, and making police disciplinary history a matter of public record. According to the Governor’s press release “these measures have gained traction across the nation in the wake of the May 25 murder of George Floyd, a black man who died while a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.” Sen. Joseph Cervantes and Rep. Micaela Cadena are sponsors of this legislation. .

2.Legislation to create a state commission by statute to explore the issue of qualified immunity. This legislation is be sponsored by Speaker of the House Brian Egolf.

3.Legislation to promote and ensure the security and timeliness of remote voting during the pendency of a public health emergency like a pandemic. “New Mexico’s election code currently requires voters to request an absentee ballot before one can be issued. The proposal to be taken up by the Legislature will give county clerks the authority to send a ballot to registered voters with a current mailing address and will allow voters and election administrators to track their ballots through the mail delivery system to help ensure timely delivery of their ballots.” This legislation is sponsored by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto and Rep. Linda Trujillo.

4.The Governor is asking “the Legislature to waive penalties and interest for small businesses and individuals who have been unable to make timely property tax and gross receipts tax payments due to the economic impact of the pandemic.” The severance tax support for small businesses and municipalities is being sponsored by Sen. Jacob Candelaria, Sen. John Sapien, Rep. Daymon Ely and Rep. Marian Matthews. The tax relief proposal is sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth and Rep. Christine Chandler.

5.Legislation “ to approve a proposal to direct the State Investment Officer to invest a portion of the state’s multibillion-dollar Severance Tax Permanent Fund to support loans to small businesses and municipalities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The low-interest, long-term loans would help municipalities meet budget shortfalls and get businesses back on their feet following COVID-19-related closures.”

6. The Governor is asked in her call for “Legislature to temporarily endorse gubernatorial flexibility and authority to assist businesses amid a public health emergency or pandemic – for example, to potentially allow liquor delivery or electronic notary services.” These proposals and other potential items will be sponsored by Sen. Mary Kay Papen and Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas.

7. Legislation to address institutional racism is on the Governor’s call for the special legislative session. The measure would require state agencies and groups receiving state funding, to develop policies that decrease institutional racism, and require state agencies to carry out statewide evaluations of race and gender gaps in hiring, promotion and pay. They would then be required to develop plans to address any discrepancies found, as well as provide anti-racism training to employees. The legislation is sponsored by Senator Linda Lopez, Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero, and Representative Javier Martinez. A similar bill was passed in 2017 before being vetoed by then-Governor Susana Martinez. Governor Lujan Grisham did include a message during the regular 2020 session for the legislation (SB90, “Policies to Decrease Institutional Racism”), but the session ended before the bill could be brought to a vote.

The press release for the Governor’s call is here:



When the New Mexico legislature begins the special session, it has the option to turn to unspent funding for approved capital outlay projects. Last year the legislature approved upwards of $933 million worth of capital outlay projects when the state was flush in money due to the oil drilling boom in southeastern New Mexico.

The state also has about $1.2 billion in unspent funding for approved capital outlay, and some of that money can be reallocated by legislators to offset the drop in projected revenue. According to the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC), the $1.2 billion in total unspent capital outlay funds was appropriated for 2,212 projects statewide.

Democrat State Representative Javier Martínez, the co-chair of the House Taxation and Revenue Committee, said lawmakers could scrutinize infrastructure projects from previous years that have been delayed or have not begun. Capital outlay funds revert automatically if they are not spent in five years, though project funding can be reauthorized by the Legislature.

Finance and Administration Secretary Olivia Padilla-Jackson, the top budget official in the Lujan Grisham’s administration said that legislative and executive staffers were working to make recommendations about clawing back approved capital outlay funding from certain projects, including those for which work has not started.

Examples of large unspent capital outlay appropriations from 2019 are $4.1 million for a new museum of contemporary art in downtown Santa Fe, $6 million for security cameras and fire suppression systems at the University of New Mexico and $5.4 million for a road extension between Sunland Park and Santa Teresa.

New Mexico’s capital outlay system for funding improvements to roads, bridges, dams and water systems has come under scrutiny for its secrecy and lack of efficiency. Attempts to overhaul the system, which allows each lawmaker to appropriate a designated amount of money for infrastructure projects, have been unsuccessful at the Roundhouse.

Not all targeted projects might have to be scrapped, as it’s sometimes possible to shift projects’ funding source from general fund dollars to new bonds backed by future state tax dollars. The process, referred to as a capital outlay “swap,” has been used in recent years to help plug previous budget holes.



For the full 8 years under the former Republican Governor Administration, the state was hit hard because of the great recession to the extent that state government was dramatically downsized. It was done in order to avoid any all tax increases to maintain the Republican philosophy that all tax increases are bad and government is too big and needs to be downsized.

During the last two years under first term Democrat Michell Lujan Grisham, the State was able to get things back on tract primarily because of the massive surplus resulting from the oil and gas revenues associated with the oil boom. Just as the state was pulling out of the 10-year great recession, the country and state get hit and get hit hard in the gut with the corona virus pandemic. The pandemic resulted in business closures and layoffs with the stock market crashing and the New Mexico oil industry imploding because the price of crude oil went from $50 a barrel to $20 a barrel. There is no doubt that the slashing of the state budget will have to be done, but the extent is still unknown.

The Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF), also known as the Permanent School Fund, is one of the largest funds of its kind in the country, and every year provides more than a half-billion dollars in benefits to New Mexico’s public schools, universities and other beneficiaries. In fiscal year 2020, the Land Grant Permanent Fund generated $784.2 for New Mexico Schools. Now is the time to finally divert more money to address the education needs of the state with the fund to substitute money allocated in the new budget. Further, now is the time to allocate funding form the “tax stabilization reserve fund” to deal with the budget crisis. The real problem is will it be enough to deal with the crisis or will the state deplete the entire reserve of $1.7 Billion within the upcoming year with no way of replenishing it because of the oil industry bust.


Many economists believe the state is headed into another recession. If in fact the state suffers yet another recession, the state economy will need a major stimulus. After passage of the 2020-2021 budget, the Governor vetoed $49.5 million in construction capital outlay projects and the legislature could go back an reallocate that money for construction projects to stimulate the economy. Likewise, the $100 million in line item vetoes also contained many construction projects that could help to stimulate the economy with reallocation.

An option is to repeal the new 2020-2021 budget and enact a zero-growth budget making further cuts in spending and agree to make cuts in the programs the Governor was able to secure as a result of the surplus in oil revenues. The $536 million in spending increases included in the 2020-2021 budget for state employee raises such as 4% for teachers and state employees, the $76 million to shore up the PERA pension funds, the $320 million for Early Childhood Trust Fund, and $17 million for the new college scholarship program enacted may no longer be fiscally responsible and could be cut as a last resort to balance the budget. Further, many of the vetoes of capital outlay could be reenacted again as a means of stimulating the economy.

If the State in fact plunges into another recession, which is highly likely, and its much deeper than the 10 year great recession that started in 2008, Governor Lujan Grisham will start to look and sound like their former Republican predecessors saying “cut, slash and reduce taxes at all costs” and she just might wind up serving only one term as Governor.


Unless the votes are already lined up and a consensus on all 6 of the additional items on the call, adding the 6 legislative priorities is way too much of a heavy lift for a 4-day special session. Adding law enforcement reform measures in and of itself could be the subject of a special session and should also include responsible gun control measures. At this point, the special session should exclusively concentrate on enacting a responsible budget on not take on controversial issues that will only “muddy the waters”.

Armed Citizen Militia’s Dressed In Military Garb Attending Protests Are Vigilantes On The Hunt To Use Their Weaponry

On June 15, a man was shot in Old Town over the “La Jornada” (The Journey) sculpture in front of the Albuquerque Museum. The shooting occurred during a protest for the removal of the figures of Juan de Onate de Salazar in the sculpture. There were 5 to 6 heavily armed New Mexico Civil Guard members, some dressed in military camouflage, present trying to “protect” the sculpture. It was reported that the shooting occurred when at least 3 of the protesters attacked a person who was walking away from them, he was struck in the head with a skateboard and the person attacked drew a gun, shot numerous times, with one shot hitting one of the protesters. The shot protester was rushed to the hospital and is listed in critical but stable condition. The shooting and violence resulted in the City taking the single figure of Onate in the sculpture down.

On June 16, the Albuquerque Police Department released a photo of the 13 guns and 34 magazines taken from militia members at the protest in front of the Albuquerque Museum Monday. In the APD photo there are 4 semi-automatic rifles. A controversy is now brewing over the handling of the protest by the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). Albuquerque is damn lucky that it did not have a mass shooting given the emotional tensions that erupted and the ensuing shooting.


Since 1995, the United States has had 95 mass shootings, including seven of the 11 deadliest. There is no doubt we have a deadly mass shooting epidemic on our hands.
The mass shooting with guns in the last 10 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.

“The deadliest mass shootings in recent history 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 (defined below) 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.”


After so many mass killings, it is difficult to refute that something needs to be done about semi-automatic and automatic guns such as the AR-15 which are the type used in all the mass shootings. These are also the weapons of choice that are carried by the citizen militias.


Frankly, with so many guns seized by APD after the June 15 protest, its remarkable that the City did not have a mass shooting. The 13 guns, including 4 rifles, and 34 magazines seized is an enormous amount of firepower that no doubt could have resulted in mass injuries and killings.

People showing up to peaceful protests bearing long rifles or any other kind of firearm under the guise of protecting the general public, or for that matter themselves, and businesses from violence, vandalism and looting need to be called what they are: vigilantes. They are trying to take the law into their own hands and holding themselves out as law abiding citizens when they are not and likely having evil intent. They are “on the hunt” to be able to use their weaponry when they attend protests.

Citizen Militia’s need to be condemned in no uncertain terms. It needs to be made clear they have absolutely no business showing up armed to the hilt with assault weapons and wearing military fatigues to peaceful protests. Such conduct only intimidates and antagonizes people which is the real intent of such militias.

No doubt self-appointed “citizen militias” and their supporters will argue they have second amendment rights to bear arms. The argument is nothing but a rue and a convenient excuse to start trouble.

Second Amendment advocates represented by citizen militias always ignore and seem to want to usurp people’s First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly, which many would say are rights far more important than their right to bear arms.

After so many mass shootings and the proliferation of citizen militias, New Mexico and the country are long overdue for responsible and reasonable gun control legislation.

In New Mexico, our legislature should consider:

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.

On a federal level, congress needs to consider:

1. Implementation of 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.

Until something is done with the enactment of reasonable gun control legislation and the citizen militias that are nothing more than vigilantes on the hunt, the State and Country can expect more violence and more killings given our toxic political climate during an election year.