The review focused on officer-involved shootings from the first six months of 2023. According to APD’s crime stats, there were seven officer-involved shootings within the first six months of the year, with three of those shootings being fatal.
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After a record number of police shooting cases last year, Albuquerque Police says it’s trying to better track what led up to them and why officers are pulling the trigger.
Chief Harold Medina suggested today that in many of the shootings, they believe the suspects were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. “When we get back the toxicology we find that that crisis was also compounded by the use of illegal dangerous narcotics,” said Chief Medina.
Out of the seven cases APD has reviewed so far, the Chief says de-escalation tactics were only used in two of the shootings. They found other cases where they determined de-escalation wasn’t feasible.
One of the most notable shootings happened at the end of June at Lomas and Louisiana. That’s where two innocent bystanders were shot at a bus stop, as officers shot and killed a man armed with a knife.
APD’s newer working group that reviews shooting cases found officers didn’t have enough time to use less than lethal force before they fired guns.
The officers involved in that case are now back at work. “A lot of these individuals suffer from mental health crisis but the fact of the matter is in these seven shootings the Albuquerque Police Department has no prior interactions and did not have these individuals in our system as someone we had dealt with during mental health crisis,” said Medina.