Acts Of Vigilantism On The Rise; Trump’s “Call To Arms” Heard By Civilian Militias, Including In Albuquerque; Vigilantism Must Be Condemned Without Hesitation

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 sculpture. The sculpture is a series of figures featuring a prominent figure leading the group dressed like a conquistador wearing a helmet and leading the group. Ever since the monument was erected, the lead figure has been presumed by many as being an monument to Juan de Onate de Salazar leading the conquistadors. It turns out, that is simply not true.

It has been reported by ABQ Reports that the shooting occurred when at least 3 of the protesters attacked a person who was walking away from them and 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 link to the full ABQ Report is here:

There were 5 to 6 heavily armed New Mexico Civil Guard members present trying to “protect” the monument. In the wake of the shooting, the decision was made to take the monument down and on June 16 it was taken down. Days before, the Albuquerque Museum Board of Trustees voted to take the monument down in a meeting that was likely in violation of the open meeting act. The Museum Board of Trustees has no Hispanic members.

Links to news stories are here:

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the following statement about the shooting:

“Although we are still learning more about the situation, I am horrified and disgusted beyond words by the reports of violence at a protest Monday night in Albuquerque. The heavily armed individuals who flaunted themselves at the protest, calling themselves a “civil guard,” were there for one reason: To menace protesters, to present an unsanctioned show of unregulated force. To menace the people of New Mexico with weaponry – with an implicit threat of violence – is on its face unacceptable; that violence did indeed occur is unspeakable.

“I am monitoring the situation; my administration is in touch with local officials; the individual who was injured is in my prayers, and I am thinking of their family and friends.

“Let me be clear: There is absolutely no space in New Mexico for any violent would-be ‘militia’ seeking to terrorize New Mexicans; and there is no space for violence of any kind on our streets and in our communities, or for any sort of escalation of reckless, violent rhetoric, no matter who strikes first. The instigators this evening will be rooted out, they will be investigated, and they will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”


Juan de Oñate y Salazar (1550–1626) was a Spanish conquistador from New Spain. Onate was an explorer, and colonial governor of the province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México in the viceroyalty of New Spain. Historians often refer to Onate as the person who “discovered” New Mexico when he was an explorer and was claiming the land on behalf of Spain. His exploration of the Southwest is well documented and his historical significance to New Mexico cannot be disputed and for that reason he is often memorialized. The problem is, he is also extremely controversial, especially with New Mexico Native Americans.

Oñate is known for the 1599 Acoma Massacre. Following a dispute that led to the death of 13 Spaniards at the hands of the Ácoma, including Oñate’s nephew, Oñate ordered the brutal retaliation against Acoma Pueblo. In an act that many consider genocide 800 to 1,000 Ácoma were killed and the Pueblo was leveled to the ground. About 500 Acoma survived the massacre and at a trial at Ohkay Owingeh, Oñate sentenced them to 20 years of slavery. In an act of sure cruelty and oppression, Onate ordered that all Acoma men over the age of 21 have their right foot cut off to impair them in order to prevent them from being able to run a way. Onate was eventually banished from New Mexico and exiled from Mexico City for 5 years. He was convicted by the Spanish government of using “excessive force” against the Acoma people. Even to this day, Oñate is a controversial figure in New Mexican history. Over the last 30 years, the right foot of sculptures of Onate is cut off as an act of protest.


Those who protest the work of art, even the peaceful ones, have a warped, ignorant and totally misplaced interpretation of what is depicted in the sculpture. It is a depiction of the epic journey of the first European colonists to the Southwest which were the Spanish who settled in New Mexico. The monument is entitled La Jornada (the Journey). La Jornada has nothing to do with just Onate. It was commissioned over 16 years ago and dedicated in 2004. The bronze sculptures were done by renown New Mexico artists Betty Sabo and Sonny Rivera. The series of figures and the sculpture do indeed reflect the diversity and our mixed cultures and were the product of months of extensive outreach and consensus built among Native Americans, the Hispanic community and organizations. The selection committee that awarded the commission to do the work of art to Sabo and Rivera included prominent Native Americans and Hispanics. The funds to commission the sculpture were voted on by the public.

The series of life size sculptures must be taken and viewed as one work of art. The life size figures include historian Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá, Father Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá who brough the Catholic faith to the State, Francisco de Sosa Peñalosa who was given control of “the royal standard” to rule, an ox cart to represent 83 wagons and carts of commodities brought by settlers, Doña Eufemia who was a revered and heroic women settler, a “Vaqueros-Knights-Explorer” sculpture who were the first cowboys, ranchers and farmers, various sculptures of breeding livestock brought to the state, a Shepherd carrying a sheep who brought the animals to sustain the travelers and a sculpture of a Native Americans representing Native American allies and sculptures of woman and children settlers.

A link for more information on the sculpture is here:


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. In the deep south states, the monuments and statues to honor the civil war Confederacy Union and the confederate generals are being defaced with protesters wanting them torn down because they are viewed as memorials to slavery and racism.

To many, the confederate general statues are of traitors to the United States who fought the United States to allow the southern states to secede from the United States to allow those states to preserve and to continue with slavery. The Confederate red flag with a black “X” and stars is also being condemned as racist. Confederate flags are being removed from Southern State capital buildings. NASCAR is also prohibiting the confederate flags at its racing events.

Statues of explorer Christopher Columbus are being assailed because Columbus was involved in the slave trade. For decades, New Mexico has had its own version of such a movement embodied in sculptures and statues of Spanish Conquistador Juan de Oñate y Salazar.


The rise of vigilantism throughout the country and in New Mexico is on the rise and President Trump is contributing to the toxicity. There is no doubt that President Trump promotes hostility, mistrust and violence and he thrives on it and enjoys it. Trump is incapable of understanding the anger and the frustration African Americans feel about the violence they have endured at the hands of law enforcement for so many years. He promoted violence when running for President, he does it at his rally’s and he is doing it again after the killing of George Floyd.

Trump has already begun a campaign of promoting civil disobedience during the pandemic by tweeting on April 17 “LIBERATE VIRGINIA and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!”, “LIBERATE MINNISOTA!” There is nothing that would satisfy Trump supporters more than to blow up our democracy and simply watch as Trump enjoys while watching the country burn to the ground.

On Friday, May 29, President Donald Trump tweeted amid unrest in Minneapolis that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. Trump’s tweet was flagged by Twitter as violating rules against glorifying violence. The tweet was the same language used by a Miami police chief in 1967 who believed that violent protests should be met with deadly force. About 13 hours after Trumps Tweet, he took to Twitter again and to claim that he wasn’t suggesting the shooting of rioters. Instead, he said he was referring to gun violence that has been spurred by the unrest.

Soon after his telephone conference call with the country’s governors, President Trump declared himself “your president of law and order.” He went on to say:

“… If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them. … I am mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting to end the destruction and arson and to protect the rights of law abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights … . “

Trump said he would call out and mobilize “thousands and thousands “ of soldiers to keep the peace.

When Trump says “I am mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting to end the destruction and arson and to protect the rights of law abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights”, many of his supporters could easily take it to mean it as call for vigilantism.


A call to vigilantism is not as far fetched as it sounds. In Albuquerque, it was reported on KUNM that on June 2, after hundreds of people demonstrated peacefully on and around the University of New Mexico campus armed militia men showed up along Central Avenue. According to the KUNM news report, minutes after organizers told protesters to head home, the Albuquerque Police Department radio dispatch indicated officers had seen men with long guns east of UNM.

