Five New Terms That Need To Be Included In Renewal Of APD Police Union Contract

“The New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (NMCDLA) provides support, education and training for attorneys who represent persons accused of crime. NMCDLA also advocates fair and effective criminal justice in the courts, the legislature and in the community.”

https://www.linkedin.com/company/new-mexico-criminal-defense-lawyers-association?trk=public_profile_topcard_current_company

Paul Haidle is the Executive Director of NMCDL. On Wednesday, June 24, the Albuquerque Journal published the following guest editorial comment:

HEADLINE: ABQ DUE BALANCE DEAL WITH [APD POLICE] UNION

BY PAUL HAIDLE / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, N.M. CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION; MEMBER, APD FORWARD COALITION
Wednesday, June 24th, 2020 at 12:02am

“The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery have once again catapulted the issues of systemic racism and police violence to the forefront of the national conversation and galvanized a large cross-section of America to demand long overdue changes to our systems of policing. Unfortunately, not enough attention is being paid to one of the primary obstacles to police accountability: police unions.

Public service unions like those that represent firefighters, teachers and police provide public servants with the critical ability to collectively negotiate fair wages, better benefits and safe working conditions. But police unions are unique in that they also negotiate some of the terms under which their members use state-sanctioned violence against people in their communities. Over the course of decades, police unions have used their political and cultural power to make it exceedingly difficult to hold individual officers accountable when they brutalize or kill someone. One of law enforcement’s favorite claims is that racist and violent officers in their employ represent only a “few bad apples.” If that is true, it is also true that police unions have intentionally made it nearly impossible to meaningfully discipline or remove “bad apples” from the barrel.

This summer we have an opportunity here in Albuquerque to restore a proper balance between fairness to officers and officer accountability as the city renegotiates its collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the Albuquerque Police Officers Association (APOA). Some provisions cannot be changed because they track language in state law. But APD Forward is calling on Mayor Tim Keller to renegotiate these provisions:

1. REMOVE THE 90-DAY LIMIT ON INVESTIGATIONS OF POLICE OFFICERS.

The current CBA requires any administrative investigation of an officer accused of misconduct to be completed within 90 days, subject to a possible extension of up to 30 days if approved by the chief of police. Both the Civilian Police Oversight Agency and the independent monitor overseeing APD’s reform agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice have singled out this provision as a significant obstacle to officer accountability, resulting in many complaints expiring because the clock runs out on their investigations. The mayor should insist on a limit of no fewer than 180 days for administrative investigations, in line with the standard for most other police departments nationally.

2. RELEASE INFORMATION ABOUT OFFICER MISCONDUCT TO POLICE OVERSIGHT BOARD.

Section 20.1.10 severely restricts the information the director of the Civilian Police Oversight Agency may share about investigations into officer misconduct with the Police Oversight Board (POB), even though the board is responsible for approving the findings of the director and any disciplinary recommendations to be made to the chief of police. The current CBA even prohibits the POB from knowing the identity of the officer, preventing it from identifying officers who are repeat offenders. Mayor Keller should strike this limitation from the agreement.

3. DON’T GIVE OFFICERS UNFAIR ACCESS TO INFORMATION.

Though the POB is precluded from knowing the names of officers under investigation, ironically, the CBA extends no such courtesies to people who file complaints. Section 20.1.3 requires the identity of the person or officer making the charge be shared with the officer under investigation, if it is known. People who file complaints against officers therefore must weigh the risks of possible retaliation before reporting misconduct. The mayor should strike this requirement.

The collective bargaining agreement between the city and APOA expires at the end of this month, but the union may push to delay negotiations until late in the year when the fervor over police violence may die down and its leverage improves. The people of Albuquerque need to seize this moment and urge the mayor to renegotiate the CBA now. We deserve an agreement that treats police like all other public employees and restores proper balance between fair working conditions and officer accountability.”

https://www.abqjournal.com/category/guest-columns

TWO OTHER TERMS THAT NEED TO BE NEGOTIATED

In addition to the 3 terms proposed by the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association, there are two more terms that need to be negotiated by the City with the APD Union Contract. Those terms are:

4. Sergeants and Lieutenants need to be made at will employees and removed from the police union bargaining unit.

Removing Sergeants and Lieutenants from the Union is necessary in order to get a real buy in to management’s goals of police reform and the Federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) reforms. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

POLICE UNION MEMBERSHIP AND COMPLAINTS

The federal monitor has reported repeatedly in no uncertain terms that there are problems with APD sergeants and lieutenants enforcing policies and to discipline officers who violate the policies under the CASA. The police union and its leadership have said in open court that the mandated reforms under the consent decree are interfering with rank and file officer’s ability to perform their job duties.

A mere 10 months ago during the August 20, 2019, a day long status conference, the APOA union President Shaun Willoughby made is clear that the attitude towards the CASA has not changed in the least. District Court Judge Browning asked APOA Union President Shawn Willoughby what he and the union rank and file felt about the CASA. Willoughby’s responses were a quick condemnation of the CASA when he said “we hate it”, “we’re frustrated”, the reforms and mandates are “a hard pill to swallow”, that “all change is hard”. According to Willoughby, police officers are afraid to do their jobs for fear of being investigated, fired or disciplined. In the same breath, Willoughby went on to brag about how his union, unlike other police unions in city’s with consent decrees, actually worked and cooperated with the city and the DOJ.

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

According to the Federal Monitors 10th report:

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

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

5. Restructure APD 40 hour weekly pay system to salary pay system.

Police officers earning excessive overtime is nothing new. It has been going on for years and is very common knowledge. During the last 9 years, the Albuquerque Police Department has consistently gone over its overtime budget by millions. In fiscal year 2016, APD was funded for $9 million for over time but APD actually spent $13 million. A March, 2017 city internal audit of APD’s overtime spending found police officers taking advantage of a system that allows them to accumulate excessive overtime at the expense of other city departments. A city internal audit report released in March, 2017 revealed that the Albuquerque Police Department spent over $3.9 million over its $9 million “overtime” budget.

On May 29, APD Chief Michael Geier issued a special order capping the amount of regular time and over time that officers can work to 65 hours a week. For an officer that works a regular 40-hour shift, that means a maximum of 25 hours of overtime a week. Chief Michael Geier’s change in the overtime policy is a good first step, but it does not go far enough and will likely be abused, no doubt with the blessing of the APD chain of command. The new policy has a glaring loophole. The policy states “The Chief of Police or his designee can waive the weekly cap to meet department operational needs.” No doubt, as in the past there will be those who will take advantage of the loophole, A case in point would be Sargeant Simon Dolbick, the APD spokesman, who in 2019 was paid $166,484.67 because of overtime.

https://www.petedinelli.com/2020/06/10/excessive-overtime-abuse-will-continue-under-apds-new-overtime-policy/

Authorizing a 65-hour work week with the normal 40 hours work week and adding 25 hours of overtime does not make much sense if you want to avoid extreme fatigue and emotional burnout. It is likely given the amount of pay involved, more officers will want to work 65-hour work weeks, 40 at regular pay and 25 at time and a half.The 25-hour cap on overtime should be monthly, not weekly and an “on call” shift pool of officers should be created.

