It even hit close to home for the Bernalillo County sheriff after a convicted felon released on an ankle monitor is accused of shooting at his brother.
“Obviously, I’m pissed off to this point.”
That’s how Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen is feeling about the rise in gun violence around the state as his own brother became the target of a recent road rage shooting.
“Not just because of my family members, but because of everybody in this community, and I keep hearing arguments against it, to keep hearing arguments against bail reform, keep hearing arguments on ankle bracelets, GPS monitoring, it is not working.”
On September 7, Sheriff Allen’s brother was picking up his son from football practice, driving on I-25, when another driver was driving erratically and shot at them three times as they were turning on Alameda.
Turns out, that driver, identified by police as 25-year-old Salvador Garcia, was arrested last September for shooting at his girlfriend’s mother’s house.
Garcia pled guilty in March, but as of September 7, when the road rage shooting happened, he still had not been sentenced. He remained out on that monitor until deputies arrested him Friday.
“All of that GPS monitor tells me is when he commits another crime where he did it up. It’s it, there’s nothing special about it. It just tells us where they’re going to be when they commit their next crime, and it just verifies what they’re going to do, and how they’re going to keep reoffending.”
Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman agrees. “Anybody to make the argument that GPS monitoring is a way to keep the community safe is just flat wrong.”
The sheriff said more rules for defendants awaiting trial won’t do any good because criminals don’t follow rules, and feel they can get away with crimes with no consequences. He said the best solution is legislation keeping more offenders behind bars.
“A crime, specifically, when it’s a violent crime involving a firearm, pretrial release, you should to be held until your trial date. When it’s anything like homicide, kidnapping, rape, you should not be let out [of] jail where you’re just out in our community, knowing that you’re going to reoffend,” Sheriff Allen said.
The shooting at the sheriff’s brother happened the day before the governor announced her crackdown on violent crimes, including the controversial gun ban.
The sheriff has said he doesn’t agree with that approach and would not enforce the ban.