Updated: Saturday, 22 Oct 2011, 10:52 PM MDT
Published : Saturday, 22 Oct 2011, 10:52 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - APD is still trying to rebuild its reputation after a long list of officer-involved shootings, and it remains a lingering sore for the City of Albuquerque.
Saturday, it got another dose of criticism from a group of family members of some of the people killed in officer-related shootings.
Through tears and prayers those families gathered with one another at Robinson Park in Downtown Albuquerque.
"They justified the shooting all the way clear to the grand jury and I just can't see how that can happen. My son didn't go to war to fight for this type of democracy that's failing," said Kenneth Guy Ellis about how his son who was shot and killed.
Angry messages were expressed about Albuquerque's Police Department from fathers and mothers, who've been pushing for change for months.
Collectively, the group says they will be united against what they call Albuquerque's injustices, ranging from police brutality to budget cuts.
City Councilmember Rey Garduño was in attendance, holding one of the many candles lit for the 14 men shot and killed in 20 months.
Previous attempts to get the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the shootings have gone nowhere so far. The most recent attempt ended with city councilors voting unanimously to go on record saying the city will fully cooperate if the federal government decides to investigate.
"We hope that this investigation occurs and we hope that we can come to a conclusion. And if we find out if there are some bad folks in the police department that they are gotten rid of immediately," Rey Garduño.
Garduño was behind an attempt to formally request the federal government to investigate APD, but the measure was vetoed by Albuquerque Mayor R.J. Berry.
City officials have responded to the criticism so far. A recent $60,000 study evaluated the department's use of deadly force, resulting in a long list of recommendations and changes for APD. For instance, officers are now wearing cameras on their lapels to document their actions.