ACLU of New Mexico

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Let’s Talk New Mexico 7/30, 8a: The Trump administration announced last week that it’s sending 35 federal agents to Albuquerque, saying they’ll fight violent crime as part of Operation Legend. But exactly what that means is unclear, and many people fear the agents will crack down on protestors, or target immigrants or low-income, largely Brown and Black communities that have borne the brunt of some past police operations. This week on Let’s Talk New Mexico we’ll talk with elected officials and community organizers about this deployment of federal agents, and we want to hear from you.

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A group of New Mexico prosecutors, defense attorneys and advocates filed a lawsuit in federal district court Wednesday to block Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from arresting undocumented immigrants in and around New Mexico courthouses, saying those arrests violate federal law and impede access to justice.

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A bill that requires all law enforcement officers in New Mexico to wear body cameras passed out of the state legislature Monday and now awaits Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s signature. Research out of George Mason University last year, which reviewed 70 studies on the body-worn cameras, found that the devices don’t have a significant or consistent impact on most officer behavior, or how community members view the police. KUNM’s Nash Jones spoke with Barron Jones, Senior Policy Analyst with the ACLU of New Mexico, about whether mandating police body cameras statewide is a meaningful step for New Mexico to take as it seeks to reform policing in response to renewed calls for change here and across the country. 

Yasmin Khan / KUNM

 

UPDATED Tuesday, April 6, 1p: Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an order on Monday, April 6, directing the New Mexico Corrections Department to compile a list of inmates eligible for early release, in order to reduce incarcerated populations and slow the spread of coronavirus. To be eligible for release, prisoners must have a parole plan and a release date less than 30 days away, and they cannot be serving time for domestic abuse, sex offenses or felony DWI.

The order comes days after dozens of people organized COVID-safe car rallies Friday in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, calling on the governor and sheriff’s departments to release people from prisons, jails and ICE detention centers.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 3/27, 8a: The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply shaken many of our basic systems in just a few weeks. Changes that once seemed unthinkable to many, like releasing prisoners, closing entire school districts, or disallowing evictions, have now come to pass. How are people and institutions adapting to provide necessities during this crisis? What might a post-coronavirus world look like? We want to hear from you. Email LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show at (505) 277-5866. 

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The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico on Monday, Nov. 4, filed the third in a series of lawsuits charging that prison guards are sexually assaulting and abusing women who are locked up. All three lawsuits say these individual cases are part of a larger systemic problem in the state’s Department of Corrections.

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The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico filed a second lawsuit Monday, July 29, on behalf of a woman who says she was subject to repeated sexual abuse from a corrections officer while she was in the Springer prison. The lawsuit says her complaints weren’t taken seriously by prison administration, and the accused officer maintains his job and position today.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

UPDATE 12/4: A teacher accused of targeting Native American students in an incident on Halloween resigned from her job with Albuquerque Public Schools, effective Friday, November 30.

Former Cibola High School teacher Mary Eastin confirmed on Tuesday that she chose to end her employment at the district.

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The American Civil Liberties Union says laws against panhandling around the country violate free speech rights. The local branch of the ACLU sent letters to 10 cities in New Mexico on Monday, August 28, demanding that they strike down those panhandling bans.