Mayor Keller, city officials address downtown Albuquerque riot, business reopenings

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mayor Keller reflected on the group of individuals who caused damage to downtown Albuquerque during a riot that erupted following a peaceful protest on Sunday evening. During the mayor’s daily coronavirus briefing, the mayor called for the destruction to stop.

“I want to be clear that the protesters in our city are not the ones causing the harm and damage and putting lives at risk. Unfortunately, small groups of agitators are distracting and convoluting from the message the protesters are trying to convey and in our city we are seeing the same dynamic,” said Mayor Keller. “And unfortunately, it is doing nothing but of course hurt our city, hurt the very business owners, the very city that we’re trying to make better in every way including with respect to racism and social justice.”

Mayor Keller stated that a separate group of individuals were responsible for vandalizing local businesses and historical locations that were already suffering as a result of the pandemic. Businesses including Red Door, Humble Coffee, Filling Philly’s, One Central, and Standard Diner were among the businesses that were damaged.

The mayor explained that the KiMo Theatre was also damaged and dozens of firearms were also looted from at least one gun store and he is very grateful no one was injured in the riot. Albuquerque Police Department Chief Mike Geier stated that vandals made it to the roof at the KiMo Theatre and officials were very concerned that the building would be set on fire.

The city will help small businesses that were damaged and need to be boarded up as a result of the riot. Businesses are asked to call 311 for assistance with repairs to windows.

Monday morning, dozens of workers including four dump trucks, two street sweepers took to the streets to help clean up the destruction caused. Solid Waste crews were also at the scene attempting to remove graffiti. APD is expected to reopen the downtown streets later on Monday.

“Now to those out there in peaceful protest, we hear you and we will not tolerate violence but we absolutely welcome protest,” said Keller.

Deputy Chief Medina stated that two individual were arrested for misdemeanor crimes. The names of those individuals have not been released at this time.

Mayor Keller stated that they will not be enlisting the help of the National Guard at this time. At this time, there is no estimate on the amount of damage done during the riot.

Businesses and Services

Starting June 1, the city’s summer food programs will begin. Cafes at golf courses will also resume in-dining services at 50% capacity. The Environmental Health Department will be holding inspections at food establishments and will also be providing education on safe distancing practices and ensuring businesses are adhering to rules established by the governor’s health order.

The Albuquerque Fire Department will be also be offering education during this time to ensure businesses are following capacity guidelines. The Botanic Garden will open on June 2 with timed ticketing meaning that citizens will have to call in to receive a ticket to visit the garden in a timely manner to prevent mass gatherings in one location.

Libraries will open with limited services starting on Tuesday, June 2. Limited summer programs at community centers will begin on June 8. City pools will also open for lap swimming and limited lessons.

Balloon Fiesta Park will be open for day-use as well as the Balloon Fiesta Golf Center. On June 9, Tingley Beach will open with free timed ticketing. Albuquerque Rapid Transit will begin service in the corridor on June 13 with full service resuming on June 15.

Monday restaurants can operate indoor dine-in service at 50% of maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-safe practices.

What can open June 1

  • Restaurants may operate indoor dine-in service at 50% of maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-safe practices.
    • Bar and counter seating prohibited; no standing service.
    • Six-feet of distance between tables of seated customers.
    • Discontinue services stations that require customers to congregate
  • Hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, massage services and nail salons may operate at 25% of maximum occupancy.
    • Accept clients on an appointment-only basis.
  • Indoor malls may open at 25% of maximum occupancy.
    • Loitering prohibited; food courts must remain closed.
  • Gyms may operate at 50% of maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-safe practices.
    • Pools may be used only for lap-swimming and lessons of up to two students; pools must otherwise adhere to CDC guidelines for pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds.
    • Personal training permitted for up to two trainees.

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