The election for Albuquerque Mayor is on November 2. On the ballot for Mayor is Incumbent Mayor Tim Keller, Sheriff Manny Gonzales and Republican Trump radio talk show host Eddy Aragon. Because the City’s crime is considered the number one issue facing the city, the Albuquerque Journal published 3 separate front-page articles on crime in Albuquerque and what the announced candidates intend to do about it.
On October 5 , the Albquerquerqu Journal published a front-page article with the headline “People centric Gonzales Touts Personal Relationships.” The article was written Journal Staff writer Elsie Kaplan. The link to full article is here:
This blog article is an in-depth review and analysis of Sheriff’ Manny Gonzales record as Bernalillo County Sheriff gleaning quotes from news sources , followed by a fact check and analysis of his record as Bernalillo County Sheriff.
RELEVANT HIGHLIGHS OF ABQ JOURNAL ARTICLE
Following are the most relevant portions of the October 5 article:
“When speaking of his time as an elected official, Sheriff Manuel Gonzales returns repeatedly to the personal feedback he receives. Input from community members who approach him. The frustrations and complaints about crime that he hears from business leaders and residents.
What Gonzales — who is running on a “tough on crime” platform — mentions less is data. Gonzales, a Democrat, is running against incumbent and fellow Democrat Tim Keller, and Republican Eddy Aragon.
The Sheriff’s Office has not held regular media briefings on crime statistics. Data from 2018 and 2019 has not been included in the FBI’s annual Crime in the United States report.
As mayor, Gonzales said he would address such underlying issues as poverty and addiction that often lead to crime by creating more opportunities through community centers, working with local technology hubs, such as Sandia Labs, and bringing new businesses.
Gonzales’ terms as sheriff have been marked by his resistance to body cameras. For years, he has said they are not necessary and he would rather invest funding in other ways. That changed last summer when the state Legislature passed a law requiring all law enforcement officers to wear cameras.
In contrast to APD, BCSO has not routinely informed the media and the public when a homicide investigation is launched. Instead, it has waited until an arrest has been made. … At one point, the agency responded to a Journal reporter’s questions by posting his email on Facebook as an example of “how hostile the media is toward Law Enforcement.”
If elected, Gonzales said he would take more of a back seat when it comes to crime and instead let whomever he chooses as chief of police manage APD.
He said he would not automatically toss out the crime-fighting initiatives his predecessor started.”
SHERIFF MANNY GONZALES IN HIS OWN WORDS
Sheriff Gonzales has been quoted as saying the following in news accounts:
On community relations, Gonzales has this to say:
“I had a conversation last night with a couple that I met while they were having dinner, and they said, ‘thank you for restoring the South Valley, we feel like it’s a crown jewel of the community now. … They go ‘our property has increased, our property value, my quality of life has increased, I feel safe. I have never seen more deputies in this area than I’ve ever seen in the history that I’ve been alive.’ And so, for me, Albuquerque deserves the same thing. It’s just not being provided to them.”
Gonzales had this to say about his office resistance to releasing crime statics:
“I can’t do [crime statistic updates] on a daily basis. … And there is no obligation for us to do it. And, I mean, we have a $50 million budget, but if they would have turned that $250 million budget, I would gladly answer your question then I would be fully responsible for the crime situation in the city. … I’m not here to manipulate numbers. … And I’m not here to toy with people’s public safety. People need to be told the truth about what’s going on. And any time you have a problem, you have to address the problem, right? You have to be candid.”
On finding solutions to the city’s crime rates:
“We have to be willing to exhaust our resources and find a solution for the people because that person would again be out there terrorizing the citizens of Albuquerque instead, now that person’s going away for 20 years. … That is probably the best thing we could do for the citizens in terms of keeping them safe.”
On working with other law enforcement agencies:
“I have the trust of this community, the law enforcement community, whether it be locally or state or even federally. … So, for me, (it’s) through brokering those relationships to ensure that we’re doing a good job.”
Gonzales had this to say about not working with Albuquerque Police Department on crime initiatives:
“The analogy I can give you is that we were on the field playing, and they were in the stands, and sometimes in the parking lot watching the game. … I really feel that, based on the compliance piece of APD, they felt they were not as supported to do their jobs. And so, for us, I didn’t want to put our deputies in the position that they were there to help them and that we were going to support each other, because that’s not the way it was working out.”
