police violence

This is the second story in the Mountain West News Bureau series "Elevated Risk," a project powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Cole Stump was a Montanan, through and through. The 29-year-old citizen of the Chippewa-Cree Tribe was raised on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation in the north-central part of the state and had family ties to the Fort Peck Reservation in the northeast corner. He was a loving father of five and a skilled ranch hand.

This is the first story in the Mountain West News Bureau series "Elevated Risk," a project powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Last summer, parks and streets across the country filled with the sound of violins. They were played by people protesting the death of 23-year-old violinist Elijah McClain. The young black man was walking home from a convenience store in Aurora, Colo. when he was stopped by the police after someone called saying he looked "sketchy."

No More Normal: The Real Crime

Oct 18, 2020
Lonnie Anderson

Attack ads and contemporary political rhetoric about crime have a disturbing campaign ancestor: The Willie Horton ad that may have cost Michael Dukakis the presidential election in 1988. It relied on racism for its efficacy, and it ushered in an era of so-called "tough-on-crime" laws and posturing that nearly broke criminal legal systems, like the one in Albuquerque. Executive Producer and longtime criminal justice reporter Marisa Demarco navigates in Episode 13 how racist, fear-based electioneering warped the country's approach to crime. That continues to this day, favoring quick vengeance over long-term solutions that might have a real impact on crime rates. It's an addictive cycle: These methods, in fact, might be a big part of creating the problem candidates are promising to solve with them when they're counting on fear to salvage their flagging campaigns. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

During the presidential debate a week ago, moderator Chris Wallace asked President Trump to denounce white supremacy. Trump sidestepped the question and instead told a white supremacist group to “stand back and stand by.” The next day, I caught up with Art Simoni, who once would have called himself conservative, and who was my editor when I was a student reporter nearly 20 years ago.

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twbuckner / CREATIVE COMMONS

Rev. William Barber has travelled to New Mexico and around the country, organizing with the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call For a Moral Revival. The movement extends from the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as Cesar Chavez, with a vision of poor and low-wealth people and their “moral allies” coming together to make systemic change. Reporter Russell Contreras spoke with Rev. Barber for New Mexico PBS and asked him why poverty should be on the agenda during the 2020 election in New Mexico. 

No More Normal: The Struggle Continues

Aug 9, 2020
Blvck Astroknot

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.

Nash Jones / KUNM

Rallies and marches for racial justice have drawn thousands to the streets of New Mexico’s largest city this summer, but protest looked different for one 67-year-old Black resident of an Albuquerque suburb. Every weekday for a month, Elizabeth Ward stood ­­– and sometimes sat – with a Black Lives Matter sign on a dusty street corner in Rio Rancho. The sprawling city’s population is whiter and more conservative than Albuquerque’s, with an all-Republican governing body. 

Let's Talk Preventing Violence From The Ground Up

Aug 5, 2020
Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico THU 8/6, 8a: With federal agents being sent to Albuquerque to fight violent crime as part of Operation Legend, many in the community are pushing back, saying more police officers aren’t what’s needed to make things safer. This week on the call-in show, we’ll look beyond the traditional criminal justice system, and discuss community-led and public health approaches to preventing violence.

No More Normal: Disappearing Acts

Jul 27, 2020
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.

New Mural Honors Victims Of State Violence In N.M.

Jul 20, 2020
Hannah Colton / KUNM

Communities across the country are demanding justice for people killed by police. In Albuquerque, the SouthWest Organizing Project is creating a mural to honor victims of police shootings and other forms of state violence in New Mexico. On Friday, organizers invited community members to gather and write the names of victims. KUNM spoke with some folks there. 

YNMG & COVID: How Are You Doing?

Jun 26, 2020
pxhere via CC


In episode 82, we discuss how the question “How are you?” is part of documenting changing people and a changing globe. The answer reveals a lot about us. Are we good? We hear from a high school athlete who is worried about going back to a crowded campus, a woman who lost her mother to COVID-19, an anti-police brutality activist who sees focused protesters demanding positive local change, a community organizer whose family was torn apart after their activism, and an advocate who networks community groups to pay people to make masks. We know everyone out there is working hard in one way or another. So, how are you?  

The youngest stars are shown as red while more evolved stars are shown as blue.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA / Creative Commons

It’s a weird time. We’ve got a global pandemic, an uprising against racist police violence and a special legislative session dropped in the middle of it—the likes of which no one’s ever seen before. Maybe one that people still aren’t seeing because there have been so many access issues. In episode 79, we dig in to bring you what’s new and developing with the emergency legislative session. What bills have been passed, what is on the way and what is being held until January are just a few of the topics we cover. We talk with journalists from New Mexico PBS and the NM Political Report. We also hear from an advocate who is on the forefront of voting rights in tribal lands.

YNMG & COVID: Keeping An Eye On You

Jun 12, 2020
Dominic Smith via Flickr CC


In episode 75, we're talking data privacy, surveillance, sophisticated bots, racially biased tech and misinformation on social media in the time of COVID, BLM and the upcoming election. We check in with researchers, privacy advocates and an artist/activist, who talk about how our data is valuable to corporations or governments that want to exploit their knowledge of us for policing, political or capitalistic reasons.

Hannah Colton / KUNM


Police violence takes many forms, and some communities in Albuquerque experience it much more than others. On Let's Talk New Mexico this week, we'll hear about how law enforcement has responded to Black Lives Matter protests over the last week in Albuquerque. How do you see police operating in your community? What needs to happen to end racist police violence in New Mexico? Join the conversation by emailing letstalk@kunm.org, or call in live at 277-5866.

Women Call For Action On Many Injustices At March

Jan 22, 2018
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

People took to the streets all over the world, around the country and here in New Mexico for a second year of women’s marches. The concerns they raised were broad, including protecting the environment, fighting systemic racism, health care access, police violence and immigration reform. 

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.  

Expert Witness Says APD Created Danger

Sep 20, 2016
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.

Trial Begins Monday For APD Officers Accused Of Murder

Sep 15, 2016
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. 

Native Activist Talks Police Violence

Jul 14, 2016
Melissa Tso member of the Red Nation and the Party for Socialism and Liberation

Police violence against people of color has been at the forefront of national debate in recent months. And in New Mexico, a group advocating for indigenous concerns called the Red Nation has been active on this issue since the killing of James Boyd two years ago.