"Operation Lilly" To Discourage Road Rage, APD Release Skate Park Shooting Video

Dec 12, 2015

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NM Officials Say 'Operation Lilly' Aims To Curb Road RageThe Associated Press

Law enforcement officials say they are targeting reckless and aggressive drivers with Operation Lilly, an initiative that puts more patrol cars on the streets in the Albuquerque area.

Operation Lilly is named for 4-year-old Lilly Garcia, who was shot and killed on Interstate-40 during a road rage dispute.

Her parents stood with Gov. Susana Martinez and about 40 law enforcement officers Friday as the governor, Mayor Richard Berry and State Police Chief Pete Kassetas announced Operation Lilly.

Kassetas said the multi-agency program involving state police, Albuquerque police and the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department is funded by an overtime grant under the state Department of Transportation.

It started Nov. 19 with more officers on patrol to specifically look for vehicles that are speeding, following other cars too closely, racing or changing lanes unsafely.

Billboards have also gone up saying "End Road Rage."

Albuquerque Police Release Video Of Skate Park ShootingThe Associated Press

Albuquerque police have released videos the department says shows a teenager being fatally shot during an altercation at the Los Altos Skate Park nine months ago.

A Bernalillo County District Court judge on Thursday ordered the police department to fully produce all items sought by Jaquise Lewis' mother and her attorney since April.

Police complied with the order Friday.

Munah Green filed a lawsuit against Albuquerque and its police department over the shooting, accusing police of her 17-year-old son's wrongful death and civil rights violations. The non-jury trial began Nov. 20.

At the heart of the records request is a cellphone video that police say shows Lewis firing into the crowd and being killed in self-defense on March 22.

Green says she's seen the video and her son is innocent.

NMHU Partners With Dine College On Distance LearningThe Associated Press

New Mexico Highlands University is using federal funds to expand opportunities for Native American students through a new distance-learning system.

The effort calls for the installation of new technology that will allow students at six Dine College locations in Arizona and New Mexico to access advanced classes offered by Highlands University, which is hundreds of miles away.

Nearly a half-million dollars is being provided by U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development through a distance-learning telemedicine program.

New Mexico Highlands University also recently announced the creation of an indigenous knowledge center within its school of social work. The goal is to recruit more indigenous students.

Highlands officials say Native American students now make up nearly 8 percent of the school's undergraduate population.

Activists Present 'Letters Of Support' To New Mexico MosqueThe Associated Press

A coalition of Christian and Jewish leaders presented an Albuquerque mosque dozens of "letters of support" after remarks by GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

Activists from the Blessed Oscar Romero Catholic Community and the Albuquerque Center for Peace & Justice gave the letters Friday to the Islamic Center of New Mexico and said they were a gesture of "solidarity" with New Mexico Muslims.

Advocates wrote the letters after Trump called for a moratorium on Muslim immigrants coming into the U.S. and suggested that the federal government put mosque under surveillance.

Imam Shafi Abdul Aziz says the letters were "heartfelt" and thanked advocates for thinking of New Mexico Muslims.

Rev. Francis Quintana of the Catholic group says activists had no choice but to speak out after Trump's comments.

Man Pleads Guilty To Submitting False Albuquerque VA ClaimsThe Associated Press

A man accused of submitting false and fraudulent claims to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albuquerque has pleaded guilty in the case.

Prosecutors say 55-year-old Tomas Jaramillo entered his plea Friday in federal court.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Jaramillo will be sentenced to five years of probation and must pay nearly $11,500 in restitution to the VAMC as the victim of his crimes.

Jaramillo was indicted in September for submitting 173 fraudulent vouchers to collect payments for roundtrip travel to attend medical appointments from June 2009 through July 2010.

Jaramillo admitted that he travelled to the VAMC in Bernalillo County to obtain medical treatment and falsely claimed that he traveled from Socorro to do so and received $11,439 in travel reimbursements.