Mayor addresses Albuquerque police protest

Created: 03/31/2014 8:35 AM
By: Erica Zucco and Elizabeth Reed, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Mayor Richard Berry held a press conference on Sunday night following a large-scale protest against Albuquerque police.

Berry said he had been in contact with Chief Gorden Eden since the protests began on Sunday afternoon. The movement was sparked by a deadly officer-involved shooting in the foothills two weeks ago.

When asked how he thought people perceived Albuquerque after images of the protest were broadcast around the world, Berry didn't answer directly, but instead pointed out that a small group of the protesters caused major safety concerns and that he was proud of the way APD handled themselves during the situation.

The protest started peacefully around noon at APD headquarters and made its way downtown. But at one point, a group started walking on I-25 in the middle of traffic, forcing police to shut down the interstate. 

Some people also climbed up light poles and onto police substations. Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. The protest ended around midnight.

Berry said one officer was injured during the incident.

During the press conference, Berry also responded to questions about the training police received for dealing with people who have mental health issues. 

"We know that there have been efforts to the crisis intervention training with our officers, we have a Crisis Intervention Team, we have a family advocacy center that can help with issues as well," he said. "We know that we are being very progressive from that standpoint and the bottom line is we can always continue to push, and that's what I as a mayor I intend to do with Chief Eden. He's been on the job just about a month at this point in time, he's already been into my office with a number of initiatives that he would like to address."

Berry said he wasn't sure if any city officials attempted to meet with protesters on Sunday. When asked if there needed to be changes to state law enforcement training requirements, Berry he wasn't prepared to answer that question.

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