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Fault Lines – Albuquerque police: A history of violence

Fault Lines - Albuquerque police: A history of violence


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Since 2010, police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have shot 40 people, 27 of whom have died from their injuries.

For a city of just 550,000 people, Albuquerque now has the highest rate of fatal shootings by police in the US, eight times that of the police in New York City and nearly double that of Chicago’s police department.

In early 2014, police officers killed James Boyd, a homeless man with a history of schizophrenia.

His killing, caught on an officer’s body camera, sparked national outrage over police brutality, and two officers are facing murder charges for the fatal shooting. It’s the first time in decades that an Albuquerque police department (APD) shooting has led to criminal proceedings against an officer.

Yet, in the last few years alone, the city has paid tens of millions of dollars to families bringing civil lawsuits against the police. But the families say many of the officers involved have escaped scrutiny and remain on the force. Officers, who, they say, should have never been allowed to join the police force in the first place.

After Boyd’s death, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) released a scathing report on the APD, which was based on a 16-month investigation. It highlighted patterns of unconstitutional and deadly use of force and “culture of aggression”.

Since then, the police have insisted that they’re implementing reforms in agreement with the DoJ.

But in interviews with Al Jazeera, former officers, local lawyers and journalists say change is only scratching the surface and that the corrupt and violent culture of the police department continues unabated.

Fault Lines investigates how the Albuquerque police force has become one of the most violent and deadliest police departments in the US and asks if any of the officers will face any accountability.

More from Fault Lines on:

YouTube – http://youtube.com/show/faultlines
Facebook – https://facebook.com/AJFaultLines
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AJFaultLines
Website – http://aljazeera.com/programmes/faultlines/

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  1. stupid goverment, stupid population …you see your police is comitting murder and you allow it to happen more then once on video and you do nothing…man what a joke…but you are ready to make an opinion on a million things

  2. This is what happens when officers hit the streets right after graduation. I suggest every new academy graduate undergo at least a full year if not more working in a penitentiary or a county jail before hitting the streets. Those with attitude problems will be taught one way or the other in a penitentiary setting self control. Another is to hold these scum bag officers responsible to the highest level of the law for prosecution.

  3. jesus what is it with you lot and shooting them in the back … ffs if you're going to murder someone at least have the decency to look them in the eye while you do it … geeez that's the problem with youngsters these days … no manners …

  4. How about aljazera report the disaster and the inhuman acts that is taking place in the gulf nations, I know those police do commit crimes and most of them aren't left alone after their miserable acts; in the gulf nations it is way different story, killers and rapist kill and rape foreigners all the time and no one is giving them what they deserve.

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