REAL SOLUTION TO STOPPING OVERTIME ABUSE

As a viable solution to paying millions in overtime and longevity bonuses the City should do away with APD hourly wage and time and a half for overtime for sworn police and implement a salary structure based strictly on steps and years of service. A complete restructuring of the existing APD 40-hour work week and hourly wage system needs to be implemented.

A base pay salary system should be negotiated with the police union and be implemented for all APD sworn personnel. A base salary system with step increases for length of service should be implemented. The longevity bonus pay would be eliminated and built into the salary structure. Mandatory shift time to work would remain the same, but if more time is needed to complete a work load or assignments for the day, the salaried employee works it for the same salary with no overtime paid and a modification of shift times for court appearances.

APD Patrol Officers First Class who handle DWI during nighttime shifts should be required to change their shift times to daytime shifts when the arraignments and trials occur to prevent overtime pay. As an alternative to DWI arraignment, the City Attorney’s Office should explore the possibility of expanding or modifying the Metro Traffic Arraignment Program with the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office assisting to include not just traffic citations but DWI arraignments to eliminate the need for APD officers to appear at such arraignments.

Until real overtime pay and salary pay reform is implemented at APD, do not expect too much to change and expect the overtime abuse to continue at APD, especially by APD spokespersons such as Simon Dolbick and the other 150 sworn police in the list of the top 250 paid city hall employees.

https://www.petedinelli.com/2020/06/10/excessive-overtime-abuse-will-continue-under-apds-new-overtime-policy/

FINAL COMMENTS

The current police union contract expired on June 30. The City and the Union have now suspended their negotiations because of the corona virus pandemic and the uncertainty of the city’s revenues for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. It has been made known that union contract negotiations will again commence sometime in August.

Until a new union contract is negotiated and approved, the terms and conditions of the old contract will remain in effect. The Police Union no doubt wants to continue the terms of the expired contract in that the old terms were very lucrative when it comes to increase in pay and longevity pay. 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. Also, do not expect the union.

There is no real excuse to delay negotiations on the 5 major changes to the APD Union Contract as outlined in this blog article. Delay will only allow the Union to continue dictating to the city what should be done and continue its efforts to obstruct implementation of the police reforms under the CASA.

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

The news media has pick up the story on ProgressNow New Mexico calling for the resignation of City Council President Pat Davis from the City Council, the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council as well as the Judicial Selection Commission and citing in part to the Dinelli June 22, blog article entitled “City Councilor Pat Davis Needs To Step Down To Atone For His Own “Black Lives Matter” Moment And Violations Of Peoples Civil Rights As A Police Officer”.

Albuquerque City Council President Pat Davis issued a Statement to KOB Channel 4 in response to the calls of ProgressNow demanding that he resign from the City Council. Davis makes it clear he has no intention of stepping down. Pat Davis issued the following statement to KOB Channel 4 news:

“In two elections, voters have sent me to City Hall because I talked authentically and honestly about the problematic training and culture of policing that I was introduced to. I left that job to fix it, and no one will disagree that I’ve been effective implementing changes to do that. My evolution, from an officer trained to fight the war on drugs and criminalize communities of poverty and color, into a policy leader who has decriminalized marijuana, passed sanctuary city legislation, and passed laws giving sweeping new civilian oversight powers over APD, is exactly the type of culture change we want to see in policing across the country, and especially here in Albuquerque.

It is unfortunate that a blogger’s misrepresentation of the facts is gaining attention and being shared, when court records and subsequent legitimate news stories that can be easily factchecked outline a different pattern of facts and conclusion. Among the discrepancies, the blogger claims a DC defendants case was dismissed, however Federal court records show that the defendant was indicted and pled guilty to firearms charges and was sentenced to 18 months in prison in a plea deal that I consented to.

After being released, the defendant violated terms of release and served additional time in prison. The defendant’s civil suit for violations against the police department and officers involved was dismissed by the court. Court records make clear that I was never even served notice of the lawsuit. At a time when we are at the precipice of long overdue changes in policing and racial justice, I regret that we are being distracted by relitigating my past which is not only well documented, but is core to my personal story and the reasons why I have dedicated my life to positive social change.”

— Pat Davis

The link to the statement is here:

https://www.kob.com/kobtvimages/repository/cs/files/DAVIS%20policing.pdf

STATE SENATOR JACOB CANDELARIA WEIGHS IN ON DAVIS

On Thursday, June 25, New Mexico State Senator Jacob Candelaria, who is an attorney, tweeted at jacobcandelaria@SenCandelaria:

“Pat Davis is part of the problem. He does not share our values. He should not be trusted with leadership in our community.”

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

Pat Davis proudly proclaims in his statement “In two elections, voters have sent me to City Hall because I talked authentically and honestly about the problematic training and culture of policing that I was introduced to.” The truth is, Davis is everything but authentic and honest as he proclaims. It is doubtful his constituents would have voted for him had he in fact disclosed his conduct as a cop.

The only version the media has ever been given about the shooting by Davis as a DC Cop of African American Moses Bell is that from Spin Doctor Davis, until now after court documents were provided, reviewed and reported on. Following are the Finding of Fact by the Federal Judge in the criminal case filed against the person DC Officer Davis shot:

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

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

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

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

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

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

The Findings of Fact of the Federal Judge allows one to infer that Davis and his partner made a “pre-textual” stop of two African Americans for the minor traffic offenses of making a left turn without signaling and the passenger not wearing a seat belt. Only Davis knows for sure if the stop was racial profiling. The Courts finding also reflect it was Davis that escalated the traffic stop. Davis violated police procedure by lunging into the vehicle and then shooting as a scuffle ensued.

The court’s findings of fact are verbatim from the DC Police charging document that states “two black males” and “a black male subject exit the passenger side of the vehicle.” It is troubling that the charging language makes two references to “black” and not to suspects. Ethnicity has nothing to do with the misdemeanor charges of failing to use a turn signal and a passenger not wearing a seat belt. This distinction was ostensibly important for Officer Davis and his partner to place in the charging document. Otherwise, they he would not have done it.

Officer Davis escalated a confrontation by reaching into the vehicle apparently not saying anything in order to get a surprise advantage as he tried to grab a gun from Mr. Bell that Bell was trying to hide resulting in a struggle to retrieve the handgun. Bell was not threatening Davis and Davis did not know if Bell had a permit for the gun. Davis lunging into the vehicle was a likely violation of police standard operating procedure. By reaching into the car, Davis placed himself in a completely vulnerable position and endangered his own life and the life of his assisting officer. Davis reaching into the car as he did resulted in Bell reacting. Bell decided to drive off while Davis was partially in the vehicle and Davis either shot him in the vehicle or as Bell drove off.

For complete citations to the cases see:

https://www.petedinelli.com/2020/06/22/city-councilor-pat-davis-needs-to-step-down-to-atone-for-his-own-black-lives-matter-moment-and-violations-of-peoples-civil-rights-as-a-police-officer/

CIVIL LAWSUITS REVEALED BUT NOT DISCLOSED TO VOTERS OR MEDIA BY DAVIS

Spin Doctor Davis has never disclosed the two New Mexico lawsuits filed against him for his conduct as a UNM Campus Police Officer and there is at least one more. It was in December 2004, after about three years with the Washington D.C. Police Department, and several months after his officer involved shooting, that Pat Davis was employed as a lieutenant on the University of New Mexico (UNM) Campus Police.

