Department of Justice meeting with local activists

Updated: 01/07/2014 5:17 PM | Created: 01/07/2014 12:25 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Department of Justice will be in a closed meeting Tuesday night with community activists. The DOJ won’t say what the meeting is about but KOB Eyewitness News 4 learned they might give an update on their investigation into APD.

It’s been more than a year since the DOJ started investigating APD’s use of force. But one group in Albuquerque has been watching the department for much longer than that.

“Unfortunately, there’s a culture within the police department that’s problematic,” said Andrew Lipman with the Task Force for Public Safety.

Lipman said his group noticed a number of problems within the department since 2010. That’s when APD officers were involved in a number of shootings.

Lipman said his top concern is possible civil rights violations. “Roughed up, homeless people, roughed up. Their backpacks taken away. Um, it seems as though there’s a breakdown between the police and the public,” added Lipman.

Lipman’s group reached out to the DOJ themselves, requesting an investigation into the department. “We sent them a great deal of information: Statistics, how many shootings, when they’ve occurred, where they’ve occurred, who they were, what were the circumstances,” said Lipman.

Lipman thinks the only solution is new leadership. “It is clear to the community and to our organization that there’s a culture within the Albuquerque Police Department that needs to change and it’s hard to change a culture if the same people are still in control,” added Lipman. 

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