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The KUNM news team's coverage of the 2020 legislative session and its impacts

YNMG & COVID: Black Lives Matter In Albuquerque

Marisa Demarco / KUNM
Black Lives Matter demonstrators on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, give speeches in front of the Albuquerque Police Department and Bernalillo County Sheriff's station in Downtown Albuquerque.

Albuquerque residents have joined people around the world in protest following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In the media, peaceful demonstrations have been conflated with property damage done by smaller groups of people, playing into narratives that give rise to aggressive responses like what the Trump administration is pushing. In episode 70, we talk about how law enforcement responses to recent protests seem to differ for different groups. We speak with an organizer, a youth detained after a protest, Albuquerque Police Department leadership, and a longtime criminal justice reporter.

We hear from Noah Tapia, a teenager who was thrown on the ground by APD's riot team last Thursday night after a protest in Albuquerque’s International District, and had his car taken by police. Tapia and three other youth of color were detained and later released, with no charges filed.

We ask Albuquerque Police Department Deputy Chief Harold Medina about the disparity between militarized police response to Black Lives Matter protests and the lack of visible police presence at an anti-shutdown protest in April.

Selinda Gerrero, long-time organizer around police violence, incarceration, and mutual aid, helped organize last Thursday’s Black Lives Matterdemonstration. Her husband Clifton White was arrested on parole violations days after he was pulled over driving Tapia's car to his home for safekeeping last Thursday. Guerrero says her husband's arrest was retaliation for their activism.

KUNM news director Hannah Colton gives an update about armed militia men from out of town who showed up to Monday night's protest in the UNM area, alarming demonstrators and intimidating a group of Native people as they entered their office at the end of the night.

Criminal justice reporter Jeff Proctor talks with KUNM's Marisa Demarco about the confounding lack of race and ethnicity data in New Mexico’s criminal justice system. 

Plus: a look at a history of overpolicing in Albuquerque’s International District, like when State Police swarmed the area for nearly two months last year. 

New Mexico COVID News Update:  


The state announced 122 new positive tests today, bringing the total confirmed cases to 8,140. On Tuesday, the New Mexico Corrections Department reported 116 new positive cases in the privately run Otero County Prison Facility in Chaparral, after testing 164 inmates over the weekend. That prison now has 162 state inmates with COVID-19, plus 183 cases among people being held there by federal agencies. 


Eight more people in New Mexico died of COVID-19 today, said the Department of Health, and the death toll now stands at 375. 


The state Department of Workforce Solutions, along with other state agencies, is launching a series of virtual town halls for employers with resources about how to modify their operations to comply with public health orders. The first virtual discussion is planned for Monday, June 8. 


Albuquerque Public Schools announced classes will start on August 12, KOB reports, and they’re still exploring what that will look like: full capacity, learning from home, or a combination.


Did you attend a BLM protest, and what was your experience? We want to know. Share your demonstration stories by calling: (505) 218-7084 and leaving us a message. We could roll them into a future episode.


Your New Mexico Government is a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS, and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage is provided, in part, by the Thornburg Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the New Mexico Local News Fund.

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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