In his statement to the media, Pat Davis totally ignores those lawsuits and does even deny the accuracy of the allegations. So much for Davis talking “authentically and honestly” to his constituents. Under the law, withholding material and relevant information is as good as lying. The Albuquerque Journal has not said if Davis disclosed those lawsuits in his candidate questionnaire. Those lawsuits involved 5 New Mexico residents and UNM was force to pay thousands in settlements.

STORMING A HOME WITH “SEAL SEARCH WARRANT” FINDING NO EVIDENCE

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

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

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

UNM COP DAVIS SEARCHES WITHOUT A SEARCH WARRANT

The second lawsuit found and filed against Pat Davis was in federal court captioned “COMPLAINT FOR FALSE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT, NEGLIGENCE AND CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS” , UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO, CIV No. 08-C433 MV ACT

The factual background of the case alleged in the complaint relate to a January 8, 2008 law enforcement investigation undertaken by the UNM Campus Police Officer Pat Davis along with two other UNM Campus Police against two plaintiffs, both females, at their separate homes in Corrales, Sandoval County, New Mexico.

FIRST SEARCH OF HOME WITHOUT A WARRANT

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

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

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

SECOND SEARCH OF A HOME WITHOUT A WARRANT

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

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

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

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

PAT DAVIS THE ABSENT MINDED APD REFORMER

You can only get nauseous when Davis proclaims in his statement “no one will disagree that I’ve been effective implementing changes” apparently in reference to the Albuquerque Police Department. On November 27, 2014, the City and the Department of Justice entered into the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) mandating 276 reforms. Pat Davis was first elected to the City Council in October, 2015.

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

Each time the Federal Court appointed Monitor presented his critical reports of APD to the City Council, Pat Davis remained silent and was absolutely nowhere to be found. He also seems to be absent minded that he never said anything remotely critical of APD until the protest involving the Onate statue. He declined to demand accountability from the prior Republican Mayor and hold the APD command staff responsible for dragging their feet on the reforms. Davis failed to attend any one of the federal court hearings on the consent decree. Now that APD is once again embroiled in controversy with the handing of the recent protests, Davis steps in and advocates changes and reforms to APD’s structure and management.

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

The litigation history of Pat Davis, especially his officer involved shooting, speaks volumes as to why for the last 5 years Davis has not challenged and has remained silent regarding the Department of Justice reforms. Only since the killing of African American George Floyd, 46, was killed by Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck to subdue him has Davis decided to get involved with APD police reform revealing what an opportunist he truly is.

OTHER QUESTIONS RAISED AND NOT ANSWERED BY DAVIS

UNM has never disclosed the reasons why Davis left UNM and ostensibly no one in the media has asked UNM. What is known is that Davis went to work for then District Attorney Kari Brandenburg to be the Bernalillo County District Attorney spokesperson. Although no other organizations have asked Davis to step down, no progressive organization has come to his defense nor has any other elected official come to his defense, let alone the City Council. On the contrary.

State Senator Jacob Candelaria has denounced Davis as not representing New Mexico values and this fact has been given little coverage. The Governor’s office has confirmed Davis has been removed from the Court of Appeals Judicial Selection commission.

When Davis says “In two elections, voters have sent me to City Hall because I talked authentically and honestly” the message he is conveying is he has been vetted and forgiven for past mistakes by the voters because he successfully won. Davis is seriously mistaken and is a fool if he thinks that way. Many people of nefarious reputation have been elected to positions of authority, even a President of the United States. Election vetting and even a pardon does not absolve any one from serious misconduct.

When you review the statement issued by City Councilor Pat Davis, you can only wonder out loud who wrote it for him, who helped him craft it or who he sought advice from. Pat Davis is the current Chairman of the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (BCJCC). He was nominated to the position by District Attorney Raul Torres. The paid political consultant for Pat Davis, District Attorney Raul Torrez and Mayor Tim Keller when all 3 ran for office is none other than Alan Packman, the longtime political consultant for Mayor Tim Keller. Packman is currently employed by Mayor Tim Keller and works for the city’s 311 call center and answers to Mayor Tim Keller.

CONCLUSION

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

If Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis is sincere and truly wants to make amends for his past conduct as a police officer, he needs to show some degree of honesty and integrity and step down and remove himself as City Council President and resign as chairman of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. The positions are positions of trust and influence in our criminal justice system. His constituents can decide if they want him to continue as their city councilor.

It’s downright pathetic that not a single city councilor who voted for him to be their President has taken any public position on whether Pat Davis should step down as President or even gone to his defense in any manner. At least Senator Jacob Candelaria sees what the city council does not see when he said:

“Pat Davis is part of the problem. He does not share our values. He should not be trusted with leadership in our community.”

Now that Pat Davis has refused to step down, the City Council needs to replace him, otherwise they look like fools in the eyes of the general public. They are protecting one of their own. At a bare minimum, Pat Davis or any other City Councilor who voted for him to make him President need to ask for another vote and get on record if he should continue to serve as President now that information has come out on his actions as a cop.

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

FOR RELATED BLOG ARTICLES SEE:

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

ProgressNow New Mexico Statement on Councilor Davis’ Shooting of a Black Man and Pattern of Upholding Racist Institutions; Calls For His Multiple Resignations

Pat Davis Shooting A Black Man As DC Cop Only Part Of Story; Davis Engaged In Pattern Of Civil Rights Violations As A UNM Cop Costing Taxpayers Thousands

Pat Davis Booted From Judicial Selection Commission; Same Political Consultant Behind Pat Davis, DA Raul Torrez And Mayor Tim Keller; Davis Needs Step Down As City Council President Or Be Removed By City Council Vote

County Commissioner Collie’s Response To Blog Indicative Of State and National Intolerance To Opposing View Points; “I’m All Verklempt, Talks Amongst Yourselves!

This is a link to a June 23 article published by ABQReports entitled “A-hole county commissioner tells constituent not to email him” and written by the publisher Dennis Domrzalski. The email exchange quoted from Commissioner Jim Collie and my response are 100% accurate and include clerical errors as well so be patient if you read and ignore the clerical errors. Many thanks to ABQReports for publishing.

https://www.abqreport.com/single-post/2020/06/30/A-hole-county-commissioner-tells-constituent-not-to-email-him

COMMENTARY AND ANAYSIS

I will be very happy when my new Democratic County Commissioner Adriann Barboa takes over. I have known County Commissioner Collie for a number of years and found him to be a very warm and respectful and we share most if not all Democratic core values. Once Jim Collie was appointed Bernalillo County Commissioner by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham when Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins stepped down , I believe it went to his head.

Commissioner Collie’s email to me was a reaction to the blog article I sent him entitled “Pat Davis Booted From Judicial Selection Commission; Same Political Consultant Behind Pat Davis, DA Raul Torrez And Mayor Tim Keller; Davis Needs Step Down As City Council President Or Be Removed By City Council Vote.” The link to the blog article is here: https://www.petedinelli.com/2020/06/29/pat-davis-booted-from-judicial-selection-commission-same-political-consultant-behind-pat-davis-da-raul-torrez-and-mayor-tim-keller-davis-needs-step-down-as-city-council-president-or-be-removed/

Some went so far as to criticize the blog article saying the title was misleading by using the word “booted” and that it was too harsh to describe when Pat Davis was “removed” from the Judicial Selection Commission. Those readers apparently do not get it that the blog is a political blog where I clearly mark Commentary and Analysis only after reporting on current local, county, state and national political events.

