NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – George Floyd‘s death has had an impact in New Mexico. There’s been a protest and a police chief is speaking out. Farmington Police Chief Steven Hebbe says it’s time for leaders to be more vocal about what they won’t tolerate otherwise nothing will change.
From the streets of Minneapolis, all the way to southeast Albuquerque, it’s clear that protesters and even law enforcement are desperate for change. “We can’t let stuff like that happen repeatedly,” Chief Hebbe says.
He says after watching the video of then Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneel on George Floyd’s neck, who later died, he had to speak out. “From a leadership perspective, a law enforcement perspective, we’ve got to come out and be more verbal about what we tolerate and what we don’t and we don’t tolerate what we see in that video,” Hebbe says.
Hebbe took to Facebook saying that quote “If we as law enforcement leaders cannot plainly condemn this kind of event, we are failing our profession, our officers and our communities.”
“We’ve certainly had our blunders so I’m not condemning any one department but I am talking about us as a profession and us owning the stuff that we do and then pledging to fix it,” Hebbe says.
Albuquerque Police Chief Mike Geier echoed Hebbe’s statement following a black lives matter protest Thursday night, where 400 people shut down parts of Central Avenue in Albuquerque. “We will not tolerate these actions and denounce this type of police brutality. The senseless misconduct demonstrated in this unfortunate incident should not define other police departments across,” Geier says.
Chief Geier says as the first wave of protestors cleared out a larger group came in around 10 p.m. One of their female sergeants was attacked while she was in her patrol car. protestors surrounded her car and broke the windows. The sergeant was able to escape unharmed. Police also say a group of people fired multiple gunshots from a car.
Chief Hebbe says it’s going to take leaders using their platform to make a difference. “Hopefully we can change things for the better and keep a good relationship with our communities,” Chief Hebbe says. He also says his department has a use of a force review unit to hold officers accountable.
Albuquerque Police arrested four people in connection with the gunshots but those four were released as police continued their investigation.
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