More support for APD popping up on social media

Updated: 04/06/2014 11:22 PM | Created: 04/06/2014 10:33 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Veteran Support for Albuquerque Police Department Facebook group says they do not agree with the actions of the officers involved in the shooting of James Boyd, but this group can relate with the men and women in blue which is why they want to show their support.

In Derek Bennett's eyes, a person in uniform is a person in uniform.

Whether they are overseas, in the military, or a police officer in Albuquerque.

He started the Facebook group, Veteran Support for APD. He says it is to counter the APD protests within the past week.

"Me being an Iraq Veteran, I know that you can do your best, every day, do the best job you can to make a difference and there is still going to be a few people who just ruin it for you," Bennett said.

He says he reviewed the lapel cam video in the shooting of James Boyd.

"We don't condone the James Boyd shooting, we don't," Bennett said. "We understand there were issues going on there that could have gone a different way."

Bennett served three tours for the U.S Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He and his group of Veterans came up with some solutions they think could prevent this from happening again.

"Does there need to be reform there certainly does need to be reform," he said.

At the city council meeting, Veterans will suggest every officer have backup, having two officers per unit.

"Just like the military you got your battle buddy," he said.

The most experienced officers should be assigned to the areas of highest crime and all should receive training to recognize the mentally ill.

"For us Veterans to voice our opinion to say 'we have your back' that’s huge," Bennett said, "That’s huge."

The group is calling for as many veterans as possible to attend Monday's city council meeting and are hoping to present their ideas.

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