Gonzales said he would consider consolidation of APD and BCSO because he wants “to do whatever it takes” to reduce crime and said:
“In order to maybe reduce and alleviate the Albuquerque Police Department from all the things that they had to comply with [under the DOJ consent decree] , it may be easier to contract out to us. … We can start training more deputies, they could start servicing people in the Albuquerque police areas, and then that would give them the opportunity to alleviate them from those and focus on compliance.”
Gonzales, who calls himself and his agency “people-centric” and “victim-centric,” said he loves when his deputies go out to talk to business owners about the issues they’re seeing and said:
“It might be something that might be more of a social issue. It might be homelessness; it might be something other than crime. Then, we’re just trying to figure out, how do we bridge that gap for the person that’s having that issue, and that resource to get them help? So, it’s not all about policing.”
On August 11, 2020, then President Trump (@realDonaldTrump) tweeted:
“Thank you to Sheriff Gonzales of Bernalillo County, New Mexico, for joining my call with our Nation’s sheriffs. Appreciate your partnership to help make your county safe – great comments on Operation Legend!”
When asked if going to the White House to discuss Operation Legend and the assignment of Federal Agents was a good decision his response was:
“I think it was great decision. [As for the criticism], I feel like it exposes those people who said they were going to make public safety their number one issue … then left the people of Bernalillo County holding the bag on crime and the issues that come with it. If somebody is willing to help this community out – local, federal or state – I’ll go wherever I need to go to keep the people safe. That’s what I swore to do and I would do it all over again.”
Sheriff Manny Gonzales has said he answers to no one other than those who vote for him and said:
“I don’t work for the governor. I don’t work for the mayor. I don’t work for the president of the United States. I answer to the people who voted me into office.”
On December 19, Gonzales on a video proclaimed he will not enforce “unconstitutional laws” when it comes to the corona virus pandemic. Gonzales said he sympathized with business owners and houses of worship, and accused politicians of “turning everyday citizens into villains” and said:
“I choose to direct this agency’s time and resources to the laws deemed to keep people free of crime. … Overreaching restrictions will harm our community. For that reason, we will not follow along with any orders that subvert constitutional rights.”
A link to the YouTube Video is here:
Sheriff Gonzales in a letter to District Attorney Raul Torrez, Gonzales objected to the disclosures mandated by the United States Supreme Court of all information or material that may be used to impeach the credibility of sheriff deputies who are witnesses for the prosecution in any case and wrote:
“We believe the information requested in your questionnaire intrudes on the privacy rights of our deputies and is constitutionally immaterial.”
In a statement, Sheriff Gonzales added:
“[The DA’s letters contain] false allegations and direct contradictions of what I have instructed our deputies to do, and that is to follow the law. … Understanding the Brady and Giglio court rulings’ intent, the Sheriff’s Office has a questionnaire form each deputy is required to answer, which sufficiently meets the obligations under Giglio and Brady. … Finally, in lieu of threatening this office with frivolous litigation, Mr. Torrez should instead focus on prosecuting cases and obtaining justice for victims in Bernalillo County, which he has failed to do.”
After being denied public finance by the City Clerk and the Courts, Gonzales had this to say:
“This is something that has never happened to another campaign. And I think that’s going to be the driving force, and the motivation, and the inspiration for us winning this race. … What we want people to know is that not only am I more inspired than ever but I’m also ready to win this race on behalf of the people.”
THE GONZALES RECORD AS SHERIFF
Sheriff Manny Gonzales record as the elected Bernalillo County Sheriff for the last 6 years has been glossed over or simply not reported by news accounts. His record merits review given his “tough on crime” platform.
CRIME INCREASES IN COUNTY
Sheriff Gonzales has consistently said when it comes to crime he will do with the city what he has done with the county. If that is the case, do not expect much.
On Sunday July 17, the Albuquerque Journal published a below the fold front page article entitled “Statistics show increase in Bernalillo County Crime in 2020” with the article written by Journal staff reporter Elise Kaplan. The link to the entire news article is here:
According to unofficial data released to the Journal in response to an Inspection of Public Records request, both violent and property crimes have increased in the unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County in 2020. The statistics sent by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office to the FBI for its annual Crime in the United States report revealed that the violent crimes of homicides, rape, robbery and aggravated assault combined increased by 26.6%, from 792 incidents in 2019 to 1,003 in 2020. Property crimes consisting of burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson combined increased 16.5%, from 2,647 to 3,084 crimes.
