Police

Bert Benally

Let’s take a breath. In episode 12, we try to fend off that wild pandemic election news cycle we’ve been living inside of, which can feel like a deluge of disorganized tragedies and failures. And we put the focus on what’s hanging in the balance these next couple of weeks as we cast our ballots.

Blvck Astronaut

Sometimes history repeats itself. When host Khalil Ekulona talks to his African American friends who are parents, he says they express joy and sadness: Joy in watching their kids grow and discover the wonders of life. Sadness in having to repeat conversations with their children about growing up Black in America—the same conversations their parents had with them decades ago. Episode 4 is all about the journey to racial equality, and some of the factors to consider as we travel along the road.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

In the last weeks of July, we saw high temperatures across the country. The streets heated up, and we’re not talking about the weather. We’re talking about federal forces sent to Portland, Chicago, Albuquerque and other cities. The arrival of these agents was met with public outcry and increased skepticism by lawmakers and residents alike. Others support the move. In episode 3, we take a look at what exactly is going on and what it means for our civil liberties and our democracy.

Leslie Granda-Hill / 2020

This week, we get into what has disappeared from our lives—good or bad—during the pandemic. Episode 2 is all about what’s going, going, gone, maybe for good. We learn of attempts to erase people from the Census. We talk to Sen. Martin Heinrich about the erosion of our civil liberties. We reflect on what’s fading from our relationships and mental wellness. We hear from a COVID-19 survivor, so the realities of the virus don’t slip away. We examine the consciousness of community and the loss of a collective future with an international futurist. We reflect on a disappearing chicken and what life was like pre-pandemic. And we try to see and hear a vanishing Rio Grande.

Tony Webster via Flickr / Creative Commons

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. 

Nash Jones / KUNM


The country is grappling with practical steps for ending police brutality and racism in policing. We explore some local ideas in episode 74, from completely burning down the system to moderate reform to minor policy changes. Community and Black Lives Matter organizers, Albuquerque’s mayor and City Councilor Lan Sena, and activists who work with and against police weigh in on what the future of public safety could look like.

The ongoing protests over police brutality is highlighting another ongoing issue: the militarization of police departments.

UNM Center For Southwest Research

On Friday night, June 5, Amelia Brown says they and their friend were shot at by two unidentified men outside Presbyterian Hospital on Central at 9:15 p.m. Brown helped coordinate supplies for a Black Lives Matter protest on June 1 in Albuquerque, and has attended several marches in the last couple weeks. On Friday evening, they were walking to a vigil at UNM, from the site of another demonstration at Civic Plaza downtown that they say had ended before they arrived. Brown says they don’t know who shot at them, but that they are one of several local black activists being targeted and surveilled by both police and groups of armed civilians in recent days.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

 

Every day for over a week, masses of people in Albuquerque have showed up in public to condemn state violence against black people and call for systemic change. Though national narratives have characterized Black Lives Matter protests as volatile and prone to violence, Albuquerque saw thousands of people all week peacefully marching, mourning individuals killed by police, celebrating black culture and speaking out. The events this weekend had different organizers and drew different crowds. City administration made it harder to get to many of them, blocking access to most of the Downtown area with concrete barricades starting Friday.

David_Axe / Creative Commons


The militarization of local police forces has been on display as anti-riot squads have responded to Black Lives Matter protests in cities across the country. Monique Salhab of Albuquerque is a military veteran who fought in the Middle East. She now sits on the National Board of Directors of Veterans for Peace. She spoke with KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona about the rise in military-style tactics among police and what it feels like to fight for justice amid a pandemic.

Wikimedia Commons via CC

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent 50 state police officers to Albuquerque this summer to fight escalating violent crime. Public records show there wasn’t much coordination between state police and Albuquerque police before they came.

Smallman12q via Wikimedia Commons / creative commons license

When Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent 50 state police officers to patrol parts of Albuquerque in mid-May, Mayor Tim Keller announced the operation, saying it was intended to fight violent crime. Officials touted the hundreds of arrests state police officers made, but residents in targeted communities said the sudden over-policing was familiar and felt like a siege.

Pixabay via CC

People in Albuquerque may think getting busted with a little marijuana results in only a ticket and a fine. But state police officers were sent to Albuquerque in May to crack down on crime, and they’re enforcing state law. That means there’s still a way for even small amounts of weed or paraphernalia to put people here in cuffs.

Arianna Sena / KUNM

New Mexico lawmakers on Wednesday, Jan. 30, moved legislation forward that changes the way people who are under 18 are treated when they’re accused of prostitution. Instead of being arrested and subject to criminal punishment, they could be given treatment and services.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Jonathan Sakura looked at the spot where his car was parked outside his home a couple nights ago when someone smashed the rear window and grabbed his girlfriend’s bag. "It’s a bummer. It’s violating," he said. "You know, this is our property. This is our stuff. And somebody taking something that doesn’t belong to them— it’s kinda disheartening, and morale drops a little bit."