Just west of campus, protesters came upon a group of at least 9 mostly white men on the side of the road, by a white cargo van, with body armor and assault style weapons. Several protesters were upset at the presence of the armed men . One Black Lives Matter protester was so upset that he cried out repeatedly “We have a peaceful protest! … Go home! Don’t ruin it!” Other protesters urged their fellow demonstrators to ignore the provocation and keep moving.

According to the KUNM report:

“The armed men said they were from the New Mexico Civil Guard and that they were there to protect people. The militia group has been recruiting people throughout New Mexico online since March, and made a showing at an Albuquerque anti-shutdown protest in late April. A post on their Facebook page, which features pro-Trump posts and people posing with yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” flags, said their members would “be protecting local businesses every night until Sunday” amid what they called “violent protests.”

The first night of peaceful protests in Albuquerque calling for justice for George Floyd turned to violence when another group of people showed up after the protesters left. A confrontation with APD resulted, with some vandalism, but the incident ended with no one injured and the group dispersed. All subsequent protests have been relatively peaceful.


On June 4, after three nights of protests, the Albuquerque Police Department felt compelled to discourage anyone from acting as vigilantes. APD’s discouragement is directly related to several groups saying they have been going to the protests to try and ease tensions and to protect local businesses while armed from break-ins, vandalism and looting. APD said that while these groups have good intentions, they’re asking them to leave public safety in the hands of trained law enforcement professionals.

APD spokesman Gilbert Gallegos put it this way:

“We don’t want outside groups no matter what they’re intentions are to go out and enforce laws … Even if they have good intentions to protect protesters or property, generally it’s a bad idea. It can actually make the job more difficult for police, it can escalate tensions with people who are out there.”

Although New Mexico is an open-carry state, and people are allowed to have guns, APD is asking anyone going to the protests to leave the firearms at home in order to avoid escalating tensions


Monday June 1, it was reported that UFC fighter Jon Jones, along with a group of 10 others, joined the protesters to try to keep the protesters calm. According to Jones he did not want to see a repeat of the violence from Sunday night. Jones told KRQE News 13 he had talked to police officers about his intentions before attending Monday’s protesters. Jones told News 13:

“We’re here to try and protect the peaceful protesters and small businesses.”

APD said the meeting with Jones by APD officers was not department sanctioned. APD is investigating the incident. APD also says the officers who met with Jones’ group are not facing any disciplinary action at this time, but they’re still investigating.


In Albuquerque, people showing up to peaceful protests bearing long rifles or any other kind of firearm under the guise of protecting the general public 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 have evil intent. They must be be condemned in no uncertain terms. It needs to be made clear they have absolutely no business showing up armed to the hilt 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 which 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.

Albuquerque and New Mexico are a truly remarkable blend of ethnicity, cultures and traditions that we are proud of. It’s our diversification that is a major source of strength and a testament of how we work things out to get along. There are times in our history that was not always the case, but the passage of time promotes tolerance and understanding. During these very difficult times with the entire country on edge struggling with its history of racism and compounded by the pandemic, Albuquerque and New Mexico can be the best example how people of different cultures get along and interact with each other without racism and for that matter violence.

In the meantime, anyone born and raised in New Mexico, who is half Hispanic and half Italian whose grandparents were immigrants who came to New Mexico in 1900 no doubt will continue to struggle with the appropriateness of sculptures to both Columbus and Onate.

Pat Davis Is “The Man With The Pandering Plan”; Mayor Keller Announces “New” Department of Public Safety; POSTCRIPT: Davis Admits In His Own Survey of Nefarious Conduct As A Police Officer

A Black Lives Movement is now sweeping cities across the country. It is referred to as “defund the police” and is not what it sounds like. The movement has 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.

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.


Enter Albuquerque City Councilor President Pat Davis. He is calling for APD reforms and to an extent to “defund the police” department.

Pat Davis is the current Albuquerque City Council President. On Friday, June 13, 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. Davis explained his plan this way:

“What you’re probably going to see out of this is we’re not abolishing APD, we’re not going to stop hiring cops, but … there seems to be more of an interest now in aligning other city resources we have toward that public safety … So people feel safe and welcome, and included in our community; that’s not always what we’ve done with all of our money. I think we’re going to try to push that forward a little bit. … We totally divest the idea of behavioral health and law enforcement unless there’s a critical incident, that’s a real thing we can do.”

Davis is suggesting the police chief and higher-ups respond to calls for service in order to free up field officers to engage with the community. Davis explained the idea this way:

“You might get the police chief coming to your burglary call, but that means your neighborhood officer is … playing basketball with kids down the street. … That’s a strategy that police departments all over the country use.”

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. Davis had this to say:

“I think the mayor and I both share an appreciation that we don’t think politicians should just be deciding where dollars come out and where they go. … We don’t want to get into this knee-jerk reaction that we can solve this by just writing a check, so we’re trying to figure out how we can create a process.”


Shaun Willoughby, president of the Police Officers’ Association, labeled City Councilor President’s “defund the police reforms as Davis’ “political pandering”. He added saying the possible cuts to funding were “ignorant, idiotic and ludicrous” saying the department is already understaffed. He said, if Davis wants better community policing, the city needs to invest in more officers and not undermine the reform efforts under the Department of Justice Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA).

In forceful and bitter attacks against City Councilor Pat Davis, Willouby had this to say:

“”It infuriates me. … Defund the police should not be part of the conversation. If they want reform, if they want additional training, that’s increased funding. We have invested literally millions of dollars in reform, the last thing Albuquerque needs is for Pat Davis to re-reform the reform process. … Being six years into a reform effort, with the Department of Justice and a monitoring team, and the literal millions, upon millions of dollars that this communities tax base has invested into reform, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. We’ve been understaffed here for the last 10 years, we’re fighting to get to a level just to respond to the needs of the community. … Police are a conduit to everything, and they’re a conduit to a lot of things that society hasn’t really done very good management of in general, it always comes back to the police. … Any politician whether they’re local or national that is on board with defunding the police is ignorant pandering, and not talking about the conversation. ”


On June 14, in an exclusive interview with the Albuquerque Journal, 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.

In a Sunday phone interview with the Albuquerque Journal, Keller said “down and out” calls usually end with someone going to jail or to a hospital. According to Keller:

“And the determiner of [whether a person goes to jail or a hospital] is either firefighter or police [officer]. … Neither of them should be making that initial call, unless it’s a situation of violence. … We’re just expecting them to solve every individual’s problem, and I think that’s totally unfair to them and their training. … We should have trained professionals do this, instead of folks with a gun and a badge. But in general, that’s what we have to fix.”

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

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. In a Channel 4 interview, Keller had this to say:

“We have to adequately fund violent crime law enforcement, and that means we got to get those other officers, but here in Albuquerque, we can do things– like, we’re trying to shift towards diversion programs, towards violence intervention programs. … All of these are essentially, many ways, decriminalizing sort of the interaction between the police and individuals. And so trying to have more civilian interactions and trying to invest in communities, trying to invest in upstream issues like education and poverty, we absolutely have to do a better job at that.”

Notwithstanding the Mayor’s decision to continue with his hiring of more police, Mayor Keller, apparently not to be outdone by Pat Davis, announce his own plan at a news conference on June 15.


