Updated: June 04, 2020 06:21 PM
Created: June 04, 2020 01:43 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There is more fallout from a viral video showing MMA fighter Jon Jones meeting with Albuquerque Police Department officers before a Black Lives Matter protest Monday.
A community coalition is now criticizing the meeting — calling it "dangerous and irresponsible."
In the viral video, viewed nearly 19,000 times on Twitter, Albuquerque police officers can be seen meeting with Jon Jones and a group from JacksonWink Academy. One officer appears to be asking the group to help them "de-escalated" the protesters.
"I'm sure you guys can de-escalate just by talking to them, but obviously, with us in uniform, they treat us a little bit different," an officer says to the group. "So I mean, if you guys can talk to them on that level..."
Jon Jones — frustrated with destruction Sunday night – organized the group to protect businesses and keep the peace.
APD Forward, a community coalition aimed at reforming the department, is speaking out against the meeting. The ACLU of New Mexico is part of the coalition.
"We believe that it's extremely damaging and troubling to even give the impression that the Albuquerque Police Department is coordinating with armed civilians," said Barron Jones, the senior policy strategist at the ACLU of New Mexico.
APD already sent out a Tweet on Tuesday saying, "This was not a Department-sanctioned contact, and we are investigating the incident."
Barron Jones said that doesn't excuse what happened.
"Whether this is individuals acting on their own volition, that does not excuse the fact that they're in uniforms, on a street corner, instructing armed civilians to go keep the peace in Albuquerque," Barron Jones said. "And we all know how that can go awry at any second."
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