A breakdown of BCSO reported crime under Gonzales for the last 2 years is as follows:
BCSO VIOLENT CRIME STATISTICS
Homicides: 2019: 9, 2020: 8 (-11.0% decrease)
Rapes: 2019: 54, 2020: 91 (+68.5% increase)
Robbery: 2019: 86, 2020: 127 (+47.7% increase)
Aggravated Assault: 2019: 643, 2020: 777 (+20% increase)
Total: 2019: 792, 2020: 1,003 (+26.6% Increase)
BCSO PROPERTY CRIME STATISTICS
Arson: 2019: 4, 2020: 11 (175% increase)
Burglary: 2019: 569, 2020: 615 (9% increase)
Larceny Theft: 2019: 1,175, 2020: 1,507 (28.3% increase)
Motor Vehicle: 2019: 899, 2020: 951 (5.8% increase)
Totals: 2019: 2,647, 2020: 3,084 (16.5% increase)
On September 22, the on-line news outlet “The Paper” published a report based on data provided by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and reviewed by the Paper. According to the revised statistics provided by BCSO, violent crime climbed in the county from 783 in 2019 to 838 in 2020, an 8% increase. BCSO previously reported an increase of more than 26%. It is not clear which crimes BCSO “hand counted” in July were changed or removed from the final statistics submitted to the FBI. New statistics show that Bernalillo County had one fewer homicide in 2020 but other violent crimes including rape and aggravated assaults, which jumped from 714 cases in 2019 to 743 in 2020, increased significantly.
Property crimes in the county also increased from 2019 to 2020 by about 4%. The statistics show that 2,734 cases of property crime were reported in 2020 compared to 2,629 cases in 2019. The area that experienced the most significant increase in property crime was larceny-theft, which increased from 1,149 in 2019 to 1,263 in 2020, or by 10%.
“USE OF DEADLY FORCE” CASES DURING SHERIFF GONZALES TENURE
The most troubling aspect of Gonzales tenure as Sheriff are the major lawsuits filed against the department under his watch. Over the last 2 year period Bernalillo County Government has been forced to pay out upwards of $10 million in settlements involving the Bernalillo County Sheriff deputies for systemic racial profiling, excessive use of force and deadly force.
When settlements he did not like were announced, Gonzalez said the amounts were excessive and he defended the actions of his sheriff’s deputies. As an act of defiance, Gonzales even issued commendations to the deputies involved with the killing of an 88-year-old suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, claiming the deputies acted properly.
Following is a listing of the major cases and settlement amounts:
2015 WRONFUL DEATH OF FIDENCIO DURAN: $1,495,000 SETTLEMENT
It was on September 14, 2015, Fidencio Duran, 88, died after he was shot numerous times with a “pepper ball” gun after he encountered BCSO Deputy Sheriffs in the South Valley. Mr. Duran was partially blind and deaf and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. His wife of 67 years had died the day before after a three-year bout with illness. Duran wandered around the neighborhood shirtless. He banged on the door of a neighbor, who called the BCSO.
When BCSO Deputies arrived, a 90-minute standoff ensued with Duran reportedly holding a four-inch knife. Eventually, the BCSO officers fired over 50 rounds of pepper balls at him from two directions. BCSO officers unleashed a muzzled K9 police dog after shooting with pepper balls. The dog knocked the 115-pound man over, breaking his femur and hip. Duran never left the hospital, succumbing to pneumonia as a result of his injuries a month later. A doctor from the Office of the Medical Investigator “determined that the manner of death was Homicide” according to a civil lawsuit filed.
In an ostensible act of defiance, Sheriff Manny Gonzales issued commendations to his sheriff deputies involved.
2017 WRONGFULL DEATH OF ROBERT CHAVEZ: $700,000 SETTLEMENT
On August 16, 2017, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies spotted a stolen car near Coors and ILiff. When they tried to pull over the vehicle a chase ensued. The stolen vehicle crashed into Robert Chavez’, 66, car near Broadway and Avenida Cesar Chavez in the Southwest part of the city. When Robert Chavez was hit, Chavez broke his back, shoulder, forearm, wrist, ribs and pelvis in the crash and also had other internal injuries. Chavez went into a coma and died 11 days after the crash. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the county and BCSO. The BCSO Sheriff Department’s old policy would not have allowed officers to pursue for a stolen vehicle, but Sheriff Manny Gonzales changed the hot pursuit policy allowing such chases a year before the fatal crash
2017 KILLING OF MARTIN JIM AND SHOOTING OF ISAAC PADILLA: $3.3 MILLION SETTLEMENT
On November 17, 2017, BCSO Deputies, at around 4 am in the morning, initiated a high-speed chase of a stolen truck across the South Valley on November 17, 2017. A BCSO Deputy rammed the truck at Coors and Glenrio NW on Albuquerque’s West Side obliterating the front driver’s-side wheel. With the truck at a standstill, two BCSO deputies parked their vehicles to block the truck from moving forward. Another deputy soon arrived on the scene. In the span of 18 seconds, the deputy jumped from his car, ran to the truck, yelled commands at the driver, and fired 7 shots into the vehicle occupied by 3 passengers, including a 4-year-old child. A settlement in the case was reached after Senior U.S. District Judge Judith Herrera of Albuquerque ruled that a “reasonable jury could conclude that the Deputy acted unreasonably.”