Keller And Lewis Faceoff For ABQ Mayor

Oct 4, 2017
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Voters whittled the eight-candidate ballot for mayor down to just two contenders: state Auditor Tim Keller and Westside City Councilor Dan Lewis. About 97,000 people voted in Albuquerque’s election on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and that’s significantly more ballots than the dismal citywide election four years ago.  "Today citizens of our city came out to vote like they haven’t in a long time," Keller told a crowd of supporters.

Wikimedia Commons via CC / Creative Commons

Let’s Talk New Mexico 9/21 8a: It’s the No. 1 issue on voters’ minds heading into the municipal election on October 3. Some mayoral and Council candidates in Albuquerque are calling for more police officers on the force and a new police chief. What do you think it will take to decrease the number of violent crimes and property crimes?

Who Calls Police?

Aug 10, 2017
Tony Webster via Wikimedia Commons CC

KUNM Call In Show 8/17 8a: Call now - 505-277-5866 (local in Albuquerque). Not everyone reaches out to law enforcement when they're in danger or when they're victims of a crime. With the federal government trying to crack down on undocumented immigrants in New Mexico, advocates say even more people here are unwilling to call police for help. But this is an ongoing issue here and all over the country.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

  

When extremist speakers come to town, free speech advocates argue it’s their right under the First Amendment to say whatever they want. But what does it cost to have an event like that on a university campus? Ever since Milo Yiannopoulos' event in January sparked protests, KUNM's been trying to find out. 

Arianna Sena/KUNM

A proposal that would prevent state and local police from detaining or arresting people who are in the U.S. illegally was scheduled to be heard on the Senate floor in Santa Fe this week. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Extremist opinion writer Milo Yiannopoulos delivered a speech at New Mexico’s flagship university in Albuquerque on Friday just hours after President Trump issued an executive order on immigration and refugees. Yiannopoulos champions free speech, but several dissenters were escorted from his event by police.   

LISTEN/WATCH: Second Congressional District Candidate Forum

Oct 28, 2016
KRWG-TV

Second District U.S. Representative Republican Steve Pearce and his challenger businesswoman and engineer Democrat Merrie Lee Soules discussed their priorities and how they plan to serve New Mexicans at a forum in Las Cruces on October 27, 2016. 

 

Juan Labreche / Associated Press

Police shootings around the country are causing protests and outcry, and video footage from many of these shootings is shedding new light on the moments before a person is killed by law enforcement.

Here in New Mexico, a video ignited demonstrations and drew national attention after two Albuquerque Police Department officers shot and killed James Boyd in March of 2014. They’re now on trial for murder.  

AP Photo / Juan Labreche / Associated Press

Defense attorneys in the murder trial of the former Albuquerque police officers who killed James Boyd spent Tuesday trying to pick apart the credibility of an expert witness for the prosecution.

Juan Labreche / Associated Press / Associated Presss

In opening statements in the trial of two former Albuquerque police officers, prosecutor Randi McGinn said the death of homeless camper James Boyd in the Sandia Foothills was no accident or mistake. 

Lawyers delivered opening statements and the Albuquerque Police Department’s chief took the stand in the first day of the trial for two former officers facing murder charges after killing a homeless camper in 2014. 

Rita Daniels / KUNM

After video of police killing a homeless man in Albuquerque went viral in 2014, hundreds of demonstrators began calling for justice and an end to police brutality. A murder trial for those two officers begins Monday, Sept. 19. 

Safe Kids

Aug 8, 2016
Katie Stone

The Children's Hour explored some simple strategies to promote safe habits for kids as we reenter the school year with special guests Albuquerque Police Officer Drobik and our friend Brennan. Plus we had an in studio performance with the Austin Lounge Lizards! Great music, a family events calendar, the KUNM Kids Birthday Club, every Saturday from 9 to 10am on KUNM.

LISTEN: Let's Talk Race, Police And Recent Shootings

Jul 13, 2016
hugovk via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 7/14 8a: This week, we want to hear your response to recent police shootings of African Americans—and the killing of five Dallas police officers. How do you think the shootings of officers in Dallas have affected the national conversation on race and policing? What are the ripple effects of these deaths right here at home in New Mexico? How has the widespread anger and fear affected police officers and their ability to do their jobs? How are activists taking care of themselves in the face of a problem that's hard to gain ground with? 

Sun. 07/19 11a: We asked a number of different stakeholders for their top ideas about improving the relationship between citizens and their law enforcement officers – a relationship that has certainly been strained in some U.S. communities in recent years. Current and former police officers, city councilors, community leaders, police trainers, and criminologists all suggest ways to bring more peace around the sometimes frayed connection between citizens and police.

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