Updated: Tuesday, 27 Nov 2012, 1:20 PM MST
Published : Sunday, 04 Sep 2011, 11:41 AM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - City councilors who tried to invite the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Albuquerque Police Department now say they will try to overrided the mayor's veto of their bill.
The large number of APD officer-involved shootings--20 in the last 20 months--is fueling the fight between city councilors and the mayor.
On Wednesday councilors will try to undo Mayor Richard J. Berry's veto of their call for a federal probe.
"To veto that, I think it's just misguided," District 6 Councilor Rey Garduño said. "I think it's petty, and on some level I think it's reactionary."
In August Garduño and four other councilors voted to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to look into APD's policies and procedures when it comes to deadly force.
The mayor vetoed it.
"What came up from City Council is not something that Mayor Berry felt comfortable in signing," Chris Ramirez, a spokesman for the mayor, said.
The mayor cited several reasons for the veto including a recent $60,000 study evaluating the department's use of deadly force prepared by the Police Executive Research Forum , an organization of law-enforcement executives from around the country. Berry also listed existing discussions with the DOJ and his concern over a last-minute amendment to the legislation.
"The way that that amendment came through may have violated the Open Meetings Act," Ramirez said.
Garduño, however, said there are no legal issues with the bill or amendment. Garduño says the mayor's veto was misguided, he added, and the PERF Report, is full of misstatements
So for now, both groups agree to disagree although they do agree on one thing: the DOJ does not need permission from either to investigate.
"Is it just posturing on politicians going back and forth on this issue?" Ramirez said. "Unfortunately that is what maybe it looks like."
Garduño dismissed the idea of political posturing and said waiting for the DOJ to initiate a full investigation on its own is not an option.
"We need clarification. We need a third party, if you will, a third party that doesn't have any interest on proving or disapproving anything," Garduño said.
The mayor has said he is not against a federal probe of APD and vetoed the request simply because it wasn't a good piece of legislation.
The council will need six votes to override the veto at the council meeting Wednesday. Supporters only had five yes votes to pass it the first time around.