ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s police union is calling for the resignation of a member of the Police Oversight Board. They’re the civilian group that investigates police misconduct. They say she’s too biased for the job.
Over the last few months, the Albuquerque Police Officers Association has been getting complaints about a member of the Police Oversight Board. The board makes recommendations to the chief about officers accused of poor behavior or unnecessary use of force.
“Requesting that Police Oversight Board Member Van Deventer, recuse herself pending investigation,” says John D’Amato.
D’Amato is the attorney for APD’s Union. On Friday, he sent a letter to the chairman of the board, asking for member Chelsea Van Deventer to be removed.
D’Amato’s letter included a series of tweets to illustrate why he believes she should get the boot. In Van Deventer’s Twitter profile, she claims President Trump is a child rapist.
“It’s no secret that she’s not a President Trump supporter, but one of her tweets is that he’s a child rapist. That borders on immaturity,” says D’Amato.
In another tweet, Van Deventer jokingly calls for the death penalty for former state representative Monica Youngblood for driving drunk.
“She has a hidden agenda. She has an audience, and she’s speaking to that audience,” says D’Amato.
Van Deventer wouldn’t go on camera with Tuesday, but says the union is, “cherry picking through my Twitter.” She doesn’t see any relevance the Trump comments have to the POB.
Calling for the death penalty for a DWI was just commentary on Youngblood’s hypocrisy, and points to her countless efforts in the Roundhouse to crack down on drunk drivers and bring back the death penalty.
D’Amato insists the union’s concerns are legitimate. “We don’t want politics to be in play. We don’t want any special treatment. We just want a fair investigation,” he says.
City Council has the final say on who sits on the POB. President Klarissa Pena says they have received this letter, but as of now, they have no reaction.
The ACLU is now involved, accusing the union of bullying for trying to force Van Deventer out. They claim the union is trying to undermine the Department of Justice reforms.