Protesters arrested at City Hall after sit-in

Posted at: 06/02/2014 3:42 PM
Updated at: 06/02/2014 7:09 PM

The city council meeting scheduled for Monday night has been canceled following a staged sit-in at City Hall.

Around 20 people entered City Hall carrying police tape and letters, demanding a meeting with Mayor Richard Berry over the Albuquerque Police Department.

The group sat in a circle in the lobby of the mayor's office and told stories about how they feel like they witnessed excessive force from APD at one time or another.

One woman even chained herself to a display case in the office.

"It is (worth it) because he has to talk to us one day," she said. "We even came when they said they were going to put us on the list. They said, 'we'll put you on the scheduling.' That was last year."

Within an hour, APD's mobile unit responded to the scene and arrested 14 protesters. Thirteen were charged with criminal trespassing. David Correia, a UNM assistant professor and one of the leaders of the protest, was charged with battery on a peace officer.

Some of the demonstrators had been involved in the takeover of the city council meeting last month.

"We had to pull officers off the streets to handle this incident--officers who should have been working their regular assignments, answering calls for service,” Police Chief Gorden Eden said.

The subjects have been booked on the charges and will be transported to the Metropolitan Detention Center. 

According to a city spokesperson, Mayor Berry was not even in his office today, but in New York City at a conference.

The mayor's office said it was against the law for the protesters to go past the mayor's security door.

The sit-in comes amid negotiations between the Department of Justice and the city over reforming APD.

The city council meeting has been rescheduled for June 9 at 5 p.m.