DOJ Holds Exclusive Meeting On Albuquerque PD's Use Of Force

By Carrie Jung, KUNM
January 08, 2014
Carrie Jung, KUNM
Members of the media interview attendees of the Department of Justice's closed-door meeting Tuesday night.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The U.S. Department of Justice held an exclusive meeting Tuesday night to discuss the status of its investigation into allegations about the Albuquerque Police Department's use of excessive force.

This is the first time that DOJ officials have provided members of the public an update since the investigation began a little more than a year ago.

The federal probe into APD began after a rash of more than 20 officer-involved shootings that occurred within a 20-month period and sparked high profile allegations of abuse.

Nancy Koenigsberg, the legal director of Disability Rights New Mexico, was one of about 30 people who were invited to attend the closed-door meeting. She said DOJ officials used the time to announce they were close to completing the findings phase of their investigation and to listen to community concerns.

"It seems like that they've done an exhaustive review. [They] would not, of course, promise a date that they would get a report out." Koenigsber said. However, "It sounds like there are many levels of follow-up that are available, so I'm encouraged."

She adds the timing of the meeting was due to the dramatic increase in officer-involved shootings at the end of 2013.  The department was involved with five shootings in the months of November and December. There are also many changes happening within the APD, including the retirement of longtime Police Chief Ray Schultz.

Department of Justice officials were not available for comment.