On May 21, 2020, it was reported that the family of Martin Jim, 25, the man killed in 2017 incident settled the federal excessive force lawsuit against the county for $1.5 million. An earlier $400,000 state court settlement arising from the same deadly shooting paid to Jim’s partner, Shawntay Ortiz and his four-year-old son, amounted to $1.9 million. That is an addition to the $1.36 million settlement paid to the estate of the driver of the pickup truck, Isaac Padilla, 23, who was also killed. Another $40,000 was paid to two other passengers in the truck. The total payout to resolve legal claims related to Deputy Joshua Mora’s actions was $3.3 million.
Sheriff Manny Gonzales maintained Martin Jim’s death was unintentional and that the killing of Isaac Padilla, the driver of the truck, was justified. No weapons were found in the truck negating the deputies defense that his actions were justified and in self-defense.
2019 THE KILLING ELISHA LUCERO: $4 MILLION SETTLEMENT
On July 21, 2019, Elisha Lucero, 28, who suffered psychosis and schizophrenia, was shot to death in front of her RV, which was parked in front of her family’s South Valley home. BCSO Deputies had responded to the home after a relative called 911 saying Lucero had hit her uncle in the face. According to the 911 call, a relative said Lucero was mentally ill, needed help, and was a threat to herself and to everybody else. Just one month prior, Lucero had called BCSO and asked to be taken to the hospital for mental health issues.
According to the lawsuit, when deputies arrived, they said Lucero initially refused to come out of the home. Eventually, the 4-foot-11 Lucero, naked from the waist up, ran out screaming and armed with a kitchen knife. The BCSO Deputies pulled their revolvers and shot her claiming they feared for their lives. According to an autopsy report, Lucero was shot at least 21 times by the deputies. The two BCSO Deputies who shot and killed Elisha Lucero were not wearing lapel cameras.
The Lucero lawsuit filed alleges Sheriff Manny Gonzales fostered a “culture of aggression” in the department and too few deputies were trained to handle people with mental health issues. On March 6th, it was reported that Bernalillo County settled the Lucero family lawsuit for $4 Million dollars.
BCSO RACIAL PROFILING CASES SETTLED: $100,000 SETTLEMENT AND COUNTING
It was on December 6, 2017 that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico filed a lawsuit on behalf of Sherese Crawford, a 38-year-old African-American woman on temporary assignment in New Mexico as an Immigration and Customs Agent (ICE) deportation officer. The lawsuit alleged that Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) deputies racially profiled her by pulling her over three times, twice by the same deputy, within a month with no probable cause or reasonable suspicion that she was breaking the law. None of the three times she was pulled over was she given a warning or a citation.
ACLU of New Mexico Staff Attorney Kristin Greer Love had this to say at the time:
“Our client is an accomplished federal agent who was targeted for driving while black … BCSO unlawfully and repeatedly stopped her because she fit a racial profile. Targeting people because of the color of their skin is unconstitutional and bad policing. Racial discrimination has no place in New Mexico, and BCSO must take immediate action to ensure that this behavior does not continue.”
On July 8, 2020, it was reported that two black women from Wisconsin are suing Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales and two deputies alleging racial and religious profiling stemming from a traffic stop in July 2017. The lawsuit was filed about five months after Bernalillo County reached a $100,000 settlement with Sherese Crawford, a 38-year-old African-American who filed a lawsuit against BCSO after she was pulled over three times in 28 days by BCSO deputies Patrick Rael and Leonard Armijo, the same deputies named in the new lawsuit, in spring 2017.
