Mayor Keller signs My Brother’s Keeper Mayor’s Pledge on Friday

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mayor Tim Keller and Albuquerque officials held a press conference on Friday, June 12 to discuss the My Brother’s Keeper Mayor’s Pledge, also known as former President Barack Obama’s Mayor Pledge, as well as ongoing police reform in the city.

General updates

  • The New Mexico Department of Health has announced special statewide COVID-19 testing hours for food industry workers including employees at restaurants, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, distribution centers, and food manufacturing facilities. 
  • There will be drive-thru COVID-19 testing available on June 13 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Mexican Consulate in downtown Albuquerque.
  • As stated in the governor’s most recent update to the state health order, on Friday, June 12, breweries will be allowed to have customers sit in outdoor and patio seating at 50% occupancy. Beginning Monday, June 15, breweries will be allowed 50% maximum occupancy for indoor seating, as well.
  • Mayor Keller reminded businesses that the city will allow restaurants to have “sidewalk seating” in an attempt to assist local restaurants in reopening by expanding their capacities.

Emergency Declaration

Mayor Keller signed the sixth emergency declaration on Friday to reflect past designations to include the governor’s recent order. Declaring an emergency at the city level also allows Albuquerque to receive cost reimbursement and is required as the declarations expire. The declaration also outlines Albuquerque specific implementations such as supporting childcare and safety net services for the most vulnerable in the community.

My Brother’s Keeper Mayor’s Pledge

Mayor Keller signed the nationwide pledge by the Obama Foundation that is a call for mayors and city officials as well as police oversight agencies to address police use of force policies. The pledge calls on mayors to perform the following actions:

  • Review police use of force policies
  • Engage communities by including a diverse range of input, experiences, and stories in your review
  • Report the findings of your review to the community and seek feedback
  • Reform the community’s police use of force policies

In 90 days, My Brother’s Keeper will release a report listing all of the cities that have taken the pledge and their progress. Mayor Keller stated that the Albuquerque Police Department is different than other agencies as they have already been on the path to reform but that there is still a long way to go.

“We know that we have literally hundreds of APD officers each and every day trying to do the right thing and officers that save lives and protect us and keep us safe but we also know that we make mistakes and so we’ve got to learn from those mistakes and also bring accountability to those mistakes and that continues to be what we are committed to do,” said Mayor Keller.

The mayor said that this process started by changing the leadership at APD and by putting a deputy in charge of reform. He stated that last year they finished a review process of the department’s use of force policies that all officers are being re-trained on.

Providing a breakdown of the four aspects of the pledge, APD Deputy Chief Eric Garcia said they review their use of force policy every year and that they welcome public input. The public can submit feedback on policies through the city’s website.

APD holds meetings through its Office of Policy Analysis to review its findings and to present proposed changes to use of force policies. The public may attend meetings and provide feedback.

What to do if you experience racism?

The lead attorney and Head of the Office of Civil Rights, Torri Jacobus explains that if you experience racism you can contact her office to file a discrimination complaint. This can be done online at cabq.gov/civilrights or by calling 505-768-4595.

The office will discuss the facts with you as well as your options which include filing a complaint and obtaining information to advocate for yourself. The office also provides training for individuals and groups.

The office may tell you that they cannot help if it involves the federal government, however, Jacobus encourages individuals to still contact the Office of Civil Rights to determine other options and connect you to additional services. If you are a victim of a hate crime you should call 911.

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