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APD Critics Hopeful About Reform Agreement

Rita Daniels
A judge has approved the terms for reforming New Mexico's largest police department.

A federal judge approved the U.S. Department of Justice’s agreement with Albuquerque to reform the city’s police department this week, which has made some critics of APD hopeful. An investigation revealed that APD engaged in a pattern of unconstitutional policing and use of excessive force.

District Judge Robert C. Brack said the months of negotiations between the city and the Department of Justice were fair and honest.

Peter Simonson, legal director of ACLU New Mexico says the agreement presents a roadmap for reform.

“But it’s not going to be perfect and there are going to be incidents where officers shoot and probably kill people,” Simonson said. “We’ll be watching out for that and will speak up when we feel the department is failing to live up to the measures that it has agreed to.”

The agreement requires more investigations into incidents when officers use force and allows for a civilian oversight body. It also requires officers be disciplined when they fail to use body cameras.

An independent monitor will act as the eyes and ears of the court and oversee implementation of the agreement over the next few years.