ACLU calls for thorough investigation of officer-involved shooting

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The American Civil Liberties Union is calling for a transparent investigation into deadly police shooting over the weekend involving the Albuqueruqe Police Department. Police say on Saturday afternoon, they had been trying to get 40-year-old Claude Trivino out of the street near San Mateo and Copper.

Witness video appears to show him charging at police and throwing something toward officers before at least one officer used a taser and opened fire. Online records show that Trivino had known mental health issues and had been ordered an emergency mandatory psychological evaluation in December.

“Anytime a routine encounter leads to police shooting and killing a person in our community, we must demand a full and unbiased accounting of how the tragedy came to pass,” said Barron Jones in a news release, Senior Policy Strategist for the ACLU of New Mexico. “APD has a long history of needlessly escalating situations leading to avoidable death and injury, and has consistently failed to investigate these incidents with the proper rigor, transparency, and impartiality. Our community must be assured that proper oversight and accountability will be applied to fatal officer encounters like this one, or public trust can never be restored between police and the people of Albuquerque.”

According to the same news release, in November 2020, Dr. James Ginger, who was appointed by the courts to oversee the reform agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the city addressing a “pattern and practice of civil rights violations” at APD, issued an assessment of APD’s progress towards improving its investigation of use of force incidents.

“Unfortunately, these problems are not restricted to just APD; excessive use of force and police brutality is a systemic problem throughout our state,” said Elaine Maestas in a news release, ACLU of New Mexico Police Accountability Strategist. “New Mexico regularly ranks first or second nationwide in the rate of people killed by police. Our current laws governing use of force have failed to protect communities. Officers here can use deadly force even when it is not absolutely necessary for their safety or the safety of others and when alternatives have not been exhausted.”

The news release states that to address this, reform advocates have introduced Senate Bill 227 that would establish a statewide use of force standard, the strongest of its kind in the nation, and the New Mexico Civil Rights Act (HB4), that would remove barriers to seeking justice in state courts when police violate New Mexicans’ rights.

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