APD explains reason for undercover officers at protest

Updated: 06/25/2014 7:37 AM | Created: 06/25/2014 7:31 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

Some protesters have demanded to know why Albuquerque police sent undercover officers to Saturday's peaceful protest. Now, APD officials say it was to provide extra security.

In the days just before the event, APD said it received several phone calls threatening specific officers.

"We had one where somebody had called 311 stating that they overheard someone threatening to shoot a police officer," Deputy Chief Eric Garcia said. "We also had a phone call to our 911 dispatch center on Friday, the day before this protest, where an individual threatened to kill police officers."

Officials say at least five undercover officers attended the protest.

In a statement, Police Chief Gorden Eden said: "The Albuquerque Police Department, consistent with the recommended guidelines from the US Department of Justice, had police officers attend the public rally without disclosing their identity for the sole purpose of monitoring for public safety issues. This was a concern because even though this protest was peaceful, previous events included individuals armed with an assault rifle, individuals shutting down the interstate and damaging property. Officers at such events are normally assigned to watch for criminal behavior such as theft, emergency situations or otherwise suspicious activities in order to ensure public safety, regardless of the topic or nature of the event."

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