Mayor welcomes end to DOJ investigation

Posted at: 04/07/2014 10:28 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

At the same time hundreds of people voiced their opinions about the Albuquerque Police Department to city councilors, Mayor Richard Berry said he’s “happy” that the Department of Justice will finally release its findings on APD’s use of force.

"That's an important starting point for us as a city.  Because until we know what's in that report, we're not able to fully move forward,” Berry said outside of an unrelated community meeting in northeast Albuquerque.

The Department of Justice will hold a news conference about the findings on Thursday, at 10 a.m., at the U.S. Attorney’s office.  It’s only open to credentialed members of the media.

Berry said he has not been privy to the details of the findings.  He said he could only speculate after researching DOJ investigations in other U.S. cities in recent years.

“It could be anything from taking over the department, so to speak, like in Seattle, to some type of stipulated agreement like in Portland or other places,” he said.

Berry expects the agency to engage in a negotiation process with the city over the findings.  Although he said he’s not a legal expert, he said it’s possible the negotiations will end up in front of a judge as a way to define the findings more clearly.

Since 2010, Berry said his administration has implemented roughly 60 reforms to APD – including the use of lapel cameras.  Those devices captured the shooting death of James Boyd in the Albuquerque foothills in March.

Despite the reforms already in place, the mayor said he welcomes any other recommendations the DOJ presents.

“It's not an ‘us against them’ situation.  We gave them direct access to the police department rather than having to filter things through the Mayor's office.  And I think that's been an important part of the process,” he said.