The civil case was filed by Sisters Consweyla and Cynthia Minafee, and a 5-year-old child, Yahaven Pylant, were traveling from Phoenix back to Wisconsin when they were pulled over by a BCSO deputy on Interstate 40 the morning of July 7, 2017. Cynthia Minafee was Yahaven’s legal guardian at the time. According to the lawsuit, the traffic stop lasted almost an hour and included an extensive search of the vehicle with a drug dog. According to the lawsuit, the deputy told the women to get out of the car and said he could smell marijuana on Cynthia. Cynthia said that she had not smoked in the car and that there was no marijuana in the vehicle. Consweyla Minafee, the driver, was not issued a traffic citation, but Cynthia Minafee was issued a citation for not having Yahaven properly restrained. The citation was dismissed in May, online court records show.
A link to a news source is here:
SHERIFF GONZALES OPPOSITION TO DOJ REFORMS
Gonzales has nothing good to say at all about the need for the APD police reforms. On March 21, Sheriff Gonzales gave his opinion of the Department of Justice consent agreement with the Albuquerque Police Department and other issues and had this to say:
“APD officers are working in an environment to fail. … they are subjected to being assaulted, battered, spit on and second-guessed. … [Bail reform] has failed miserably. It did reduce the jail population but at the expense of public safety. … [The matrix] used by the court’s to determine which defendants are eligible for release [is] fuel to the fire. It should be banished as a reliable matrix … It emboldens criminals. … Sanctuary city attracts criminals to Albuquerque.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The city has never been a “sanctuary city”. A “sanctuary city” denies cooperation with federal immigration officials and does not use city law enforcement resources to identify or apprehend illegal immigrants and does not use city law enforcement resources to enforce immigration laws. In 2001 the Albuquerque City Council enacted a resolution that declared Albuquerque an “immigrant friendly” city. Albuquerque’s “immigrant friendly” designation welcomes immigrants to the city and is largely symbolic. In February, 2017, the City Council enacted a symbolic memorial that reaffirmed that Albuquerque’s “immigrant friendly” status, but not as a “sanctuary city”.
A link to source material is here:
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE MANDATED REFORMS
It was on November 10, 2014 the City and APD entered into a federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) mandating sweeping changes to APD policy and training on the use of force and deadly force. For the last 6 years the City and APD have been struggling to implement 176 reforms and have spent millions on the reforms. The Sheriff’s public comments show a level of ignorance of the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) and what brought the Department of Justice to Albuquerque in the first place.
It is known to many in law enforcement that Gonzales has significant reservation and disagreements with the settlement agreement. Just a few of the DOJ reforms Sheriff Manny Gonzales is likely to find very problematic and object to as Mayor Gonzales are:
1.The new “use of force” and “use of deadly force” policies that have been written, implemented and all APD sworn have received training on.
2. The implemented and strict “Constitutional policing” practices and methods, and mandatory crisis intervention techniques and de-escalation tactics with the mentally ill that must now be used.
3. APD’s “Use of Force Review Board” that oversees all internal affairs investigations of use of force and deadly force by APD Officers.
4. APD’s 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.
5. APD’s revised and updated policies on the mandatory use of lapel cameras by all sworn police officers.
6. The new Civilian Police Oversight Agency created, funded, and fully staffed.
7. The Community Policing Counsels (CPCs) created in all area commands and recommendations made by the CPCs to the Chief on discipline.
8. The Mental Health Advisory Committee for APD.
As Mayor, it is likely he will give APD the leeway to return to unconstitutional policing practices as he did with the Sheriff’s Office such as allowing shooting at fleeing cars.
OPPOSITION TO GOVERNOR’S PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham declared a public health crisis and issued emergency health orders to deal with the Corona Virus pandemic. The public health orders are allowed by New Mexico State law. The Public Health orders took the form of retail business closures, restaurant closures, cancellation of public events, school closings, church closings, and limiting gathering and self-quarantine orders and social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.
On December 19, a defiant Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales on a video proclaims he will not enforce “unconstitutional laws” when it comes to the corona virus pandemic. In a video posted to YouTube, Gonzales said he sympathizes with business owners and houses of worship, and accused politicians of “turning everyday citizens into villains.” Gonzales got the publicity he coveted when local news agencies covered the story. Gonzales had this to say:
“I choose to direct this agency’s time and resources to the laws deemed to keep people free of crime. … Overreaching restrictions will harm our community. For that reason, we will not follow along with any orders that subvert constitutional rights.”
