Updated: Tuesday, 27 Nov 2012, 1:05 PM MST
Published : Friday, 22 Oct 2010, 7:11 AM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Community activists hope to bring awareness and change to a police department they believe is too violent.
The leaders of Copwatch, Vecinos United and Albuquerque Answer Coalition said this year's 12 shootings involving Albuquerque Police Department officers is too much and might constitute police brutality.
They plan to hold a rally outside police headquarters at 4th Street and Roma Avenue NW on Friday at 3:30 p.m. It's part of a nationwide awareness campaign called National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality.
They said they want to send a message to the police department, community leaders and the citizens of Albuquerque.
"There are some APD folks who aren't necessarily safe and who the community is scared of and it needs to change," said Derek Minnobloom who heads up Copwatch, a group that videotapes officers at work. "Traditionally if someone's got a camera on and there's five people watching they're going to act a little differently."
The community activists want to see more crisis-intervention training (CIT) among Albuquerque police officers. They say the 40 hours cadets now receive in the academy is not enough and that more nonlethal training with beanbags and Tasers is needed.
Minnobloom, who recently moved to Albuquerque from the East coast, said he's seen police brutality in other communities. News 13 asked him if it's fair to compare Albuquerque police to other departments across the country.
"From my prospective, NYPD and Philly police, they might also be a violent police force, but they have CIT training, more of it and de-escalation skills," he said.
Tony Padilla runs the Albuquerque chapter of Answer Coalition. News 13 talked to him before the latest APD officer-involved shooting, which took place in Tucumcari but involved an Albuquerque police officer.
"Anytime you have 11 police shootings in a year, in less than a year, in nine months in fact, I would say that's a bit excessive," Padilla said.
APD Chief Ray Schultz said he has no plans to address the rally Friday. He said he respects the activists' right to protest but questions their tactics.
"I think they're trying to play on people's emotions," Schultz said.
He said he wants the community to keep in mind that his officers have to make a split-second decision about how they're going to defend themselves. And Schultz said that guns are not always the weapon of choice.
"Last year in 2009 the Albuquerque Police Department utilized the Taser in 190 applications," he said.
The activists have invited families of the 12 people shot by APD this year to attend the hour-long rally. Some are expected to attend.
Later that evening, the group will walk down Central Avenue with their signs. Then Copwatch will hit the streets with their video cameras in hand.