Police Oversight Commission meeting underway

Posted at: 03/14/2013 7:18 AM
Updated at: 03/14/2013 5:21 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4 and KOB.com Staff

Albuquerque's Police Oversight Commission is meeting for the first time since a fatal shooting by APD officers on March 5.

Police said the man they shot was facing officers with a gun with his finger on the trigger. They plan to discuss how to handle investigations for shootings by APD officers.

Previously, the district attorney's office would conduct grand jury investigations to determine whether there was probably cause for criminal charges in shootings by APD officers.

In 2012, the DA's office suspended the grand juries after a series of questions about their efficacy. And in Jan. 2013, Bernalillo County District Court Judges suspended them officially, saying the juries "appeared to" lack impartiality and legal authority.

The meeting will address all shootings, including the most recent March 5 deadly shooting.

On March 5, three officers shot 41-year-old Parrish Denison. Denison, along with a woman who was later taken into custody, was attempting to sell stolen musical instruments to a store. The owner of the store called police and the pair fled, along with a third suspect who was waiting in a truck. Denison fled on food and was armed, causing APD to secure the area and pursue Denison. They said they used all non-lethal measures possible first and shot him when he was a direct danger.

The meeting is also the first since Albuquerque's City Council took final action on a resolution to overhaul the commission, addressing accessibility for public comment and attempting to make the commission's processes more transparent.