When two other articles were published regarding City Councilor Pat Davis and reporting on his very troubling pattern of civil rights violations and lawsuits as a UNM Campus Police Officer, the negative push back from a few progressive activist Democrats, some that I have known for years, can only be described as “nasty” with one being down right threatening. Even ProgressNow got pushback from progressives when ProgressNow agreed with me and demanded City Councilor Pat Davis resign from the City Council, the Judicial Selection Commission as well as the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. I have also said he should resign.

THE FIVE TARGETED DEMOCRATS

In the 2020 Democratic Primary, 5 incumbent Democratic State Senators were targeted for removal by the “No Corporate Democrats Community Organization”. Those Democrats were Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen of Las Cruces, District 38, longtime State Senator John Author Smith of Deming, the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Clemente Sanchez of Grants, Senator Gabriel Ramos of Silver City, and Senator George Muñoz of Gallup representing District 4. All 5 Democrats were accused by the coalition of not listening to the people who voted them in and listening instead to well-connected corporate interests. All 5 democrats strongly dispute the arguments saying they represented their districts well and understand what their constituent’s want and their demands. The fact they were repeatedly elected supported their position. Four of the 5 lost their reelection bids except for Senator George Munoz.

It came as absolutely no surprise to New Mexico political observers that “No Corporate Democrats Community Organization” was successful in defeating 4 incumbent Democratic State Senators. All 5 were labeled conservative “corporate democrats” who cooperated too much with Senate Republicans to thwart Democratic initiatives. Their defeat was brought on by their cooperation with the Republican Senate minority to defeat major progressive initiatives in the State Senate. One example is their opposition to allocate more money from the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund and Severance Tax Permanent Fund to finance early childhood programs. Another example is that all 5 voted against the abortion rights measure in 2019 that would have repealed a 1969 anti-abortion law.

Being called a “Corporate Democrat” has become the ultimate insult used to disparage and tear down more traditional, moderate or even conservative democrats, even elected officials, considered the New Mexico Democratic establishment. Establishment Democrats such as Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan and even Senator Martin Heinrich have all been criticized from time to time by the progressive wing of the Democratic part on their stands on various issues, positions and votes as not being “progressive enough” for the progressive wing of the New Mexico Democratic party.

ULTIMATE GOAL OF PROGRESSIVES IS TO PURGE NEW MEXICO DEMOCRATIC PARTY ESTABLISHMENT

The major problem with the “No Corporate Democrats Community Organization” coalition was that they have no affiliation with the Democratic Party. The “No Corporate Democrats Community Organization” was supportive of Democratic candidates but on many levels is very hostile to the Democratic Party. Democrats in order to secure the support the organization had to past a litmus test of being progressive enough or “progressive purist” committed to their causes.

The ultimate goal of progressive purist wing of the New Mexico Democratic Party is to force out and purge the Democratic establishment represented by the traditional, moderate to conservative party officials and even remove elected officials such as the 4 Democratic State Senators that were removed. The progressive purists are succeeding on many levels given their heavy turnout in elections and the turnover and new people that serve as precinct and ward chairs and party officials within the Democratic Party statewide.

PURGING OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS NATIONAL MOVEMENT

This overt attempt to “purge” the New Mexico Democratic party of moderate to conservative Democrats is also national movement. It has been going on since the 2016 Presidential primary election between progressive Bernie Sanders, the Independent running as a Democrat and Hillary Clinton, the establishment Democrat. The purging repeated itself in the 2020 Presidential Democratic Party primary with the “new and improved self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders” who ran against former Vice President Joe Biden, the establishment Democrat and now the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party. Even after Sanders dropped out and endorsed Biden, there is still resistance to Biden by the more progressive wing of the Democratic party.

In 2016, after a brutal primary, Sanders refused to drop out all the way to the convention demanding major concessions from the Democratic Party that he has never been a member of until he runs for President. After Clinton secured the nomination, Sanders finally endorsed Clinton and held events for her. But the Clinton campaign felt Sanders showed lukewarm support for her. Sanders was not as helpful as he could have been in getting the message out when and where they needed it to defeat Trump.

Nationwide, one poll found that more than 1 in 10 people who voted for Sanders in the 2016 primary against Hillary Clinton ended up supporting Trump in the general election.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/sanders-voters-helped-trump-win-white-house-could-they-do-n1145306

A mid March, 2020 poll in Michigan, one of the 5 battleground states that will decide the election, found just 2 of 5 Sanders backers said they would vote Democratic in November, regardless of who became the nominee. Four in five said they’d be dissatisfied with Biden as the Democratic standard-bearer.

Much of the polling has changed with Trump mishandling of the Corona Virus Pandmic and the crashing of the economy. Biden is now leading in all the national polls by 9% to 14% and leading in swing states where Trump beat Clinton to win the electoral college.

The reality is that the progressive purist wing of New Mexico Democratic Party are just as extreme in their views and actions as the totally opposite conservatives represented by the “neocon conservatives” of the Republican Party and the hard-core Trump supporters. Anyone and anything being remotely viewed as moderate to conservative is considered unacceptable to them to the point of refusing to vote for, or compromise in any manner, even if it means not voting at all thereby assuring Republican wins.

Philosophical purity of any kind tends to translate into dogma and political disaster in one form or another something the country has now experienced under President Trump over the years he has been in power.

FINAL COMMENTS

I have been a Democrat all of my life. At one time I was very much involved with the party serving as a precinct chair, ward chair and state central committee member over the years. I even went to the National Democratic Convention in 2012 to vote to nominate President Barack Obama for his second term. Although still a staunch Progressive Democrat, I am no longer involved with the party apparatus and there is a reason for it.

There is now a litmus test within the progressive wing of the New Mexico Democratic Party that is now in control of the party: if you’re not progressive enough to suit them and do not conform to their causes and support progressive candidates and progressive elected officials such as Mayor Tim Keller, Pat Davis and Raul Torrez without question and you do not keep your mouth shut about them and their job performance, there will be consequences. You will be shunned, no longer welcomed and likely condemned. Their message is clear: do not bother running and stop talking if you are not progressive enough and support progressives in all they do as elected officials.

This is the identical attitude of the Republican Party, but the conservative version of it, and its is what is bringing an end to the Republican Party. It will happen to the New Mexico Democratic party if it is not careful and more tolerant of opposing views. We must hold our elected officials like Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, US Senator Martin Heinrich, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, Congresswoman Debra Haaland and Xocoatl Torres Small, Mayor Tim Keller, DA Raul Torrez and City Councilors such as Pat Davis and County Commissioners such as Jim Collie accountable for their conduct.

Throughout my 27 public service career and even when I ran and held office, I attempted to avoid sharp words and vulgarity when I was subject to withering criticism and did so out of respect for voters and citizens who I knew paid my salary and out of respect for their constitutional rights to freedom of speech. Now that I publish a blog, many people who have unloaded on me are taken aback when I shove it right back at them. Me keeping my mouth shut is simply not in my DNA, even if you’re a progressive democrat.

