ABQJustice formed in 2014 as a community -based group of activists and residents concerned with poverty, inequality and police brutality in Albuquerque. ABQJustice has worked in coalition with social justice and civil rights organizations to confront violence, racism and injustice in Albuquerque. ABQJustice launched an investigation into racial bias and forms of prejudice in the Albuquerque Police Department in September of 2014. This report presents the ﬁndings of that investigation.
Why an ABQJustice Investigation?
The Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of use-of-force problems at the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) concluded that APD engages in a pattern and practice of unjustiﬁed use of excessive force, including deadly force. After months of negotiation, the City of Albuquerque and DOJ entered into a consent decree, which outlines how APD reform will happen. ABQJustice, along with social justice and civil rights organizations in Albuquerque, note the DOJ’s failure to investigate racial bias and prejudice at APD. Tis failure has produced an agreement that does not provide solutions for racially motivated use of force issues at APD.
Based on these concerns, ABQJustice:
Launched its own investigation of police violence by conducting ﬁeld interviews in locations around Albuquerque from September 2014 to February 2015.
Convened a People’s tribunal on Police Brutality on March 14, 2015 to publicly present and consider the results off the ﬁeld investigation, and to release a report to its ﬁndings.
This is the ﬁrst study to systematically acquire data by and about the people routinely victimized by APD, demonstrating that unconstitutional policing and unjustiﬁed use-of-force at APD is not only routine, but signiﬁcantly underreported. The street interviews, conducted by teams of ABQJustice investigators, conﬁrmed that:
APD systematically engages in racially motivated forms of policing targeting people of color, particularly Native Americans.
APD engages in violence against women, including sexual violence.