Since 2010, Albuquerque police officers have been involved in dozens of shootings, many of which have been fatal. Millions of dollars in taxpayer money has been paid out by verdict and by settlement in civil lawsuits.
A Department of Justice report released in April detailed a troubled and complex relationship between police officers, public officials and residents of Albuquerque, particularly those facing mental illness. The report described the problem as “a culture of aggression,” [background: press release and full report – .PDF] and noted that leadership had failed to provide proper civilian and internal oversight and training.
The result: Albuquerque police officers too often use deadly force or near-deadly force inappropriately.
The APD Files
The New Mexico Compass requested and received public records related to over two dozen of the shootings from 2010 to present, including officers’ lapel cam footage and belt-tape audio recordings plus witness interviews, reports and other materials.
The APD Files project will include an interactive database and original reporting around each of the fatal shootings. Our belief is that transparency will help reduce sensationalism around the topic and encourage participation by all stakeholders (including policymakers and law enforcement) in an examination of the “culture of aggression” outlined by the DOJ.
We are in the funding phase for the project via an Indiegogo campaign. We encourage your financial support for the project, as well as sharing it with friends, family and your social networks.
Media outlets and journalists may contact us directly to request an interview with our editors regarding this project, police use of force in Albuquerque and transparency/public records issues.