Justice Dept issues use of force reforms for Albuquerque police after deadly shootings
Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico will undergo reform and be monitored for use of excessive force under an agreement to be announced Friday between the city and the U.S. Justice Department.
The agreement follows a federal investigation that concluded that the Albuquerque Police Department used excessive, even deadly, force against passive civilians. Persons suffering from mental illness were disproportionately targeted, the investigation found.
Under the new rules, Albuquerque police will be prohibited from firing at moving vehicles, required to wear body cameras to record their encounters and limited in their use of electronic control weapons, such as tasers.
The Albuquerque City Council will consider the agreement next week, and then it is expected to be filed in federal court to be approved as an order.
Vanita Gupta, the newly appointed acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, will announce the settlement in Albuquerque at 1:30 MDT.
Gupta’s division is also handling a civil investigation into patterns and practices used by police in Ferguson, Missouri, where unarmed black teen Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer, sparking local protests and drawing international attention.
“Constitutional policing is key to building trust between police departments and the communities they serve, and trust is of course the key to ensuring public and officer safety,” Gupta said in prepared remarks.
(Reporting By Julia Edwards; editing by Andrew Hay)