APD chief and downtown barber share perspectives
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Worlds are colliding at Burque’s Fynest Barbershop In Downtown Albuquerque.
APD Chief Harold Medina has been coming to this particular barbershop to get his haircut for the past two years.
“And I started talking to Robert and heard his story. And like, everybody goes through life and everybody evolves,” said Medina.
Robert Sanchez cuts hair for a lot of Albuquerque police officers. His shop is right across the street from APD headquarters in downtown Albuquerque.
Sanchez is very familiar with this part of town.
“BCDC right here. When this jail was standing up I got my first felony charge was assault on a police officer, with a deadly weapon,” said Sanchez.
He’s also familiar with the criminal justice system.
“From that first felony, man, it was thug life – all the way until I was about 31,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez identifies as a gang member even though he’s no longer active. He says he’s changed.
“I’m not doing that. I’m doing – I see life as a bigger picture,” said Sanchez.
The chief comes to hear his perspective, and he recalls some of their earliest conversations.
“I still remember the word you said, it’s like, it’s so cheap even people living on the streets are easily able to obtain it. He goes, and that’s when it’s going to really – that’s when it’s bad, when the bums have it,” said Medina.
Sanchez knows a thing or two about drugs.
“I was addicted for – on opiates for lot of years, man,” he said.
He says part of the change he’s undergone is getting clean. The other part is the lines he says he won’t cross now.
“The streets will just eat you up, bro, if you let it,” said Sanchez. “Once you’re in that lifestyle, and it’s a hard thing to walk away from. Right?”
They have found they share perspectives.
Watch the video above for more.