A link to the YouTube Video is here:
Governor Michell Lujan Grisham’s office issued the following statement in response to Sheriff Gonzales:
“Over 2,000 New Mexicans have been killed by COVID-19, including over 460 people in Bernalillo County. It is deeply disappointing, not to mention directly harmful, that any public official would take any action that undermines the health and safety of their community. All New Mexicans should agree on the importance of doing anything and everything we can to save lives.”
When Sherriff Gonzales declared the Governors public health orders as “unconstitutional”, he used the exact same inflammatory rhetoric the Republican party used regarding the health orders. Virtually all the lawsuits filed to set aside the Governor’s public health orders as “unconstitutional” were thrown out by the New Mexico Supreme Court almost as quickly as they were filed.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
With 30 years’ experience in law enforcement and the city’s out of control violent crime statistics, it is not at all surprising that Sheriff Gonzales is running for Mayor on a “law and order” platform. Sheriff Manny Gonzales boldly proclaims he can do a better job than Mayor Tim Keller when it comes to crime. Every time a homicide occurs in Albuquerque, Gonzales issues a press release or takes to social media proclaiming that voters need to “take back” the city from the criminals.
The blunt truth is that Sheriff Manny Gonzales has been just as ineffective in bringing down crime in the county as Mayor Keller has been in bringing down crime in the city, and Gonzales has 26 more years’ experience than Keller in law enforcement. Gonzales really has nothing to offer to bring down crime other than doing what he has done for 30 years which are arrest sweeps.
There is absolutely no doubt that Gonzales knows criminal law enforcement. He knows that the forging of a person’s signature is a 4th degree felony caring a criminal basic sentence of 18 months in jail and that fraud to secure $661,000 in public financing is a second-degree felony caring 18-year basic sentence. Yet “Law and Order” Gonzales refused to take any responsibility for his campaign staff forging signatures to secure $5 donation receipts. Gonzales went so far as to say he was not aware of what was going on and that such conduct is common place in pollical campaigns. When he was denied public financing by the court, he labeled the judge as “unethical”.
FAILURE TO WORK WITH OTHERS
Sherriff Manny Gonzales has show himself to be a person who listens and answers to no one. During his 7 years as Sheriff, Gonzales has refused to cooperate and do anything the County Commission or County Manager asked of him. Two years ago the Bernalillo County Commission allocated $1 million in startup money, plus $500,000 in recurring annual funds for the sheriff’s office to get dashboard cameras and lapel cameras, but Sheriff Gonzales refused and no equipment was ever purchased. It took the New Mexico legislature to mandate lapel camera usage before Gonzales agreed to it.
Sheriff Gonzales for years resisted civilian oversight often ignoring the citizen advisory board recommendations. Sheriff Gonzales’ resistance to the U.S. Supreme Court mandated disclosures of police misconduct of officers who testify in court reflects an archaic philosophy.
Gonzales acts as if a badge gives him a license to practice law and he actions reflect that he feels law enforcement is above the law. As Mayor confronted with a health crisis such as a pandemic, he no doubt will be empowered to decide on his own what the public needs to do or not do.
It is not even certain he will listen to the courts and do what they tell him whenever the time comes to it. His resistance to cooperate with the District Attorney’s Office and disclose what is required to be disclosed by the US Supreme Court indicates he feels law enforcement is above the law.
As Mayor, he will likely ignore the City Council, ignore the Police Oversight Board and Civilian Policing Councils saying they did not elect him. He will also likely do what he can to ignore the federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement and the reforms, saying he did not agree to them and as a former law enforcement official he feels the CASA has been a disaster.
VOTERS WILL DECIDE IF WE NEED A RELIC
The deaths of Fidencio Duran, Robert Chavez, Martin Jim, and Elisha Lucero as well as the shooting injuries to Isaac Padilla, Shawntay Ortiz and his four-year-old son were all preventable had BCSO Sheriff’s Deputies been properly trained in constitutional policing practices. In this day and age of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter Movement, there is absolutely no excuse for BCSO to be involved with racial profiling cases involving any minority. A Mayor Gonzales will likely always go to the defense of any APD police officers defending their actions even when they violate constitutional policing practices that result in someone’s death.
As Mayor, Manny Gonzales will bring to the table his law enforcement credentials and his archaic law enforcement philosophy but that’s it. Sheriff Manny Gonzales has shown himself to be a law enforcement relic to by gone days. Voters need to decide if Gonzales is what we need now as Mayor, but do not expect too much if he wins and do not be surprised when things get worse.
A link to a related Dinelli blog article is here: