Protesters decry officer-involved shootings

About 80 protestors lined the streets downtown Friday to call attention to the number of APD officer-involved shootings this year.
Andres Barros organized a protest in response to the mid-August death of his friend Enrique Carrasco. Carrasco was the seventh person killed in an officer-involved shooting in Albuquerque this year.

“It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past,” Barros said. “We are all human beings and we do not deserve to be shot down like animals. APD is the biggest gang in the city.”

Protestors criticized APD fatalities outside the police station on Fourth Street and Roma Avenue.
Andreas Valdez of Vocinos Unidos said his organization has been addressing police brutality for 20 years. He said the Albuquerque City Council hasn’t done enough to hold APD accountable for its conduct.

“Oh boy, do we have our work cut out for us,” he said. “That is to say, if we want real police accountability, we’re going to have to get people in City Council to truly represent our interests.”

Three police officers patrolled the rally, but refused to comment about it. Trish Hoffman, APD’s public
information officer, did not respond to calls Friday.

David Warner said APD didn’t properly investigate the robbing and murder of his 21-year-old son. He said he is on a mission to draw attention to APD’s handling of the case.

“Every March, on March 8, I walk from Ruidoso to Santa Fe to speak to the governor. It’s supposed to be 225 miles. I call it the ‘walk of injustice.’ I’ve walked it two years in a row so far, and I’ll be walking it again next year.”

Vernon Butler, a representative for Advocates for Equity, said APD has unfairly targeted people.
“No. 1, they may be the biggest gang, but we pay their salaries,” he said. “It is not against the law to be mentally ill. It is not against the law to be behind the wheel of a car driving it while you are a person of color. It is not against the law nor is it unreasonable in any stretch of the imagination to demand what it is that they’re supposed to do.”

Darcy Brazen, one of the protest organizers, said it’s important to point out that not all police officers engage in brutality.
“We want to stress that we’re not anti-cop; we’re anti-police brutality,” he said.

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