Mayor weighs future of chief, chances with Tesla after protests

Updated: 03/31/2014 10:12 PM | Created: 03/31/2014 10:10 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Mayor Richard Berry defended his leadership after hundreds protested the Albuquerque Police Department.

Sunday afternoon and evening, dozens of protesters called for Berry’s newly-appointed police chief, Gorden Eden, to resign.  On Monday, Berry said Eden will stay on the job.

“We have a chief that's been there for 30 days,” Berry said.  “And already, he has come to my office with multiple things he wants to do, from training, to procedural changes, to organizational changes that he feels are the best for the department, best for the community, best for the men and women that work in that department.”

Berry said Eden has routinely welcomed outside agencies to investigate APD’s use of force, especially in connection with the killing of 38-year-old James Boyd, a mentally-ill homeless man, in the foothills on March 16.

Berry confirmed that Eden contacted the Department of Justice on his own.

Aside from the short-term implications of the investigation, Berry said it has not hurt the city’s long-term chances with Tesla Motors.  The company may select Albuquerque as the place to build its new lithium battery factory, which would bring roughly 6,500 jobs with it.

“I've actually asked some of the professionals working on that situation and there's been no communication with anyone along those lines,” Berry said.

He said the fact that the city is not ignoring its problems proves to business leaders that Albuquerque is not a bad place.

“If we weren’t doing that, I think people would be concerned,” Berry said.  “Any city in America that you look at -- you can look up headlines all over the country -- and serious situations occur in all major cities.  It's just how we handle it and I believe we're being very, very aggressive in how we're handling this.”

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