ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – While Albuquerque protesters marched in solidarity with Baltimore Wednesday afternoon, Albuquerque’s streets were a far cry from the chaos seen in Baltimore over the past few days.
A group of more than 100 marchers took to Central Avenue near the University of New Mexico, forcing Albuquerque Police Department to close the street between Girard Boulevard and Yale Boulevard for about an hour and a half.
Many held signs reading “Black Lives Matter” while others marched with signs decrying police violence. A few of those signs called for justice for Freddie Gray, the young black man whose death stemming from his time in police custody sparked the unrest in Baltimore.
“We have a system here that abuses its power and we want to change that,” said Onesimus Al-Amin with Black Men in Motion.
While police had a heavy presence nearby in case things took an ugly turn, the protests remained peaceful.
Ivey Janette McClelland, who came out to march, says that peace is far from guaranteed.
“Albuquerque is one police incident away from it turning into Baltimore or Ferguson or New York,” McClelland said.
A year ago, it was indeed a very different scene. Protests over the police shooting of homeless camper James Boyd turned ugly. A police substation in Nob Hill was vandalized, while others took the opportunity to hang from a stoplight. APD needed tear gas to clear the streets that night.