Protestors demand mayor cancel upcoming NRA police shooting competition

Updated: 08/27/2014 6:09 PM | Created: 08/27/2014 4:58 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It was a peaceful protest that started with about 20 people holding a news conference outside Albuquerque's City Hall Wednesday afternoon. Then a smaller group walked upstairs and delivered a letter to Mayor Richard Berry's office, asking him to cancel a controversial police shooting contest in Albuquerque next month.

The city has been hosting the National Rifle Association's Police Shooting Championships for nearly a decade, but some say it's time for the city to stop.

"These are police killing competitions to see who is the best killer," said Kenneth Ellis.

An APD officer shot and killed his son in 2010. A judge ruled the shooting was unjustified.

"I think there should be a police crisis, intervention and de-escalation competition," he said.

Ellis believes the competition sends the wrong message after the U.S. Department of Justice released a scathing report that found APD officers used excessive force and the department had a culture of aggression.

"It's very upsetting that we are hosting a police shooting competition when we have the highest police shooting rate in the county," he said.

But based on a statement sent to KOB from the mayor's office, it doesn't look like Mayor Berry intends to cancel the event.

"The City of Albuquerque hosts and welcomes numerous events per year, including the shooting championships," said spokesperson Breanna Anderson. "We welcome the opportunity to host law enforcement professionals from around the world here in our beautiful city and we thank them for their commitment and service at the local, state and federal levels to keeping our communities and nation safe."    

The competition is scheduled to start on September 13th.

It's expected to draw more than 400 law enforcement officers from around the county.

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