ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With numerous nights of protests in Albuquerque, some are wondering why the city hasn’t put a curfew in effect or called in the National Guard as others have. For several nights in a row, people have taken to the streets of Albuquerque to protest. Violence broke out in the early hours of Monday morning.
People busting businesses windows and setting fires in the street “The couple chants you hear, cursing and stating violence, they are not with us,” said protester Frankie Grady. Other than that, Mayor Tim Keller says the protests have remained peaceful like Monday night’s protest of around 500 people.
“We are just grateful that it was all peaceful, so it was a good example of hopefully what will be in the future,” said Keller. That’s why he says he’s holding back on imposing a curfew or bringing in the National Guard, things he says would be a last resort scenario.
“We believe in the right to freedom of speech. Whenever the National Guard comes it, that can be very challenging and create problems,” Keller said. He says he’s been on a conference call with 80 mayors nationwide and believes there have been more issues it cities who have put those measures in place. “Whether you want to look at Louisville or Portland or Denver, situations have all gotten worse when National Guard and curfews have been implemented,” he said.
Keller says curfews are difficult to enforce and stretch law enforcement thin. Right now, he says the Albuquerque Police Department has enough resources to handle the crowds and so far no one has been seriously hurt and there has been no major damage to businesses. Keller also says he is evaluating the situation day-to-day and is open to all options. “This is up to us, and if we can continue to peacefully protest, obviously then we will be okay,” said Keller.
Keller believes the city’s DOJ reforms have helped officers respond better than other cities but says that Albuquerque still has a long way to go with social justice issues.
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