Former city employee posts controversial comment on immigrant deaths

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s an image that’s hard to look at. An immigrant father and his infant daughter, dead in the water after drowning while trying to cross the Rio Grande.

It shows the reality of what’s happening to families crossing the border illegally, but Wednesday after KRQE News 13 shared the Associated Press story to Facebook, a woman commented, “Oh well,” outraging many people in the community.

Former Corporal Kathryn Waite with the city’s Animal Welfare Department is the one who posted that comment.

“It was a community member who actually inboxed to us [who] was concerned, and asked if we would publish it to our page,” said Selinda Guerrero.

Guerrero is with a local watchdog group, APD & BCSO in Crisis. She said the comment is concerning because recent pictures posted to Waite’s Facebook page make it appear as though she still works for the city.

“Whether or not she’s an active employee or not, she’s representing the city of Albuquerque in that capacity in those photos,” said Guerrero.

Since Animal Welfare and Albuquerque Police have similar uniforms, many people thought she was with APD. Some even called the department asking how it could have hired her.

Despite what city agency she worked for, Guerrero says it raises a bigger question. “So, I think if there’s a culture within the employee base, that also needs to be addressed,” she said.

The city confirms Kathryn Waite never actually worked for APD. Officials say she resigned from Animal Welfare last April. KRQE News 13 reached out to Waite but have not heard back.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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