Albuquerque Police Department   [open pdf - 491KB]

This is a letter from the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry reporting the "findings of the Department of Justice's civil investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD)." From the Summary of Findings: "Based on our investigation, we find that the department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force during the course of arrests and other detentions in violation of the Fourth Amendment and Section 14141. We find this pattern or practice in the following areas: (1) Albuquerque police officers too often use deadly force in an unconstitutional manner in their use of firearms. […] (2) Albuquerque police officers also often use less lethal force in an unconstitutional manner. […] (3) A significant amount of the force we reviewed was used against persons with mental illness and in crisis. […] and (4) The use of excessive force by APD officers is not isolated or sporadic. […] We found only a few instances in the incidents we reviewed where supervisors scrutinized officers' use of force and sought additional investigation. In nearly all cases, supervisors endorsed officers' version of events, even when officers' accounts were incomplete, were inconsistent with other evidence, or were based on canned or repetitive language. The department has also failed to implement its force policies consistently, including requirements that officers properly document their use of force, whether by lapel cameras, audio tapes, or in reports. The department does not use other internal review systems, such as internal affairs and the early intervention system, effectively. These internal accountability and policy failures combine with the department's inadequate training to contribute to uses of excessive force. Additionally, serious limitations in the City's external oversight processes have allowed many of these deficiencies to continue unabated."

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United States Department of Justice: http://www.usdoj.gov/
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