Watch Protesters Get Gassed Rallying Against Albuquerque Police Shootings
The wheels are falling off in my hometown. After Albuquerque police officers shot and killed a homeless man, protests over their tactics turned ugly. Police fired tear gas to disperse crowds, Anonymous is hacking the websites of APD and the city of Albuquerque, and NBC affiliate KOB-TV finds this reporter to interview this protester.
Can't say I was expecting that voice with a teardrop tat. It is a light moment, but the underlying story is much heavier, much darker.
After a lengthy standoff in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, APD officers shot and killed a homeless man named James Boyd. Citizens of the city rallied to protest.
Then, APD was involved in another fatal shooting just a few nights ago.
(WARNING: the video in both links above is graphic and violent.)
Yesterday, the protest got larger and nastier, as protesters went off the deep end. They hurled insults and loogies at the police, who ended up lobbing tear gas in return, some of which you can see in the linked video from KRQE-TV.
Protesters began shutting down traffic along Central Ave., even marching onto I-25 at one point. The rolling protest went on for half the day and well into the night.
KOB-TV reporter Caleb James tweeted these pics from the front line of one skirmish.
Hacker group "Anonymous" has gotten involved, hacking its way into APD's and the City of Albuquerque's websites.
Anonymous got ahold of APD personnel records and phone numbers, some of which were published via the internet.
Imagine, you're the Chief of Police, and your resume and phone number are allegedly all over the internet.
APD has been under federal investigation for months after being involved in 37 shootings since 2010, 23 of which resulted in fatalities.
Although I know it's happened here in El Paso, I honestly can't remember the last time.
Thirty-seven police shootings and 23 deaths seem like an awful lot for a city with 200,000 fewer people than El Paso. Although the vast majority of policemen and women do their jobs professionally, that stat makes me doubt APD will be invited to sound their sirens at anyone's civic parade any time soon.