Now that I am fully retired, I can say what I want, how I want and when I want on my blog. If you read the blog articles and agree with me that’s great. It’s also great if you don’t agree with me and still read the articles because I still care for my home and there is a need for civil discussion in today’s politics. I also believe that November 3 cannot come sooner to vote to for Joe Biden as President and get rid of the fascist fool in the White House. As Linda Richman would say on Saturday Night live when she was feeling upset or emotional “I’m all verklempt. … Talk amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic: Will progressives give Trump a second term by not voting for Joe Biden?”

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

Pat Davis Shooting A Black Man As DC Cop Only Part Of Story; Davis Engaged In Pattern Of Civil Rights Violations As A UNM Cop Costing Taxpayers Thousands

ProgressNow New Mexico Statement on Councilor Davis’ Shooting of a Black Man and Pattern of Upholding Racist Institutions; Calls For His Multiple Resignations

City Council APD Reform Survey Offers No Insight As To What APD Needs For Federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA)

On April 10, 2014, the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), issued its report of the 18-month civil rights investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). The DOJ reviewed excessive use of force and deadly force cases and found that APD engaged in a “pattern and practice” of unconstitutional “use of force” and “deadly force” and found a “culture of aggression” within APD. On November 27, 2014, the City and the Department of Justice entered into the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) mandating 276 reforms. APD is one of 18 municipalities in the United States under a Federal Court consent decree for excessive use of force and deadly force. The link to the CASA is here:

https://www.cabq.gov/mental-health-response-advisory-committee/documents/court-approved-settlement-agreement-final.pdf

Within months after being sworn in on January 1, 2018, Mayor Tim Keller affirmed his commitment to implement all the DOJ mandated reforms agreed to under the CASA. Mayor Keller began implementing an $88 million-dollar APD police expansion program over a four-year period over increasing the number of sworn police officers from 898 positions filled to 1,200, or by 302 sworn police officers. The massive investment was ordered by Mayor Tim Keller to full fill his 2017 campaign promise to complete all the CASA reforms, increase the size of APD and return to community-based policing as a means to reduce the city’s high crime rates.

“DEFUND THE POLICE” MOVEMENT

On Monday, May 26, African American George Floyd, 46, was arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota for passing a counterfeit $20 bill. He was unarmed and was killed when a police officer used a police suppression move to subdue him by placing his knee on Floyd’s neck and he used his full body weight to suppress George Floyd. The killing started a movement.

Across the country 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.

A Black Lives Movement is now sweeping cities across the country and is referred to as “defund the police”. 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.

ABQ CITY COUNCIL GETS INTO THE ACT OF REFORMING APD AFTER OVER 5 YEARS OF MANDATED REFORM EFFORTS

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

The City Council proposal would change multiple levels of the department, from reorganizing the police budget and officers’ jobs on the street to emphasizing behavioral health assistance and studies to determine the best route for community engagement. Davis said he believes the city can rededicate $1 million of APD’s $207 million budget to community organizations and social services. Davis is also suggesting a 24/7 dispatch line for calls regarding the homeless that would be answered by those in a public health role and not by the APD reducing APD’s volume of 911 emergency calls.

Davis also announced that the council will meet with the community in July to gain input into possible changes to APD’s budget, police operations and other avenues where funds could be placed to better the community.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1465979/council-leader-unveils-police-reform-proposal-ex-more-community-engagement-rerouting-of-some-calls-included.html

THE ONLINE SURVEY

On June 13 and June 17, KRQE reported that Pat Davis published a survey online, asking people to weigh in on how they’d like to restructure APD’s budget. Links to the full KRQE reports are here:

https://www.krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/city-council-to-discuss-call-for-defunding-police/

https://www.krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/online-survey-results-show-residents-view-on-police-reform-in-albuquerque/
The link to the full survey is here:

https://mailchi.mp/patforabq.com/lets-talk-about-blm-defund-the-police-whats-next-for-abq?fbclid=IwAR02pMaeaBpubiam49wJXhrNtb-Wes4EuNHGvCWacW1ikuEzW21XYgjJKoc

The survey was conducted and made available by email and online from Friday, June 13 through Monday, June 15, 2020. According to the survey city wage page, 10,053 completed the survey by June 15. Respondents included residents from every zip code in the city. The ethnic breakdown of the 10,053 who took the survey is as follows:

43% of the respondents were white (City white population is 39%)

29% of the respondents were Hispanic (39% of population is Hispanic)

3.2% of the respondents were Black (3.2% of population is Black

1.9% of the respondents were Asian (City population is 2% Asian)

1.8% of the respondents were Native American (City population is 4%)

20% declined to answer what their ethnicity

In the survey, respondents were asked which police reforms they support. The responses were as follows:

85% supported requiring every officer to wear and use cameras

81% supported bias-prevention training for every officer

71% supported a civilian oversight board to investigate police wrongdoing complaints

71% supported prohibiting holds and tactics likely to cause severe injury, including chokeholds and taser strikes to sensitive areas

61% supported creating community-based justice workers to help those with a criminal record access expungement, removing them from the criminal justice system and giving them a fresh start

59% supported requiring officers to do 8 hours of volunteer service with community groups

56% supported prohibiting the city from receiving military equipment for civilian law enforcement use

When asked if the city should prioritize hiring more police officers or increasing funding for community programs, a vast majority of those who took the survey supported investing in community groups. 51% of respondents said APD should not respond to non-emergency calls like minor accidents and lost property, taking those reports by phone or online instead.

https://www.krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/online-survey-results-show-residents-view-on-police-reform-in-albuquerque/

The following suggestions were made from those who responded to the 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.

https://www.krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/city-council-to-discuss-call-for-defunding-police/

The survey and results can be viewed here:

https://www.cabq.gov/council/find-your-councilor/district-6/news/9-500-residents-provide-input-on-police-reform-through-councilors-community-survey

Councilor Davis said the data from the survey will be used when discussing APD’s budget in July and the city’s budget in August that has yet to be submitted by the Keller Administration. The survey is open for participation until the end of the month.

A number of the respondents made suggestions for APD that it is already doing under the Court Approved Settlement Agreement. Davis put it this way:

“[The respondents said what is needed are] more psychological testing, more bias-prevention training, and it turns out we have implemented all those in the last five years and the public doesn’t really have a good sense of what we’ve done. … That means we probably have a bigger and better job to do in terms of talking about where we come from and what else we can do next.”

SETTLEMENT REFORMS ALREADY IN PLACE

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 and 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.

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

Nothing gets by the very observant Pat Davis that allows him to articulate earth-shattering remarks such as “we probably have a bigger and better job to do in terms of talking about where we come from and what else we can do next.” The truth is, the survey may be informative for budget discussions, but that’s about it because of the mandated DOJ reforms under the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA).

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

After almost a full six years of the CASA, the city council ostensibly does 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 City Council and for that matter, the Mayor is seriously hamstrung as to being able to divert funding from APD to other social priorities. Even if the City Council and the Mayor wanted to defund the APD to the point of abolishing it, they probably could not without approval of the Federal court. 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.

For a related blog article see:

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

Pat Davis Booted From Judicial Selection Commission; Same Political Consultant Behind Pat Davis, DA Raul Torrez And Mayor Tim Keller; Davis Needs Step Down As City Council President Or Be Removed By City Council Vote

On Friday, June 26, the publisher of this blog received the following text message from one of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s aides:

“Friday, June 26, 11:22 am

“Hello Pete, thanks for sharing this. (blog article) Pat Davis is no longer on a Judicial Selection Commission. He was part of a commission, for a court of appeals vacancy I believe, but this is a one- off process.”

