On July 9, it was reported that Albuquerque NAACP President Harold Bailey issued a statement and said that councilors Cynthia Borrego and Trudy Jones used “offensive, inflammatory and insensitive” language during a debate over a $1 million appropriation for the Black community. He said they should apologize or resign and went on to recommend “sensitivity and positive human engagement training.”
The link to the entire news article is here:
The $1 Million dollar appropriation was described as “an investment that creates positive impact for the African American community.” The legislation was sponsored by Councilor Klarissa Peña and the city council voted yes with an 8-1 vote. According to City Councilor Pena:
“I look at this as a way to focus on addressing what we started out addressing as a part of the Black Lives Matter movement, and that’s … systemic and institutional racism.”
The $1 million dollar appropriation was to Mayor Tim Keller’s “One Albuquerque Fund Foundation” created to raise money for city initiatives by collecting donations from the private sector and citizens who have wanted to donate to the city for city initiatives.
LINE OF QUESTIONING QUESTIONED
During the one-hour debate, Democrat City Councilor Cynthia Borrego and Republican Trudy Jones questioned Charles Ashley III, president of the One Albuquerque Fund for details about how the money would be used. Jones asked whether it would go toward loans or grants, asked who would administer the disbursements, and asked whether it would support businesses or housing and more. Borrego questioned what the city wanted as to “deliverables” for the $1 million, and how the expenditures and program progress would be reported back to the council. Ashley told the council the foundation had not developed a specific plan and said the board will first convene members of the Black community to determine how best to apply the money based on existing needs, he said.
The NAACP took strong exception to what City Councilor Trudy Jones said which was as follows:
“This is not good business, and if we’re trying to help people better themselves, one of the best things we can do is teach them how to do business before they are harmed by doing bad business. … I absolutely cannot support this, not because I don’t support the intent; I don’t support the fact we’re jumping into something with no information, not knowing who’s going to … administer it, what it’s going to be for, how people apply, what qualifies. … Every question out there that anyone would ask before they loan their child money isn’t there. … I’m not saying I’m older and wiser than the people who will get money from this program; I’m saying there should be a question asked: What are you going to do with it? … It could be my brother, it could be my neighbor; if I’m going to loan money to someone, I would like to have an overview … or at least an idea of what it’s going to be used for, or a report or accountability of what it was used for.”
City Councilor Cynthia Borrego came under fire by the NAACP when she said:
“And who is the African American community that is going to be receiving the funding? I would like to know a little bit more about the structure and how this money is going to be used” . … and later in a statement said “After some of my questions were addressed at council, I voted in favor of the proposed … appropriation for $1 million to Albuquerque’s African American community.”
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
It is clear how the NAACP and many others could take exception to the comments of Republican City Councilor Trudy Jones especially her comment “Every question out there that anyone would ask before they loan their child money isn’t there.” This comment by Jones was exceptionally insulting because what Jones was saying is African Americans business people are to be treated like children and they need to be taught how to use and invest their money.
The entire content of councilor Jones line of questioning, whether she realizes it or not, is a reflection of her own “institutional racism” beliefs that usually are not articulated in public. Without a doubt, the comments were out of line and reflect an element of “entitlement” on her part. The fact that Jones is Anglo, is in the real estate private sector industry and representing the most affluent district in the City, just compounds the appearance that she does not really understand systemic racism.
When it comes to Democrat City Councilor Borrego remarks, it is doubtful that they reflect anything more than legitimate questioning as to how taxpayer money will be spent. Given the fact that Borrego is a woman of color, a native of Albuquerque, and a retired city hall employee who for many years dealt with city finances, and ultimately voted for the appropriation, it is far more likely her comments were taken out of context.
Dr. Bailey and the NAACP are calling for a resignation or apology and “sensitivity and positive human engagement training”.
This is understandable when it comes to City Councilor Trudy Jones. Given the remarks made by Jones, an apology is the most one can expect. Do not hold your breath on resignation. It would be a complete waste of time for Councilor Trudy Jones to have “sensitivity and positive human engagement training” given her track record on the City Council. After all, Republican Jones is a Trump supporter, opposed sanctuary city legislation and she sponsored an ordinance to criminalize panhandling, an ordinance later struck down by the Federal Court as violating people’s first amendment rights.
When it comes to City councilor Cynthia Borrego, given her reputation for honesty and integrity and her past votes and past employment with the city, it is likely she learned a valuable lesson and is already very sensitive to systemic racism.
NAACP SHOULD BE DEMANDING PAT DAVIS TO RESIGN FROM CITY COUNCIL FOR HIS CONDUCT
Dr. Harold Baily and the Albuquerque Chapter of the NAACP has not said anything about Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis resigning after a June 25 news report where ProgressNow, the very progressive organization that Davis was head of at one time, demanded Davis resign from the City Council.
NOT A REFORMED COP
In its news release ProgressNow accused Pat Davis of a pattern of upholding racist institutions and said in part:
“Unfortunately, Davis’ shooting of a Black man isn’t the only example of his troubling actions. A pattern has unearthed that continues into the present. After Davis moved to Albuquerque he had multiple civil rights complaints lodged against him while serving as a cop at the University of New Mexico. …
Later, as he ran for elected office, Davis reflected on his experience as a cop, utilizing a “tough on crime” narrative, referencing his time as “zero-tolerance cop– the kind you wouldn’t want to pull you over”. As he ran for Bernalillo County Sheriff, his website highlighted his targeting of community members for low-level offenses, like marijuana possession. …
We want to make it clear: Davis’ case is not an issue of a “reformed cop”. In fact, Davis has continued to uphold racist institutions ….
Surely, our community does not need someone who routinely targets and criminalizes Black and Brown people to be serving on committees that select judges, decide the future of marijuana legalization in our state, or pass policies and make financial decisions for the City of Albuquerque.”
Pat Davis has never been held accountable for a shooting African American Moses Bell in 2005. Albuquerque City Councilor President Pat Davis is a former Washington DC Police officer who on August 31, 2004 shot Moses M. Bell, age 37 at the time, and who was a Washington, DC resident. Moses M. Bell on August 31, 2004, was driving his car and giving his male African American friend a ride to his girlfriend’s house.
According to court filings, while sitting in his idling parked vehicle to allow his passenger to exit his vehicle, Moses M. Bell was shot twice in the left shoulder by Washington D.C. Police Officer Pat Davis when Davis approached the driver’s side of the car and opened fire without provocation. At the time of the shooting, D.C. Police Officer Patrick Davis was allegedly investigating Moses M. Bell for failure to make a left turn signal and his passenger’s failure to wear a seat belt. Davis claims he saw Bell trying to hide a gun and so he opened fire. Bell was first charged with “Assaulting, Resisting or Interfering With A Police Officer With A Dangerous Weapon”, those charges were dropped and Bell was then charge with carrying a gun without a license, plead guilty, and sentence to 18 months in jail.
Approximately 3 months after the shooting, Pat Davis left the Washington DC Police Department and came to Albuquerque and worked for the UNM Campus Police as a supervisor and Lieutenant. In 2007 and 2008, Pat Davis as a UNM Campus Police Officer, was involved in at least 3 incidents that resulted in civil lawsuits and judgements in the thousands paid for violations of people’s civil rights.
One case involved the execution of a “sealed search warrant” for marijuana by 21 law enforcement personnel, including Pat Davis as a UNM Police officer, who stormed a home, broke in and caused $20,000 in property damaged searching the home. The next case involves the unauthorized search of 2 homes without search warrants where the homes located in Corrales were occupied by single women. UNM Police officer Pat Davis along with two other UNM Police officers essentially coerced both woman to allow searches of their homes without court approved search warrants.
All 4 cases, which include the shooting of Moses Bell, combined reveal an alarming pattern of violating people’s civil rights and unconstitutional policing practices by Pat Davis as a police officer. As City Council President, Pat Davis is calling for major changes and reforms to the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). Davis is questioning and challenging police practices, policies, procedures, training and funding of APD.
PAT DAVIS DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHEN JONES SHOT OFF HER MOUTH
Davis is proclaiming that because of his experiences as a police officer, he is essentially a reformed cop and has changed and he has an understanding of institutional racism in police work. Pat Davis has actually said recently he “made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today” yet there is no apology for his actions to any he brutalized.
Pat Davis now proclaims that because he was a former cop and did things in the past he was not too proud of, he has changed and for that reason he is the guy to lead the charge in reforming APD. What is so damn pathetic is that Pat Davis probably believes people are buying into his garbage, but his actions say otherwise. When City Councilor Trudy Jones shot off her mouth about the funding for African American businesses, Pat Davis as City Council President did not bother to gavel her out of order. Davis did not denounce Jones comments and neither did any other city councilor. Perhaps Davis did not gavel Jones out of order because Davis needed Trudy Jones’ vote to become City Council President.
If Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis is sincere and truly wants to make amends for his past conduct as a police officer, he needs to show some degree of honesty and integrity and step down.
The NAACP, and for that matter, the Black Lives Matter movement, need take a position on Pat Davis and if he should resign otherwise their silence speaks volumes more essentially saying their is no need to take Davis to task or hold him accountable for his past actions.
Links to related blog articles are here:
The “Spin Doctor Pat Davis” Is Not “Authentic And Honest” As He Proclaims; City Councilors Protecting One Of Their Own Looking The Other Way; Take Another Vote To Decide If Davis Should Remain As President