Pat Davis was employed as a police officer in Washington, D.C. before coming to New Mexico. When he came to Albuquerque he went to work as a Police Officer for the University of New Mexico. He became a spokesman for Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg after he left the University of New Mexico Police Office. When he left the District Attorney Office, he became a well-known advocate for progressive policies as Director of Progress Now. Pat Davis was a candidate for Bernalillo County sheriff in the 2009 election.

Pat Davis constantly reminds people whenever he can that he is a former police officer, even when he was arrested for DWI, no doubt thinking that somehow it gives him a degree of credibility with the media and public.

On June 13, KRQE reported that Pat Davis published a survey online, asking people to weigh in on how they’d like to restructure APD’s budget. The full KRQE report is here:

In the introduction to his survey, Davis proclaims he has heard the following suggestions from those who responded to his survey:

1. Demilitarize policing by ending our participation in federal programs giving military surplus to police for local law enforcement use. (EDITORS NOTE :For at least the past 5 years, APD has not applied for any military surplus, but that did not stop Davis from introducing a resolution to do so when the Mayor could have easily issued an executive order.)

2. Civilianize non-emergency police department positions to bring in new ideas and talent for specialized jobs where an immediate intervention or arrest isn’t required.

3. Require every police officer to serve in a non-profit capacity such as volunteering in an after-school program, a community kitchen, or a homeless shelter at least 8 hours per quarter.

4. Restructure the way the City allocates grants to community organizations to prioritize those empowering Black/African American, Native, Hispanic and Asian communities where historical underinvestment perpetuates poverty and disenfranchisement.

5. Create permanent, recurring funding sources for reinvestments in housing and job creation focused on disenfranchised communities.

6. Create community justice workers to help those with a criminal record access expungement, removing them from the criminal justice system and giving them a fresh start.

7. Hold public hearings on APD’s budget to take public input on priorities.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Public hearings on APD’s budget should have been conducted before the City Council enacted the City’s operating budget on April 13, but City Council President Pat Davis found an excuse not to hold hearing as reported further below under the topic “CITY FINANCING UPENDED”.)

In the introduction to his constituent survey on reforming APD, Pat Davis admits to having a nefarious past as a UNM police officer by saying:

“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.”

Further, the Davis survey ask no questions regarding if DWI prosecutions should be a priority of the APD and what resources should be dedicated to DWI by APD.

EDITORS NOTE: The below POSTSCRIPT to this blog article contains information on two civil complaints filed against Pat Davis for civil rights violations, false arrest and imprisonment, and negligence while he was a UNM Police Officer. The postscript also contains information on the arrest of Pat Davis for Aggravated DWI.


City finances have been totally upended as a result of the corona virus pandemic and its impact on the city economy and in turn city gross receipts tax returns have dramatically declined. On March 16, 2020, the New Mexico Department of Finance, Local Government Division, issued Memorandum authorizing the New Mexico municipalities to submit their last year’s fiscal budget for 2019-2020 budget as their fiscal budget for year 2020-2021 until reliable tax revenue projections can be determined.

What Pat Davis ostensibly forgot, which is not likely, when announcing his APD “defund and reform APD” legislation was that April 13, on a unanimous vote of 9-0, the Albuquerque City Council enacted R-20-31 which is the city’s operating budget for fiscal year 2020-2021. The City Council’s operating budget, R-20-31, enacted is a “bare bones budget” resolution consisting of only 7 pages of line item appropriations for each of the city departments. There is no explanation or elaboration on the actual use of the millions appropriated in the budget. At the time of enacting the budget, Davis failed to call public hearings that would have allowed comment and input from the public. The 2020-2021 APD operating budget goes into effect on July 1, 2020 and ends June 31, 2021.

The City Council has now enacted a $207,877,000 million-dollar APD operating budget without any questions asked or budget hearings. Following is the line item budget for APD already approved by the City Council:

Administrative Support: $18,835,000 (This funding is for case management and reports, clerical staff and the forensic lab.)

Investigative Services: $45,622,000 (This funding is for the various detective units)
Neighborhood Policing: $104,730,000

Off-Duty Police Overtime: $2,225,000 (The funding is to pay for police overtime and for years the actual funding has approached $10 to $14 Million a year.)

Prisoner Transport: $2,423,000 (The funding is used to transport all arrestees to the Westside Jail.)

Professional Accountability: $34,042,000 (This is funding associated with the Department of Justice Consent Decree)


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 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 in November 2014 Albuquerque and APD entered into a federal court-approved settlement agreement mandating 276 reforms. Under the Court approved settlement, the city must reach a 95% compliance rate in three major areas and sustain compliance in all 3 areas for 2 consecutive years before the case can be dismissed.

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.

A link to a blog article summarizing the 11th Federal Monitor’s Report is here:


DOJ’s finding of a “culture of aggression” within APD dealt with APD’s interactions and responses to suspects that were mentally ill and were having psychotic episodes. The investigation found APD’s policies, training and supervision were insufficient to ensure officers encountering people with mental illness or in distress do so in a manner that respected their rights and in a manner that was safe for all involved. The settlement agreement (CASA) mandates sweeping changes and reforms to APD.

On November 14, 2020, it will be a full 6 years that will have expired since the city entered into the CASA with the DOJ. Specific reforms implemented to address APD’s training and interactions with the mentally ill and others include:

1. After a full year of negotiations, new “use of force” and “use of deadly force” policies have been written, implemented and all APD sworn have received training on the policies.

2. All sworn police officers have received crisis management intervention training to deal with the mentally ill an others.

3. APD has created a “Use of Force Review Board” that oversees all internal affairs investigations of use of force and deadly force.

4. The Internal Affairs Unit has been divided into two sections, one dealing with general complaints and the other dealing with use of force incidents.

5. Sweeping changes ranging from APD’s SWAT team protocols, to banning choke-holds, to auditing the use of every Taser carried by officers and re-writing and implementation of new use of force and deadly force policies have been completed.

6. “Constitutional policing” practices and methods, and mandatory crisis intervention techniques an de-escalation tactics with the mentally ill have been implemented at the APD police academy with all sworn police having received training.

7. APD has adopted a new system to hold officers and supervisors accountable for all use of force incidents with personnel procedures implemented detailing how use of force cases are investigated.

8. APD has revised and updated its policies on the mandatory use of lapel cameras by all sworn police officers.

9. The Repeat Offenders Project, known as ROP, has been abolished.

10. Civilian Police Oversight Agency has been created, funded, fully staffed and a director hired.

11. The Community Policing Counsels (CPCs) have been created in all area commands and the CPCs meet monthly.

12. The Mental Health Advisory Committee has been implemented.


Mental Health Response Advisory Committee is mandated by the DOJ consent decree. Its purpose is to provide guidance to the City of Albuquerque Police Department on the DOJ reforms. The committee consists of members from all walks of life and are committed to improving the lives of those with mental illness and their interactions with law enforcement in Albuquerque. The committee include providers, the Police, the court system, advocates, family members and consumers. The Mental Health Response Advisory Committee analyzes and recommends appropriate changes to policies, procedures, and training methods regarding police contact with persons who may be mentally ill or experiencing a mental health crisis.,City%20of%20Albuquerque%20Police%20Department.&text=Learn%20more%20about%20the%20Advisory%20Committee’s%20duties.

Danny Whatley is on the Mental Health Response Advisory Committee and said he appreciates the conversation happening around reform and the city council’s recent involvement. However, he cautioned against the city council rushing decisions that could prove harmful to the DOJ reforms already undertaken. Whately explained it this way:

“Reform is not cheap and defunding the police is not a rational statement, and certainly not a plan that would make our city safer. I also have concerns about failing to encourage and support law enforcement. If we are not careful, we will lose the brightest and best, and … we will be forced to dumb down the standards and the community will suffer. … It would also be good to know how many of the responsibilities that fall on law enforcement could be handled by non-sworn individuals.”

According to Whatley, the Albuquerque Fire Rescue Department (AFRD) needs to take a “greater role” in mental health crisis issues, but is very in saying that removing the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) from APD would not only be a “bad move,” but it is in fact “impossible”. Whatley pointed out that calls for service that initially are believed not appear related to mental health can escalate to such. Police officers must always be always trained in crisis intervention to deal with calls that escalate and there is now a unit to oversee such training.

Whatley advocates having a separate unit of mental health professionals to assist in nonthreatening police calls for service and explained it this way:

“The caseloads that these officers carry, and the amount of time, effort and passion that these women and men pour into these cases will change anyone’s mind who would think about removing this role from APD. … We certainly are not perfect, but we have the right people and pieces in place to continue to improve and to become the police department that the community expects. … It is not helpful to paint this police department with the broad brush that is being used in our nation today because of the horrible actions of other police officers.”


Councilor Pat Davis has a chronic case of “political opportunism”. Most of the suggestions proposed by Davis are included in Mayor Keller’s proposal for the creation of a Department of Public Safety or are mandated by the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA). This leads one to ask what did Pat Davis know and when did he know it about Keller’s plans before he made his own announcement?

Davis announced that the council will meet with the community in July and hold hearing to gain input into possible changes to APD’s budget, police operations and other avenues where funds could be placed to better the community. At the same time as announcing public hearings, Davis outlined his own plans to reform APD less than two days before the Mayor was to make his announcement.


The most critical functions of the Albuquerque City Council is the oversight authority it has over city finances, all appropriations, the job performance of the various departments and enacting a balanced budget. The oversight authority includes having public hearings on the city’s budget to allow public the opportunity to give input on how the city spends taxpayer money. Further, the budget process is critical to force all city departments to justify their budgets and to adjust department’s budgets as the need mandates it. As City Council President, Davis did not allow that to happen this year. Only now that there is a law enforcement crisis brought on by the protests over the George Floyd killing, Pat Davis decides to call for hearings on APD’s budget after it has already been enacted.

The Albuquerque City Council plays a crucial oversight role of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) including controlling its budget. Pat Davis did absolutely nothing when it comes to Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reforms mandated by the Court Approved Settlement Agreement. He never challenged the APD command staff in any meaningful way demanding compliance with the Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree reforms. Each time the Federal Monitor has presented his critical reports of APD to the City Council, Davis was silent and declined to demand accountability from the Mayor and hold the APD command staff responsible for dragging their feet on the reforms. Davis has never attended any of the federal court hearings on the consent decree.


Davis is the epitome of hypocrisy when he says “we don’t think politicians should just be deciding where dollars come out and where they go. We don’t want to get into this knee-jerk reaction that we can solve this by just writing a check … “ All Davis has done for the full 5 years he has been on the city council is to decide “where dollars come out and where they go ” ignoring the public. Cases in point:

1. Davis voted repeatedly to fund the $130 million disastrous ART Bus project that has destroyed the character of Route 66. He refused to advocate to put the ART Bus project on the ballot for public approval. Davis voted to spend federal grant money that had yet to be appropriated by congress.

2. In January, 2017, Pat Davis voted for $65 million in revenue bonds by passing the voters as the financing mechanism to pay for big capital projects such as pickle ball courts, baseball fields and the ART bus project down central.

3. In October 2019, Pat Davis voted to approve $29 million infrastructure bond tax package financed by the City’s Lodger’s Tax. The Keller Administration labeled the lodger tax bond package as a “Sports – Tourism Lodger Tax ” because it was to be used for a number of projects around the city labeled as “sports tourism opportunities. The lodgers tax revenues are required to be used to benefit of the tourist industry and projects will attract tourism. 7 of the 10 projects financed were not tourism related but used overwhelming by the general public and not the tourist industry nor by the hotel or lodger tax industry.


After almost a full six years of the CASA, Pat Davis and ostensibly the city council appear that they do not understand the authority of the United States Federal Court over the City or APD. The City and APD are still under the thumb of the Federal Court Judge and the watchful eye of the Federal Court Appointed Monitor. Little next to nothing can be done by the city with APD when it relates to policies mandated and resources and funding of the reforms required so long as the federal settlement remains in place. The Federal Court has overwhelming if not absolute authority over APD and there is little that can be done to defund APD. Any plan to defund APD or change training of police officers will no doubt have to be approved by the Federal Court Judge after conferring with the federal monitor.

It would have been a matter of common decency and courtesy for Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis to have conferred with the Keller Administration and perhaps the police union regarding his defunding plans of APD, but that would have meant he would not have secured the Albuquerque Journal front page news coverage or the television news interviews that he has so desperately coveted the entire 5 years he has been on the city council.


Pat Davis needed to seek input from the Federal Court Appointed Monitor, but that would have shown a little respect for the federal court system. Then again, Davis likely has very little use nor respect for the courts, nor any one’s US Constitutional rights given his history of litigation and arrest record and his admission the he “made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today.”




In the introduction to his survey, Pat Davis says:

“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.”

The link to the full survey is here:

It’s highly likely that two of the things Pat Davis did as a University of New Mexico Police Officer and actions he is not proud of are alleged in two civil lawsuits where he was sued along with other UNM Police. In one lawsuit, a civil “COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS” was filed. In a second lawsuit a civil “COMPLAINT FOR FALSE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT, NEGLIGENCE AND CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS” was filed. 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 to the Plaintiffs for damages in one case but the specific amount of the settlement paid in the second case and the terms of any release of claims is not known.


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. The lawsuit also named 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. The home 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. 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. 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.

A neighbor called Arturo Flores about what was happening at the 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 know 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 Ceclia 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”. The defendants 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 and she 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 defendants.


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 announce 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. 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. 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.


Review of the 2019-2020 approved annual budget for the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reflects that field officers made 1,819 DWI arrests and investigated 446 alcohol related accidents. Notwithstanding the resources and efforts made by APD with DWI, Pat Davis was not at all interested in asking about DWI in his survey. One area the survey inquired about from those taking it, where they were to check off responses, is as follows:

“My most recent personal encounter with an APD officer was…

o In a community meeting
o During a traffic stop
o When I was a victim of a crime
o When I was the witness to the crime
o I don’t remember”

Giving Davis’ own arrest for DWI, it’s not surprising that he did not want to identify DWI arrests protocol as a specific area to ask about APD’s efforts and resources to combat DWI.


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.,penalties%20than%20a%20basic%20DUI.

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. (See: STATE OF NEW MEXICO TAXATION AND REVENUE DEPARTMENT IMPLIED CONSENT ACT, IN THE MATTER OF THE PROPOSED REVOCATION OF THE NEW MEXICO DRIVING PRIVILEGES OF PATRICK DAVIS NOTICE OF REVOCATION NO. 20677985) Davis completed the 6-month suspension of his license.

Our US Military Know Who They Have Sworn To Serve and Protect: “We The People” And Our Constitution; A Breathtaking Week That Was

The french phrase “coup d’é·tat”, pronounced in the singular form, literally means a ‘stroke of state’ or ‘blow against the state’. A “coup d’é·tat”is the forcible removal of an existing government from power through violent means. Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a political faction, the military, or a dictator. The concept of a coup d’état is featured in politics since antiquity.’%C3%A9tat


“The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States … .”


“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”


The military oath of enlistment and re-enlistment is short and straightforward for most military personnel. It’s administered by a superior officer, and carried out like most traditional oaths, with the officer reading the oath and the person being sworn repeating it. The oath is as follows:

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.


On Monday, May 26, around 8 p.m., African American George Floyd, 46, was arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota for passing a counterfeit $20 bill. The video of George Floyd being arrested is extremely difficult to watch. The video clearly shows he did not actively resist arrest. Floyd did not have a weapon on him when the arrest was made and he was handcuffed. Police Officer Derek Chauvin took Floyd to the ground and he was subdued with his stomach and face on the ground.

Officer Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck and he used his full body weight to suppress George Floyd’s head and body to the ground. The take down suppression lasted for almost a full 9 minutes, during which time George Floyd begged for his life saying at least 14 times “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” Paramedics were called and when they arrived, Floyd was none responsive and was dead. Police Officer Chauvin has been charged with murder and with manslaughter and arrested.

You can view the video here:

Across the country where peaceful protest over the killings by police of unarmed African Americans, started in city’s large and small. Many of the protests burst into violence with looting and vandalism. Mayors and Governors took action to deal with the protesters. As days past, the movement against systemic racism by police went global as millions took to the streets during a pandemic to protest. The protests have continued daily but by and large have turned peaceful.


On Saturday, May 30, Trump in a series of tweets hours after hundreds of demonstrators had massed outside the White House and confronted officers in riot gear, Trump belittled them, doubted their allegiance to Floyd’s memory, and said they were only out “to cause trouble” and were “professionally managed.” He offered no evidence to back his assertions.

Trump seemed to invite supporters to make their presence felt:

“Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???” Trump claimed Secret Service agents were “just waiting for action” and ready to unleash “the most vicious dogs, and the most ominous weapons, I have ever seen” if protesters angered by his response to George Floyd’s death had crossed the White House’s security fence.

Soon after his telephone conference call with the country’s governors, President Trump declared himself “your president of law and order.” He went on to say:

“… If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them. … I am mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting to end the destruction and arson and to protect the rights of law abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights … .”

Trump said he would call out and mobilize “thousands and thousands “ of soldiers to keep the peace.

As Trump vowed to return order to American streets using the military, peaceful protesters just outside the White House gates were dispersed with tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets. Trump addressed the nation from the White House Rose Garden.

According to White House senior defense officials, between 600 and 800 National Guard members from 5 states were sent to the nations capital to provide assistance. While he was addressing the nation in the White House Rose Garden, military vehicles and military police accompanied by law enforcement, rolled unto Pennsylvania Avenue and clashed with protesters at Lafayettee Park.


From June 4 to June 12, a truly remarkable thing happened in the United States. Former Secretaries of Defense, General’s and military commanders condemned President Trump use of the active military to quell protests in the United States. It all began on June 4 with former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is a retired United States Marine Corps general who was appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as the 26th US Secretary of Defense. On June 4, The Atlantic published a scathing opinion piece by Mattis regarding President Donald Trump’s leadership and his call to use active military and national guards to quell the protests over the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

Following are excerpts from the statement:

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation.

When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.

We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law.

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

Only by adopting a new path — which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals — will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.”

The link to the full Mattis letter published in the Atlantic is here:

Former Secretary of Defense Mattis’ remarks were published soon after dissent voiced by Defense Secretary Mark Esper who told reporters that despite Trump’s remarks on use of military to quell protests, he was not in favor of President Trump invoking the Insurrection Act to use the U.S. military to quell violent protests. Esper said:

“The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire situations,” We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.”


On June 3, Trump issued a blistering condemnation on Twitter of Mattis. He pointed out that then-President Obama removed Mattis as head of U.S. Central Command in 2013. Following is the tweet:

“Probably the only thing Barack Obama and I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was ‘Chaos’, which I didn’t like, & changed it to ‘Mad Dog.’ His primary strength was not military, but rather personal public relations. I gave him a new life, things to do, and battles to win, but he seldom ‘brought home the bacon’. I didn’t like his ‘leadership’ style or much else about him, and many others agree. Glad he is gone!”


Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is also a retired U.S. Marine Corps general who had previously served as Secretary of Homeland Security in the Trump administration. On Thursday, June 4, John Kelly defended former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis calling him an “honorable man”. Kelly completely rejected Trump’s claim that he fired the retired Mattis and said:

“The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation. The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused. The president tweeted a very positive tweet about Jim until he started to see on Fox News their interpretation of his letter. Then he got nasty. … Jim Mattis is a honorable man.”


A number of retired four-star generals have also taken issue with Trump’s threat to use the active military to quell nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.

On June 2, Air Force General Mike Hayden, Former director of the CIA and NSA under Bush and Obama said on Twitter regarding General Milley joining Trump for his walk in front of the White House after protesters were cleared said this:

“I was appalled to see him in his battle dress. Milley (he’s a general?!?) should not have walked over to the church with Trump.”

On June 2, Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had this to say:

“It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel—including members of the National Guard—forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president’s visit outside St. John’s Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump’s leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent. Whatever Trump’s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces. There was little good in the stunt.”

On June 3, Marine Corps General John Allen, the Former commander of US forces in Afghanistan under President Barrack Obama had this to say:

“Donald Trump isn’t religious, has no need of religion, and doesn’t care about the devout, except insofar as they serve his political needs…To even the casual observer, Monday was awful for the United States and its democracy. The president’s speech was calculated to project his abject and arbitrary power, but he failed to project any of the higher emotions or leadership desperately needed in every quarter of this nation during this dire moment.”

On June 3, Navy Admiral James Stavridis, Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, said:

“Our active duty military must remain above the fray of domestic politics, and the best way to do that is to keep that force focused on its rightful mission outside the United States. Our senior active duty military leaders must make that case forcefully and directly to national leadership, speaking truth to power in uncomfortable ways. They must do this at the risk of their career. I hope they will do so, and not allow the military to be dragged into the maelstrom that is ahead of us, and which will likely only accelerate between now and November. If they do not stand and deliver on this vital core value, I fear for the soul of our military and all of the attendant consequences.”

On June 4, Air Force General Richard Myers, Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George W. Bush in a CNN interview said:

“The first thing was just absolute sadness that people aren’t allowed to protest and that, as I understand it, that was a peaceful protest that was disturbed by force, and that’s not right. That should not happen in America. And so I was sad. I mean, we should all shed tears over that, that particular act. …I’m glad I don’t have to advise this President. I’m sure the senior military leadership is finding it really difficult these days to provide good, sound military advice.”

On June 4, William Perry, the Former Defense Secretary served under President Bill Clinton had this to say on Twitter:

“I am outraged at the deplorable behavior of our President and Defense Secretary Esper, threatening to use American military forces to suppress peaceful demonstrators exercising their constitutional rights. This is a deeply shameful moment for our nation.”

On June 5, Navy Adm. William McRaven, Former commander of US Special Operations Command under Obama in an interview with MSNBC had this to say:

“You’re not going to use, whether it’s the military, or the National Guard, or law enforcement, to clear peaceful American citizens for the President of the United States to do a photo op. There is nothing morally right about that.”

On June 5, Ash Carter, the Former Defense Secretary under President Obama issued the following statement:

“The Department of Defense exists to safeguard our citizens, not dominate them. I was dismayed to see DoD drawn inappropriately this week into the President’s response to protests. There is here no need, no warrant, and no excuse to bring active-duty military force into the restoration of order. I say this as a former Secretary of Defense who death with many situations where military intervention was helpful, even vital, in the homeland — past epidemics, hurricanes and floods, and so forth. Equally abhorrent to me was the inclusion of defense leaders in political theater.”

On Sunday, June 6 former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell, a retired general who served under President George W. Bush, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that President Donald Trump has “drifted away” from the Constitution and said:

“We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it. … I think what we’re seeing now, is (the most) massive protest movement I have ever seen in my life, I think it suggests the country is getting wise to this and we’re not going to put up with it anymore.”

Powell said that he thinks Trump has not been an effective president and that he lies “all the time” and explained:

“What we have to do now is reach out to the whole people, watch these demonstrations, watch these protests, and rather than curse them, embrace them to see what it is we have to do to get out of the situation that we find ourselves in now” … We’re America, we’re Americans, we can do this. We have the ability to do it, and we ought to do it. Make America not just great, but strong and great for all Americans, not just a couple.”

Powell also called out Republican lawmakers for largely staying silent on Trump’s response to the national unrest over the murder of George Floyd by police saying:

“I watched the senators heading into the chamber the other day after all this broke, with the reporters saying, ‘What do you have to say? What do they you to say? … he said. They had nothing to say. They would not react.”

Powell said he’s “proud” of what a number of former generals, admirals and diplomats have said about Trump’s response last week to the widespread protests, adding that he hadn’t released a public statement denouncing Trump’s response because he felt he had demonstrated his displeasure with Trump in 2016 when he voted against him.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell went on to announce he would be voting for former Vice President Joe Biden for President.


On June 1, after protesters were cleared from the Lafayette Square area by the White House, Trump led an entourage that included Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chief’s of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley to St. John’s Episcopal Church. Trump boldly held up a Bible for photographers, saying absolutely nothing or why he did the photo op and then returned to the White House.

On June 11, Army Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, in remarks to a National Defense University commencement ceremony said:

“I should not have been there [walking to St. John’s Episcopal Church.] My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics. As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it.”

Milley’s public expression of regret comes as Pentagon leaders’ relations with the White House are still tense after a disagreement last week over Trump’s threat to use federal troops to quell civil unrest triggered by the death of George Floyd.


President Trump’s desire to use the United States military to quell protesters angry and frustrated over the racial injustice and inequities endured by African Americans at the hands of law enforcement should come as no absolutely no surprise to anyone. Trump has a well-documented history of racism years before he was elected, while he was running and since being elected President.

It would be easy to see how an outside observer would think that a coup d’é·tat is happening in the United States, but they would be seriously mistaken. Our institutions remain intact as do our constitutional rights of freedom of speech, right to assembly and freedom of the press. Trump may be the “commander in chief” of the military, but he is not a dictator with absolute control and authority over our military where he can order suppression of our constitutional rights.

The military takes an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States and not the President of the United States. Our military academies are some of the very best institutions of higher learning educating the cream of the crop of their generation. Cadets taught in our military academies learn the importance of preserving our country with the lessons learned from our civil war that ended slavery and resulted in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

On June 12, President Trump said the following to Fox News reporter Harris Faulkner of President Abraham Lincoln:

“I think I’ve done more for the black community than any other president, and let’s take a pass on Abraham Lincoln because he did good, although it’s always questionable, you know, in other words, the end result.”

It was not clear if “end result” was referring to Lincoln’s assassination. Faulkner, who is black, interjected to say of Lincoln: “Well, we are free, Mr President, so he did pretty well.”

Trump has previously claimed that “nobody has ever done for the black community what President Trump has done”, which factcheckers rate as patently false and given his history of racism.

Trump has confirmed yet again he is totally unfit, incompetent and totally unprepared to be President by ordering the military to deal with the protests over the killing of George Floyd. Our Bone Spur “Commander in Chief” is now in a “war of words” with some of our most respected Generals who have served their country with honor and distinction. Trump is not even qualified to shine their boots, let alone be their Commander in Chief, but they still respect the Office of the President which is far more than Trump.

It clear Trump wants to order our military to turn on United States citizens to hold on to power, to suppress dissent and free speech. Trump has also repeatedly call the media “enemy of the people”. The biggest reason why this country has never had a “coup d’é·tat” is the loyalty of our military to the American people.

It is often said by elected officials and private citizens alike that the United States Military is the greatest, strongest and most powerful military in the world. The sure lethal force of our military is not what makes it so powerful. What makes it so powerful is that the men and woman of our military force know, and its ingrained in their DNA, that they serve the people of the United States. Our military protects all of our constitutional rights, including their own, that we hold dear against tyrants, even if the tyrant is our own President.

The United Sates military has done its job in resisting Trump’s assault on our institutions and our freedoms. We the people, Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike, now need to do our job and remove Trump from the White House come election day November 3.

The Police Motto To “Serve And Protect” Not Conditioned On Skin Color

On June 12, The Albuquerque Journal published the following guest column on its editorial page:

HEADLINE: APD has made real progress under DOJ agreement

Friday, June 12th, 2020 at 12:02am

On June 4, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the creation of her Council for Racial Justice, saying it’s time to address the “ugly truth” of racism embedded in core institutions. The governor’s creation of the council was a reaction in part to the protests and demonstrations around the United States and in New Mexico ignited by the killing by police of 46-year-old George Floyd.

The governor suggested expanded conflict de-escalation training for law enforcement recruits and an overhaul of probation and parole rules be among the changes pursued in the coming months. Racial profiling is also problematic in New Mexico. An example – the Hobbs Police Department has faced claims from several former officers alleging police officials targeted enforcement efforts against black and Hispanic communities. In recent years, New Mexico has placed first or second in the nation for its rate of deadly shootings by law enforcement officers.

The governor referred to Albuquerque’s history with police use-of-force issues. On April 10, 2014, the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice issued its report of an 18-month civil rights investigation of 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 in November 2014 Albuquerque and APD entered into a federal court-approved settlement agreement mandating 276 reforms.

What differentiates the DOJ’s investigation of APD from all the other federal investigations of police departments is that the other investigations involved in one form or another the finding of “racial profiling” and use of excessive force or deadly force against African Americans, Hispanics or other minorities.

However, DOJ’s finding of a “culture of aggression” within APD dealt with APD’s interactions and responses to suspects that were mentally ill and were having psychotic episodes. The investigation found APD’s policies, training and supervision were insufficient to ensure officers encountering people with mental illness or in distress do so in a manner that respected their rights and in a manner that was safe for all involved.

The settlement agreement (CASA) mandates sweeping changes and reforms to APD. Over the last five years of implementing the mandated DOJ reforms, APD has made significant progress under the watchful eye of a federal court-approved monitor. The reforms apply as much to the treatment of minorities as to the treatment of the mentally ill.

Our law enforcement communities must understand with complete clarity that police brutality, excessive use of force and deadly force based on racial profiling and the presumption of guilt because of a person’s color, and not evidence, will not be tolerated. No Hispanic, no African American and no person of color should ever feel uncomfortable talking to any police officer or feel they cannot call the police to ask for help or to report a crime. Police must recognize that performing their motto to “serve and protect” is not determined by skin color.

We must as a country come to grips with the reality that for our country to survive and to stand for the concept that “all men and women are created equal,” racism of any kind must be condemned and not tolerated on any level of our lives, especially in law enforcement and our judicial system. We have a moral obligation to look within ourselves and admit racism in this country is tearing it apart.

We must make it clear to who we interact with during our daily lives, including work, social functions, with our families and friends alike, that racism is not tolerated on any level. Racism must be strongly condemned in no uncertain terms. We must do something to end the racism within ourselves and for our future generations.

The link to the guest column article is here:

Alan Wagman Guest Column: Window Of Opportunity Will Close On Police Reforms; Keller Administration Should Ask Public What Kind of Police Department It Wants Before Signing Any Contract

Alan Wagman is a retired public defender attorney in Albuquerque. He served on the city’s Police Oversight Task Force in 2013-14 and continues to work on police reform and human rights. Mr. Wagman submitted the below guest column for publication on this blog:

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are those of attorney Alan Wagman and do not necessarily reflect those of the political blog Mr. Wagman was not compensated for the column).

“The window of opportunity for even the most modest of reforms to the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) is about to close. Almost everyone in Albuquerque wants some kind of change in APD. All people who want change in APD have something in common: All should be demanding that Mayor Keller not renew the city’s contract with the Albuquerque Police Officers Association (APOA) until after the public has been engaged in a real, meaningful examination of what kind of police department we want and what kind we don’t want.

The APOA contract is due to expire on June 30. If you want nothing more than that APD make the changes the city agreed to and the federal court ordered five years ago, you will lose your opportunity to get what you want if the mayor enters a new contract with APOA. The city will continue to pay millions of dollars because its obligations under the federal lawsuit will remain unfulfilled.

If you want to see APD flat-out abolished, you will lose your opportunity if the mayor enters a new contract with APOA. If you want something in-between, something that involves real change in who responds to medical emergencies (police or EMTs?), who responds to the mentally ill (police or counselors?), who deals with the homeless (police or social workers?), who deals with problems in schools (police or teachers, counselors, and experts in restorative justice?), who deals with drug abuse (police or public health authorities?), you will lose your opportunity if the mayor enters a new contract with APOA. If you want yet something else, you will lose your opportunity if the mayor enters a new contract with APOA.

Entering contracts with APOA is the surest way to block improvement in APD. Six years ago, I served on the city’s Police Oversight Task Force charged with making recommendations for a new police oversight ordinance. We discovered that the city’s contract with APOA set a time limit beyond which discipline could not be imposed, and the civilian oversight statute required a process which pushed civilian oversight beyond the contract’s time limits. The result was no discipline. The Task Force raised the issue, and the Berry administration responded by renewing the APOA contract, preventing oversight and avoiding discipline.

With the Keller administration it has been more of the same. Under Mayor Keller’s APOA contract, the federal court monitor has been reporting for years that the road block to progress remains unchanged: supervisors stall the disciplinary process until it gets beyond the deadlines set in the APOA contract. Result? Cops aren’t disciplined; APD does not change; we taxpayers continue shelling out money to the federal court monitor. And we continue paying for and being victimized by police officers who break rules designed to protect us.

Without an APOA contract, the city can make whatever change the public desires. Without an APOA contract, the city can force APD compliance with the federal lawsuit and save millions of dollars. Without an APOA contract, the city can abolish the police. Without an APOA contract, the city can reallocate money to better and more humanely serve the people of this city. But only without an APOA contract.

There is little time left , until June 30 at the outside, to deliver our message to Mayor Keller:

“We need APD to change; hold public meetings; find out what we want and need. If you do not, if instead you enter into an APOA contract, you raise a legitimate question as to whom you serve: Do you serve us? Or do you serve APOA? Serve us; serve we, the people. Do not enter into a contract with APOA.”


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) in 2014. 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.

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. During the August 20, 2019, a day long status conference, the APOA union President Shaun Willoughby made it clear that the attitude towards the CASA has not changed in the least.

When the Federal Court asked APOA Union President Shawn Willoughby during a hearing 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.


In his 10th and 11th reports, the Federal Court appointed monitor made it clear that there are many within APD that are overtly resistant to reforms. The Monitor has found evidence of a “counter-CASA effect” among some at the supervisory, mid-management, and command levels at APD. Notwithstanding, both Mayor Keller and CAO Nair have refused to take aggressive action and remove those in the chain of command that are resistant to police reforms.

In his 10TH Monitors Report, Dr. Ginger finds:

“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 Monitors Report, Dr. Ginger found that despite all the progress made in training at the APD Academy, 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.” The monitor found that “some in APD’s command levels continue to exhibit behaviors that “build bulwarks” [or 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 … [there have been those] 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.” According to the report, “this as an essential “way forward” if APD is to move into full compliance. The remaining issue is that this pressure is neither uniform nor persistent.”

APD police sergeants and lieutenants are on the front line to enforce personnel rules and regulations, standard operating procedures, approve and review work performed and assist in implementing DOJ reforms and standard operating procedures policies. They are where the “rubber meets the road” when it comes to police reforms. The point that has been repeatedly made by the Federal Monitor is that “until the sergeants are in harness and pulling in the same direction as the chief, things won’t get done as quickly”. In other words, without the 100% support of the sergeants and lieutenants to the CASA mandated reforms, there will be little or no progress made with police reforms.

APD sergeants and lieutenants, even though they are part of management with supervisory authority over sworn police officers, are not “at will” employees and they are allowed to join the police union. Including sergeants and lieutenants in the union bargaining unit creates a clear conflict within management and sends mixed messages to rank and file sworn police officers.

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.


The very lucrative two-year Police Union Contract expires on June 30. It is more likely than not that the Keller Administration has already negotiated a new contract with police and does not want to make it public. Keller will want to have yet another press conference surrounded by police union membership dressed in uniforms that he can use as he seeks a second term.

Mayor Tim Keller is now at a crossroad where he can show real leadership. As Alen Wagman point out:

“The window of opportunity for even the most modest of reforms to the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) is about to close. Almost everyone in Albuquerque wants some kind of change in APD. All people who want change in APD have something in common: All should be demanding that Mayor Keller not renew the city’s contract with the Albuquerque Police Officers Association (APOA) until after the public has been engaged in a real, meaningful examination of what kind of police department we want and what kind we don’t want.”


Federal Monitor Files 11th Compliance Audit Report Of APD Reforms; “Counter Casa Effect” Still Problematic; Order 100% Operational Compliance Within 6 Months Or Replace Chief Or Deputy Chiefs To Get Job Done

10th Federal Monitor’s Compliance Report: “Counter Casa Effect” Alive and Well Within APD; Move To Dismiss Union From Case; Remove Sergeants and Lieutenants From Police Union

Systemic Police Attitudes By “The Rank And File” Over Accountability And Civilian Oversight Must Change Or There Will Be More “George Floyds” In The United States

The Police Chiefs of major police departments across the country decried the use of force that turned to deadly for used by a Minneapolis Police officer in the arrest of African American George Floyd who died after the white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for close to 9 minutes. Floyd cried out 14 times “I can’t breathe”. The killing and the video went viral and resulted in protests across the country.

Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown had this to say:

“What took place in Minneapolis … is absolutely reprehensible and tarnishes the badge nationwide, including here in Chicago. … Floyd’s death was caused by the unacceptable actions of a police officer.”

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said:

“What we saw in Minnesota was deeply disturbing. It was wrong. We must come together, condemn these actions and reinforce who we are as members of the NYPD. This is not acceptable ANYWHERE.”

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw applauded the swift actions taken by the Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and said:

“Throughout the nation, communities of color are tired of reliving atrocities such as this over and over again”.

Chattanooga, Tennesee, Police Chief David Roddy said:

“There is no need to see more video. There [is] no need to wait to see how ‘it plays out.’ There is no need to put a knee on someone’s neck for NINE minutes. … there is a need to do something. If you wear a badge and you don’t have an issue with this … turn it in.”

Dallas Chief of Police Renee Hall had this to say:

“I stand with the rest of my colleagues and major city chiefs and we all agree that this behavior should not be tolerated, and it does not represent who we are. … When you see the video there are so many emotions that run through me. … Our entire police department and command staff stand with Chief (Medaria) Arradondo and his decision to terminate.”

Fort Worth Chief of Police Ed Kraus joined the conversation on Twitter and said:

“The death of #GeorgeFloyd occurred in Minneapolis, but these tragic encounters between officers and residents have occurred in too many cities across the country, including Fort Worth. We must serve more compassionately, and intervene when we see our own acting inappropriately.”

Rockwall Chief Max Geron of Texas said the death of George Floyd was a stain on the profession and said:

“The death of George Floyd is a stain on our profession. There is no justification. We have to do and be better collectively and individually. It will make policing more difficult for those who work to maintain public trust.”

Denver Police Chief Paul M. Pazen said:

“The actions and type of force used by the Minneapolis police officers in the video are inexcusable and contrary to how we train our officers.”

Irving Texas Chief of Police Jeff Spivey said the video speaks for itself and added:

“This is flat wrong. There’s nothing you can say. There’s nothing you can show me. There’s nothing you can do that can ever justify what happened here. … Is it a failure of leadership? Is it a failure of who we’re hiring? Is it a failure of how we’re training our people? Or is it just the fact that we hire from the human race and sometimes we don’t always get it right and we hire bad people?”

Albuquerque Police Chief Michael Geier had this to say about the George Floyd killing:

“… Those officers’ actions are inconsistent with the training and protocols of our department. APD has worked tirelessly to build trust between law enforcement and the community we are sworn to protect. … We will not tolerate these [type of police] actions and denounce this type of police brutality. The senseless misconduct demonstrated in this unfortunate incident should not define other police departments across the nation. APD denounces the behavior of the Minneapolis officers and we will continue to build the trust we’ve established in the community we proudly serve.”


It is very rare or downright not heard of that Police Chiefs openly criticize the actions of one of thier officers involved in a controversial on-duty killing. In years past involving similar controversies and the killing of a civilian during an arrest by police officers, a Chief of Police and their command staff would normally ask for the public’s patience during similar controversies, ask for time to investigate and resist releasing lapel camera footage of an arrest or release only portions of a video that did not reveal the entire story.

Extensive media attention and public outrage usually accompanies the most egregious incidents of police where a civilian ends up dead or the police misconduct is so disturbing and obvious as to result in criminal charges against police officers. The best example of this in Albuquerque was the March 14, 2014 killing by APD SWAT Officers of mentally ill, homeless camper James Boyd in the Sandia Foothills. The day after the Boyd shooting, then APD Chief Gordon Eden held a press conference and boldly proclaimed the shooting of James Boyd was “justified” with Eden even citing Supreme Court Case law, although using the wrong citation.

The entire assault by upwards of 27 police officers with guns drawn pointing at Boyd and using canine and flash bang shells with the killing of Boyd by two SWAT officers who shot him was captured on police lapel camera video. It was the lapel camera video that was the most critical evidence in the criminal trial of the two APD SWAT police officers charged with murder. The jury trial resulted in a “dead lock” jury who could not reach a verdict and the charges were dismissed by Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez. A civil law suit for wrongful death filed against the City by the Boyd family was settled for $5 million.


A historical and prevailing philosophy by police is that in order to be able to do their job of “protect and serve”, they need total autonomy from civilian oversight and free from any and all interference by civilians. Police departments want to be an “island unto themselves” and act that way too many times.

It is often argued by many sworn police, and usually their unions, that only a “police officer” has the knowledge and experience and can determine the proprietary of another officer’s actions, especially when it comes to use of force and deadly force. The philosophy is only law enforcement can and should police themselves and it must be left to Police Internal Affairs without civilian involvement.

An argument that is always made is that law enforcement take their own lives into their hands and “risk their lives daily” to protect the public. Police also argue they need complete discretion to do their jobs in order to defend themselves, otherwise their hands are tied in combating crime. Truth is, no one forces any one to become a police officer and they knew what they were getting themselves into. If any officer feels the risk to life is too great, they probably need to find another line of work.

Another pervasive attitude expressed by sworn police is that it’s all “the politician’s fault”. It has been said that “police can no longer move without a politician telling them how to do their jobs”. Another line of attack made by police when any elected official calls for oversight and accountability is that it’s just another politician trying to score points as they run for office. Actions and even criticism by “politicians” and the media are often problematic and resented by police. What those law enforcement fail to understand is that is what is called civilian oversight. It is the elected officials, the politicians, who are ultimately held accountable for what cops do. The philosophy of management of police departments must be that “uniforms report to suits” similar to the United States Military where the President as a civilian is the Commander In Chief who also appoints a Secretary of Defense. It also the voters who must hold and demand accountability from both the police and the elected official in that it is the taxpayer that ultimately pays for police misconduct and excessive use of force and deadly force.

The biggest impediment to real police reform is what is referred to as the “blue code of silence.” One of the principles that is emerging from the Black Lives Matter is the “duty to intervene” rule mandating that “by standing or assisting” officers must step in if they observe a fellow officer using excessive force that they believe is not appropriate under the circumstance. It requires the police officer to formally report such incidents to supervisors. Many police officers view this as “breaking the blue code of silence”, second guessing, or not backing up the actions of a fellow police officer who is supposed to “have your back”. The derogatory term used by those opposed to such a policy is that it requires police officers to become “snitches” against a fellow officer and falls into the dangerous philosophy of “your either with me or against me” to avoid any and all accountability for police misconduct.

Although the City of Albuquerque has implemented the Community Policing Counsels as well as the Police Oversight Board, resistance to both occurs on a regular basis. APD has a history of stonewalling the Police Oversight Board. All to often it is reported that APD refuses to cooperate with investigations of police by the Police Oversight Commission or delays action as long as possible on requests and recommended disciplinary actions.


Our law enforcement community, including APD, the Sheriffs and State Police, must understand with complete clarity that police brutality, excessive use of force and deadly force based on racial profiling and the presumption of guilt because of a person’s color and not evidence will not and shall not be tolerated ever. Rank and file police officers who see racism by another officer need to object to it and report it. No Hispanic, no African American and no person of color should ever feel uncomfortable talking to any police officer or call the police to ask for help or to report a crime. There must never be an attitude and presumption of guilt based on a person’s ethnicity. Police must have the attitude and recognize that performing their motto to “serve and protect” is not based on or determined by a person’s skin color.

Times and methods of policing are changing fast when it comes to police work and those that have been in the profession for any length of time need to understand that and adapt to it, and if not willing or capable of the change, leave the profession. Basic policing methods are changing dramatically incorporating constitutional policing practices taught and mandated. Without those changes, this country will continue to endure and see more cases like the killing of Michael Brown and George Floyd by police.