As if things could not get worse in the weeks after the scathing Justice Department report the APD - as if thumbing its nose at the Fed's criticism - shot and killed a handful more citizens.
The killing of Boyd in the Sandia foothills on the eastern edge of the city forced the nation to get a glimpse into this chronic disease which also suggests reflection nationwide on the growing militarization of civilian police forces. The outraged citizens of this City literally feeling under military siege from within joining the voices of victim's families thus far unheard - their conjoined concerns and warnings not given heed. The City Council abandoning its meeting two weeks ago into which the citizens filled the void taking over the Council chambers.
Day's later family members of the dead were forcefully removed from the Council, after being denied their rights to speak in general public comments, when they exercised their first amendment rights to speak through their silence - literally turning their backs on the Council. The ACLU stepped in an announced that four of those removed unlawfully will bring a federal lawsuit to defend their rights to speak.
Then this past weekthe autopsy of James Boydwas finally released after nearly three inexplicable months describing in detail the injuries to the mentally ill homeless man shot for unlawful camping. His spleen was removed along with a large part of his colon. His left lower lung lobe removed. The bullet entering his lower back and exiting his armpit, after tearing through his vital organs, and reentering his upper left arm. That arm took another bullet - while in the Emergency Room, surgeons amputated his right arm, which had been who shattered by a third bullet from behind that this was the only chance to stop the bleeding.
In the wake of all of this - one would think the City's officials would have learned to humble their normal arrogance and open their ears and their doors to the citizens, other than in the few meetings reluctantly agreed to with select members of the public supervised by the Justice Department. But this has not been the case.
Yesterday the story exploded once again even though the national media has yet to pick it up in a City close to boiling over with justifiable rage as thirteen members of the public were arrested at the Mayor's office, with military clad and armed officers storming the locked-down building, while others were locked outside when they attempted a press conference.
This is a City in crisis - and the newest chapter is that of the Albuquerque Thirteen - who were released from jail throughout the morning hours today. I began writing this story yesterday and continued to update the information as i was able to obtain it. I was in Albuquerque up until the week before working with the people on the ground, covering the story, and helping in the efforts to organize and to seek to utilize the laws that empower citizens to hold their public servants to account (i.e. public records laws). It is, I believe, important for Americans nationwide to become familiar with this story. Because I believe that as the planned march against police brutality on June 21st approaches - Albuquerque, the City know for "Breaking Bad," may be ready to explode.
The best introduction to this story can be found in the following series of documents and data compiled by the Albuquerque Journal, APD Under Fire.
Then take a look at my coverage of yesterday's events - Breaking: Arrests at Albuquerque Mayor's Office.
At some point, as citizens witnessing the lack of justice must recognize that instead there is Just US. WE THE PEOPLE have the awesome and daunting duties to tackle the corrupted system and force it to reform - before it implodes. Albuquerque may be an outlier - an extreme - the exception rather than the norm in terms of the number of fatal unjustified police shootings - but it is far more a reflection of the hidden norms that are infecting communities across the nation. One often has to look to the extremes, because in the ignorance and arrogance of those so out of control they allow themselves to document the underlying culture and its norms, a cultural set of norms shared, even if less obvious, from coast to coast.
Please read these stories - and most importantly - discuss the issue. Discuss it here. Share the stories with your friends and neighbors. If WE don't do it - and do it soon - we are in real danger of losing all semblance of legitimacy as a society. A crisis far more dangerous and real than any external terrorist threat.
At the end of my story linked above are two lengthy videos from two cameramen - two citizens that I met and teamed up with while in New Mexico last month. I place them unedited, uncut, and raw - for all to see and take what they will from them.