Daniel Schlegal, Governor’s Aide

On June 27, it was reported that New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Judith Nakamura announced that she will not be retiring on August 1 as she originally announced and she plans on retiring some time at the end of the year.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1470426/chief-justice-nakamuras-still-retiring-but-not-yet.html

The post script to the blog article explains the New Mexico Nominating Commission and how it works. “When a judicial vacancy occurs, the appropriate nominating commission recommends qualified candidates to the governor, and the governor makes an appointment. There are fifteen judicial nominating commissions that screen applicants for vacancies on New Mexico courts and recommend qualified candidates to the governor: the appellate judges nominating commission for the supreme court and court of appeals; a district court judges nominating committee for each of the state’s thirteen judicial districts; and a metropolitan court judges nominating committee for the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court”. The Court of Appeals Nominating Commission is for both appellate courts: the court of appeals and the supreme court.

Davis was appointed to “The Court of Appeals Judicial Selection Commission” and listed on the June 29 announcement and therefor the appointment was to fill both the vacancies of retiring Judges Court of Appeals Judge Linda Vanzi and New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Judith Nakamura.

Now that Justice Nakamura is no longer retiring, the Court of Appeals Commission no longer needs to meet to fill her vacancy. Judicial Selection Commission members remain the same as vacancies occur or when the Governor decides to replace a commissioner. Therefore, based on the text, Pat Davis has been removed from the Court of Appeals Judicial selection commission. The Court of Appeals Judicial Selection Commission will convene when Chief Justice Nakamura does retire and if the Governor wants to appoint a whole new commission and she can include Pat Davis if she wants.

The Governor’s office has not issued any statement to confirm if Pat Davis will be not be serving on any future Judicial Selection Commission for the Supreme Court nor any other court vacancy. Such removal is usually revealed only with the announcement of new commission members when a court vacancy occurs.

NEW MEXICO COURT OF APPEALS JUDICIAL NOMINATING COMMISSION JUNE 29, 2020

On June 29, 2020, the list of names appointed to the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission was released. There were 9 Democrats (D), 9 Republicans (R) and one Independent (I) appointed to the commission. The appointments were:

Sergio Pareja, Chair, Dean of UNM School of Law

Justice Michael Vigil, D- appointed by Chief Justice Judith Nakamura

Chief Judge J. Miles Hanisee, R- NM Court of Appeals

Judge Jacqueline Medina, D -Santa Fe District Court Judge

Michael Sanchez, D- appointed by State Senator Papen

Oliva Garcia, D- appointed by State Senator Papen

Vicente Alvarado, D-appointed by Speaker of House Brian Egolf

Kelly Stout Sanchez, D- appointed by Speaker of House Egolf

Shannon L. Kennedy, D-appointed by Governor Lujan Grisham

Alb City Councilor, D- Pat Davis, appointed by Governor Lujan Grisham

Andrew J. (Drew) Cloutier, – R-appointed by State Bar

Paul Kennedy, R – State Bar/Judges 201 12th St NW ABQ, NM 87102

Larry J. Montano, R – Appointed by State Bar/Judges

Kimberly Chavez Cook, D – Appointed by State Bar/Judges

Maris Veidemanis, R- appointed by State Bar/Judges

Allegra Carpenter, R – appointed by State Bar/Judges

Samantha Kelly, R – State Bar/Judges

Denise M. Torres, R – State Bar/Judges

Jack Fortner, R – State Bar/Judges

Republicans – 9 Democrats – 9 Independent – 1

The judicial selection process is outline in the POSTSCRIPT to this blog article.

Review of the entire list of names appointed to the Appellate Court Judicial Selection Commission reveals that only Pat Davis has the dubious distinction of being arrested for Aggravated DWI and who has also been sued for civil rights violations, negligence and false arrest and imprisonment as a police officer. All others have a level of gravitas or credentials and understand New Mexico’s judicial system to serve on a commission that selects judges. The fact that Pat Davis is the current Albuquerque City Council President does not give him a “clean slate” nor does it absolve him from his past conduct as a police officer who violated peoples civil rights in order to qualify him to be given the authority to interview and help select attorneys to fill court vacancies.

BLOG ARTICLE REVEALING PAT DAVIS PATTERN OF VIOLATING PEOPLE’S CIVIL RIGHTS AS A POLICE OFFICER

On June 22, the blog article entitled City Councilor Pat Davis Needs To Step Down To Atone For His Own “Black Lives Matter” Moment And Violations Of Peoples Civil Rights As A Police Officer” was published and forwarded to Governor Lujan Grisham’s office. The link to the article is here:

https://www.petedinelli.com/2020/06/22/city-councilor-pat-davis-needs-to-step-down-to-atone-for-his-own-black-lives-matter-moment-and-violations-of-peoples-civil-rights-as-a-police-officer/

https://www.abqreport.com/single-post/2020/06/24/City-Councilor-Pat-Davis-must-resign-when-he-was-a-DC-cop-Davis-shot-a-black-man-endangered-people-of-color-by-driving-drunk

The blog article is an in-depth report on 3 known court actions that have been resolved. The cases involve actions of City Council President Pat Davis as a police officer before his election to the Albuquerque City Council. The cases are no longer pending with two settled with monetary damages paid by the University of New Mexico and charges dismissed in another.

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

PROGRESNOW CALLS FOR MULTIPLE RESINGATIONS FROM POSITIONS OF TRUST

On June 25, ProgressNow released a statement calling for Pat Davis to resign from the city council and other positions of influence he holds Following are relevant portions of the June 25, ProgressNow statement.

Title: ProgressNow New Mexico Statement on Councilor Davis’ Shooting of a Black Man and Pattern of Upholding Racist Institutions
By Marianna Anaya

“… [N}ew details have surfaced regarding former ProgressNow New Mexico Executive Director and Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis’ shooting of a Black man while working as a cop in Washington D.C. [See link #1 below] Davis originally founded ProgressNow New Mexico but left the organization in 2017 and while his name is attached to the organization and its beginnings, we want to state clearly that his past and present actions are not reflective of ProgressNow New Mexico values.


“ProgressNow New Mexico finds it imperative to continue calling out racism when we see it and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions,” said Alissa Barnes, Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico. “No matter who that person is.”

Part of our accountability work as an organization is to investigate bad behavior by bad actors. 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 [See link #2 below] 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”. [See link #3 below]. As he ran for Bernalillo County Sheriff, his website highlighted his targeting of community members for low-level offenses, like marijuana possession. [See link #4 below.]

As a self-proclaimed “progressive” Davis is not exempt from accountability. Davis’ sustained pattern of racist actions over a long period of years has led us to call for Davis to step down from his positions of authority, including the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the Judicial Selection Committee, Governor Lujan Grisham’s Marijuana Legalization Task Force, and his seat on City Council. 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.”

Link #1: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCOURTS-dcd-1_05-cv-01372/pdf/USCOURTS-dcd-1_05-cv-01372-0.pdf

Link #2: https://www.petedinelli.com/2020/06/22/city-councilor-pat-davis-needs-to-step-down-to-atone-for-his-own-black-lives-matter-moment-and-violations-of-peoples-civil-rights-as-a-police-officer/

Link #3: https://www.abqjournal.com/943318/davis-has-insiders-perspective-on-reforms.html

Link #4: https://web.archive.org/web/20100408123744/http://site.sheriffpat.org/

The link to ProgressNow New Mexico page is here:

https://progressnownm.org/?p=225026

POLITICAL CONSULTANT COMMON DENOMINATOR OF PAT DAVIS, DA RAUL TORREZ AND MAYOR TIM KELLER

Pat Davis is the current Chairman of the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (BCJCC). He was nominated to the position by District Attorney Raul Torres. The paid political consultant for Pat Davis, District Attorney Raul Torrez and Mayor Tim Keller when all 3 ran for office is none other that Alan Packman, the longtime political consultant for Mayor Tim Keller. Packman ran Keller’s race for State Senate and Mayor. Packman is currently employed by Mayor Tim Keller and works for the city’s 311 call center and answers to Mayor Tim Keller. Before going to work for the City, Packman was a full time paid political consultant and was the “go to guy” to run the political campaigns of young, progressive Democrats, inlcuding the campigns of Secretary of State Maggie Talouse Oliver. (EDITOR’S NOTE: In the interest of full disclosure, Alan Packman worked on the unsuccessful 2013 Pete Dinelli for Mayor Campaign.)

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

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

https://www.bernco.gov/county-manager/criminal-justice-coordinating-council-.aspx

THE PREAMBLE TO THE CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT

The preamble to the New Mexico Code of Judicial Conduct Provides as follows:

“An independent, fair, and impartial judiciary is indispensable to our system of justice. The United States legal system is based upon the principle that an independent, impartial, and competent judiciary, composed of men and women of integrity, will interpret and apply the law that governs our society.

Thus, the judiciary plays a central role in preserving the principles of justice and the rule of law. Inherent in all the rules [of the code of judicial conduct] … are the precepts that judges, individually and collectively, must respect and honor the judicial office as a public trust and strive to maintain and enhance confidence in the legal system.

Judges should maintain the dignity of judicial office at all times and avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in their professional and personal lives. They should aspire at all times to conduct that ensures the greatest possible public confidence in their independence, impartiality, integrity, and competence.”

http://www.nmjsc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Code-of-Judicial-Conduct-as-of-4-27-18.pdf

Every Judge, appointed or elected, takes an oath of office and their conduct is regulated by the Code of Judicial Conduct. The New Mexico Code of Judicial Conduct establishes the standards for the ethical conduct of all judges. Judges are governed in their judicial and personal conduct by general ethical standards as well as by the Judicial Code of Conduct. The Code provides guidance and assist for judges in maintaining the highest standards of judicial and personal conduct and to provide a basis for regulating their conduct through disciplinary agencies. Judges can be fined, suspended or removed from office by the New Mexico Supreme Court for violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

http://www.nmjsc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Code-of-Judicial-Conduct-as-of-4-27-18.pdf

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

I have been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978 (42 years). After over 27 years of municipal and state government service, I retired from public service in 2009. Although many who know of me consider me a “politician” but it is my professional career as a trial attorney, prosecutor and judge that represents the overwhelming majority of my legal career.

I was an elected official for only 4 years during my 42-year legal career. I have served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge, as a prosecutor for 15 years, including serving as Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. My legal profession is something that I have dedicated most of my life to and it’s a profession I am very proud of and it’s a profession that I know must be held to the highest ethical standards.

One important thing I learned over the years as a prosecutor who worked with some of the finest law enforcement officers in the state is how important it is for our criminal justice system to preserve, protect and respect basic constitutional rights, civil rights and human rights, all rights that are imbedded within our US Constitution. As a prosecutor I reviewed many search warrants for sufficiency and probable cause. I was taught the basic principles of search and seizure law by my boss the former Deputy Attorney General and former District Judge James Blackmer who was considered at the time the number one expert in New Mexico search and seizure law.

Throughout my public service career, I have been a strong advocate for police civilian oversight. Early in my legal career as an Assistant District Attorney, I was involved with the successful prosecution of 3 police officers who broke the law while on duty and employed by APD. As a City Councilor I sponsored and was successful in getting enacted an ordinance calling for the first-time civilian review of complaints filed against police officers. When I was Chief Public Safety Officer, I advocated termination of police officers who violated people’s civil rights. I did the same when I was a city councilor.

Our law enforcement communities must understand with complete clarity that the presumption of guilt by law enforcement of anyone coupled with attempted or fabrication of evidence can never be tolerated. Court ordered search warrants are absolutely the essential for the protection of our civil rights, rights against unreasonable search and seizure and to prohibit the taking of property without due process of law. This is why I find the conduct of Pat Davis as a police officer so abhorrent.

WHY PAT DAVIS SHOULD NEVER SERVE ON JUDICIAL SELECTION COMMISSION

Pat Davis has been appointed to positions of trust and confidentiality by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, the Albuquerque City Council and the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Two of those positions affect the New Mexico Bar, the criminal justice policy in Bernalillo County and the selection of judges. The past actions as a police officer by Davis, and his arrest for Aggravated DWI, should have disqualified Davis from the appointments, presuming he disclosed them before the appointments were even made. Any one who thinks that he has been vetted and forgiven for past mistakes because he successfully won twice for city council is seriously mistaken and being a fool. Many people of nefarious reputation have been elected to positions of authority, even a President of the United States. Election vetting and even a pardon does not absolve any one from serious misconduct.

The Code of Judicial conduct holds members of the judiciary to high ethical standards. This is absolutely necessary for the integrity of the legal justice system and we must be able to depend on it. Those who sit in judgment of others in legal proceedings, criminal and civil, must conduct themselves in a manner that maintains public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

When it comes to those appointed to the Judicial Selection Commission, they too must be citizens that have conducted themselves in a manner that that reflects honesty, integrity and moral character. Those who serve on the Judicial Selection Commission are given an oath to carry on their duties of selection and need to be above reproach and influence. Judicial Selection Commissioners need to select people to nominate as a judge in a fair and impartial manner very much like what is expected of Judges.

Pat Davis as a police officer has a very troubling pattern of violating people’s civil rights, first as a police officer in Washington DC, then as a UNM Campus Police Offer. Pat Davis’ record of his past actions in a position of authority are a clear indication of what the public can expect of the type of judgment calls he will make when selecting people for the Judiciary. He had no business being appointed in the first place if in fact he revealed his past in the vetting for the appointments.

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

If Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis is sincere and truly wants to make amends for his past conduct as a police officer, he needs to show some degree of honesty and integrity. He needs to stay off of any and all future Judicial Selection Commissions, step down and remove himself as City Council President, and resign or be replaced as the chairman of the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (BCJCC). All 3 appointed positions are positions of trust and influence in our criminal justice system. City Councilor Pat Davis has told the news media he has no intention of resigning from the city council. If that is the case, the Albuquerque City Council needs to move quickly and vote to replace Pat Davis as President, otherwise they will be viewed as a group of elected official willing to be lead by someone with a nefarious and troubling past.

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

__________________________________

POSTSCRIPT

JUDICIAL VACANCY SELECTION PROCESS

When a judicial vacancy occurs, the appropriate nominating commission recommends qualified candidates to the governor, and the governor makes an appointment. At the next general election, a contested partisan election is held to fill the seat for the remainder of the term. The successful candidate runs in retention elections thereafter. The threshold for retention is higher in New Mexico than in most other states; judges must receive at least 57% in affirmative votes to be retained.”
http://www.judicialselection.us/judicial_selection/index.cfm?state=NM

JUDICIAL NOMINATING COMMISSIONS

There are fifteen judicial nominating commissions that screen applicants for vacancies on New Mexico courts and recommend qualified candidates to the governor: the appellate judges nominating commission for the supreme court and court of appeals; a district court judges nominating committee for each of the state’s thirteen judicial districts; and a metropolitan court judges nominating committee for the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

The appellate judges nominating commission consists of fourteen members: the chief justice or the chief justice’s designee; two court of appeals judges appointed by the chief judge of the court of appeals; one lawyer and one nonlawyer appointed by the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the president pro tempore of the senate; the dean of the University of New Mexico law school, who serves as chair; and four lawyers appointed jointly by the president of the state bar and the judge members of the commission.

Appointments to the judicial nominating commissions are to be made so that the state’s two largest political parties are equally represented. The state bar president and the judge members may make additional appointments as necessary to fulfill this requirement. There are no established term lengths for commission members; the appointing authorities are asked each time a judicial vacancy occurs whether the members of the relevant commission should be retained or replaced.

http://www.judicialselection.us/judicial_selection/methods/judicial_nominating_commissions.cfm?state=NM
FOR RELATED BLOG ARTICLES SEE

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

ProgressNow New Mexico Statement on Councilor Davis’ Shooting of a Black Man and Pattern of Upholding Racist Institutions; Calls For His Multiple Resignations

Pat Davis Shooting A Black Man As DC Cop Only Part Of Story; Davis Engaged In Pattern Of Civil Rights Violations As A UNM Cop Costing Taxpayers Thousands

2020 NM Special Legislative Session Ends; 7 Bills Pass Including Compulsory Lapel Camera Usage By All Law Enforcement

On June 22, the 4 day New Mexico special legislative session ended. The session was called to deal with the state’s deficit and to adjust the state budget amid historical deficits the result of the COVID-19 pandemic business closures and the collapse in oil revenues. When the session ended, 7 bills had been enacted.

These bills enacted are:

HOUSE BILL 1: Authorizing a budget solvency plan that would keep state spending roughly flat over the next year while drawing down reserves, tapping into federal funds and engaging in other financial maneuvers.

The enacted budget was $7 billion for fiscal year 2020-2021 which begins on July 1. In February, lawmakers approved the largest budget in New Mexico’s history, at $7.6 billion, but only weeks later an oil price war and the COVID-19 pandemic put that plan in peril.

The revised fiscal year 2021 budget reduces spending by more than $600 million, bringing the budget to $7 billion. That’s a greater reduction than the around $450 million cut Lujan Grisham had advocated for. The revised budget reduces spending by 4 percent for most state agencies. It also includes $165 million in funding to help local governments that have their own coronavirus-related fiscal problems, with $15 million of that sum earmarked for McKinley, Cibola and San Juan counties.

The plan keeps intact most of the funding designated for the state’s new trust fund for early childhood education, reducing that amount from $320 million to $300 million.
Sen. John Arthur Smith, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, warned the state’s finances are not likely to bounce back quickly from the double punch caused by the coronavirus pandemic and plummeting oil prices telling . Smith tolf his fellow legislators:

“It’s certainly not the perfect response, but it darn well may be the only response we can give right now. … New Mexico, we are not alright. … This looks like it’s going to be a prolonged downturn.”

www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/new-mexico-legislature-sends-7b-solvency-bill-to-governor/article_6d57350a-afe2-11ea-9a70-474b3af34deb.html

HOUSE BILL 5: The bill establishing a 9-member civil rights commission that would recommend legal changes aimed at protecting constitutional rights. The recommendations must be submitted by mid-November. The commission will look into the issue of “qualified immunity” which is a judicial precedent that makes it harder to prosecute police or other public officials in potential misconduct cases.

HOUSE BILL 6: This bill Waives some tax penalties during the pandemic. It also allows for increased temporary state payments to help cities and counties if federal funds are not made available.

SENATE BILL 3: This legislation establishes a low-interest loan program for small businesses and local governments. This bill establishes a loan program to aid small businesses and local governments damaged by the pandemic. It passed on an impressive bipartisan vote 59-5, a vote not often seen in today’s political climate.

SENATE BILL 4: This bill enacting temporary changes for the 2020 general election. Under provisions of the legislation, independent voters will be able to vote in primaries only if they formally change their registration to Democrat, Republican or Libertarian, which is already allowed. The change is that while currently they must make the switch at least 28 days prior to Election Day, the bill will allow a voter to do so at the polls. A voter will retain the new major party registration unless they go to their county clerk and re-register as independents.

SENATE BILL 5: Generating an estimated $141 million in savings by canceling stalled capital outlay and road projects, among other provisions.

SENATE BILL 8: Requiring law enforcement officers to wear cameras. This bill passed on a 44-26 vote. It calls for law enforcement officers in New Mexico to wear cameras and activate them when responding to calls. Bernalillo County Sherriff Manny Gonzalez has refused to mandate the use of lapel cameras despite call by the County Commission. He no longer has a choice. Senate Bill 8 also directs a state board to revoke the certification of any officer convicted of unlawful use of force.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1468913/historic-session-over-with-7-bills-passed.html

Governor Michelle Lujan issued the following statement after the session ended:

“This special session produced hundreds of millions in investments in small businesses, and local governments and economies; it accommodated and preserved much of the essential progress we have begun to make in our public education system as we begin to navigate a new global economic reality; and it launched, in earnest, an important and overdue conversation about accountability in law enforcement and in ensuring a just and safe New Mexico for all”.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1468913/historic-session-over-with-7-bills-passed.html

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

Even though the Special Session was called to deal with the state’s deficit and to adjust the state budget amid historical deficits the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the most controversial legislation passed dealt with “law enforcement reform” and the mandating of the use of lapel cameras by all law enforcement in the state.

According to legislative analysts, over the last five years, New Mexico has had the nation’s highest per-capita rate of killings by police. The killing of African American George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police Officer using a “body neck suppression” tactic and a Las Cruces police officer was charged in the death of Antonio Valenzuela, who died after the use of a vascular neck restraint, gave the legislation momentum. House Bill 5 creating a 9-member civil rights commission that will recommend legal changes aimed at protecting constitutional rights was also given momentum for passage by the deaths of Floyd and Valenzuela.

Supporters of the proposed legislation said lapel cameras are needed and the cameras will add transparency and accountability, protecting officers from false accusations and shed light on deadly police encounters. Opponents countered saying the measure was an unfunded mandate that will discourage people from pursuing careers in law enforcement, worsening officer shortages throughout the state.

One thing for certain is that it’s not the relatively low cost to purchase the cameras, but the hundreds of thousands it will take for each law enforcement agency to store the camera video.

When it comes to Bernalillo County, Sheriff Manny Gonzalez has strenuously opposed the use of lapel cameras arguing that there is no proof that they reduce crime and only result in second guessing by the public and those who sue the department. The Bernalillo County Commission has implored Sheriff Gonzales to order his department to use lapel cameras to no avail. Sheriff Gonzales is said to be running for Mayor in 2021, and now that lapel cameras are mandated, it is one issue he will not have to deal with if in fact he does run.