Posted at: 07/07/2014 6:12 PM
Updated at: 07/07/2014 6:16 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Do as we say – not as we do.
That seems to be the message from the U.S. Department of Justice as it prepares to negotiate major reforms and changes with the troubled Albuquerque Police Department.
It’s been nearly a week, and there is still no new information on the fatal shooting of an Albuquerque man by a US Marshal last Wednesday.
The marshals work for the DOJ, which is demanding that APD use less deadly force and be more open and transparent about police shootings.
In fact the only way we know that it was a man shot in Westgate Heights Wednesday from witnesses.
The information didn’t come from the US Marshals, who have only said that a marshal shot and killed a suspect.
No word on who he was, what he was wanted for, or whether he was armed with a gun.
Contrast that to the torturous struggles city cops go through when they try to publicly explain any of the recent police shootings – trying to do what the Department of Justice says APD must do to build trust and provide information to the community.
“Clearly the police are doing their job, and it’s a very difficult job,” said New Mexico Fraternal Order of Police President Bob Martinez, himself a retired federal law enforcement officer. “It’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback and clearly I think we have to have some balance here. The problem I see is that you don’t have someone come into the town and tell you these are your problems and then leave and leave you with the problems they claim you have.”
Martinez admits APD does have problems, and adds that the entire community has problems with a culture of violence, problems that won’t just go away anytime soon.
Martinez, and APD cops and retired cops who didn’t want to go on the record for this story all spoke respectfully of the US Marshals, pointing out that they frequently have to go out and round up the worst of the worst – the most violent, desperate fugitives wanted for federal felonies.