Updated: August 16, 2020 04:23 PM
Created: August 14, 2020 10:17 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The Albuquerque Police Department is facing more calls to be transparent following two officer-involved shootings this week.
The ACLU wants the department to be more transparent in cases of officer-involved shootings.
Barron Jones, senior policy strategist with the ACLU and spokesperson for APD Forward, a community coalition which is aimed at reforming the department, said he's spoken with witnesses who have raised questions about how they handled one of the shootings.
Ken Reiss was killed after calling police to report a home invasion. Police claim Reiss fired at least one shot at officers before an they returned fire.
Jones wants police to release footage from the responding officers' body-cameras. Jones also wants to know how the situation escalated.
"That’s why we’re calling on APD Chief Geier to be open and transparent," he said. "The trust of the community depends on APD’s willingness to be transparent and hold officers accountable.”
Officers shot and killed Jose Vallejos during the altercation.
“It seems to be part of a troubling trend here in Albuquerque and across the nation, where people call law enforcement seeking help, and they or their loved ones end up killed or harmed," Jones said. "It really undermines the function of 911 and the public’s confidence in law enforcement.”
APD spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos sent KOB 4 the following statement in response to the request for more transparency, specifically in the case of Ken Reiss:
Officers walked into a dangerous situation where shots had already been fired and an individual fired at those officers. Tragically, a life was lost and people are grieving that loss. There is a thorough investigation underway into all of the facts and evidence, including the handgun and bullet casings found at the scene. As with all shootings, APD will provide a review of the preliminary investigation that includes video and audio captured from officers’ body-worn cameras. The results of the final investigation will also be available to the public. - Gilbert Gallegos, APD spokesperson
Two events are scheduled for Saturday in remembrance of Reiss, a beloved owner of Carraro’s & Joe’s Place.
A vigil and march will start at noon at the bar.
Another march will begin at 7 p.m. at the Smith's on Yale. It will go to Reiss' house at Garfield and Vassar.
Organizers with the group Black New Mexico Movement said all races should stand up against what they describe as police brutality.
"We’re just tired of it. So, tomorrow we just want to be a voice for the people that are no longer here to let them know that we’re here with them still, and we’re just not going to tolerate that," said Te Berry.
Advocates say they would like police to use other tools besides guns during tense situation, possibly rubber bullets or tear gas.
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