New Mexico

ABQ police union grabs national headlines after officer resignations from APD rapid response team

On Monday, Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association president  Shaun Willoughby appeared on Fox News to talk about the recent resignations of Albuquerque Police officers from the “Emergency Response Team” following an arrest at a recent Albuquerque protest, which the Piñon Post covered last week. 

Willoughby said on Fox & Friends that officers don’t feel supported and ‘don’t trust their leaders.” He stressed that Albuquerque officers are “tired of being managed by politics.” 

The outrage from the police union followed nineteen officers quitting the team over Seventeen officers, one lieutenant, and two sergeants resigned from the team after “an armed man who was taunting demonstrators was detained by field officers during the protest and at the time of his arrest, the man was not charged.”

“We have an individual that’s being removed from this counter-protest for doing absolutely nothing wrong,” Willoughby said. “He didn’t violate any laws. He was exercising his constitutional rights within the city of Albuquerque and we had a sergeant taken off of his job, gun and badge removed.”

Willoughby noted how the Emergency Response Team is “an extracurricular activity” and that he doubts APD “will get anybody to replace these jobs.”

“Who wants to take on that professional liability … [of] being involved in these protests that just are never-ending?” he asked.

Previously, Willoughby said, “We are seeing a dramatic increase of Albuquerque police officers applying to go to other departments,” He added, “Morale, let’s not even talk about it because it doesn’t exist. There is no morale. Your Albuquerque police officers are absolutely miserable at work— nobody’s happy.”

According to Willoughby, over 20 APD officers have quit the force altogether within the last two months, following an all-out assault on law enforcement during the legislative session earlier this year and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller having social workers respond to some calls instead of officers. There have also been many proposals from the Albuquerque City Council to “defund” parts of APD.  

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Dem NM Land Commissioner Garcia Richard appears to support Biden’s federal oil leasing ban

Republican Congresswoman Yvette Herrell of New Mexico’s Second Congressional District sent a letter on March 30 to New Mexico State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard regarding concerns of oil producers in the district who are concerned over the Joe Biden regime’s new oil and gas leasing ban, which will negatively affect New Mexico.

“As you know, one of the first actions of the Biden administration was to implement a ban on new oil and gas leases on federal lands. On its own, this will have an extremely detrimental impact on our state’s economy and general fund, but I fear these implications will be exacerbated by additional impacts on leases on lands under the management of your department,” wrote Congresswoman Herrell.

“I have had several constituents reach out to me concerned that access to their state leases, day to day operations on and the development of those leases will become increasingly difficult if the leasing moratorium on federal lands continues,” she continued.

“I would also call on you to join me and use all the power at your disposal as State Land Commissioner to oppose the federal leasing ban imposed by the Biden administration. Oil and gas production employs over 100,000 people in our state and contributes revenues that make up nearly forty percent of our general fund. 94% of the earnings from the state trust lands, under your management, goes directly to support education. An attack on the oil and gas industry is an attack on the future economic sustainability of our state and the future of our children,” concluded Herrell.

Even Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham previously said she was concerned over the extreme ban by Biden on all federal oil leases, saying to the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce last month, “I’m clearly concerned that right out of the gate with very little guidance, we have an announcement to stall … a moratorium on lease applications, and the reality is: a lot of oil and gas … in the Permian [Basin] is on private land in Texas.”

But Garcia Richard said in an April 12 response to Herrell, exclusively obtained by the Piñon Post, that she has had no contact with the Biden administration over the leasing ban, which will negatively affect New Mexico’s bottom line. She also touted the State Land Office raising $1 billion annually. 

“The Department of the Interior has not consulted with the State Land Office during the implementation of new executive orders, rules, and regulations for activity on federal land. We hope to be involved in future discussions related to easing the potential impacts of these orders on the state,” wrote Gracia Richard.

“I appreciate your concern regarding the checkerboard nature of lands across our state and the West and how this plays into the Biden administration’s pause on federal leasing. Knowing this fact, you will also understand that our state’s and other states’ reliance on oil and gas is a shortsighted budgeting mechanism, because it is a finite resource. Long-term solutions and diversification are necessary.” 

She then added that knowing nearly 40% of New Mexico’s general funding keeps her “up at night,” following up on ways she has done her part to dismantle the oil and gas industry in New Mexico, saying she is using “every tool at our disposal to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for the clean-up of state trust land that they use to make profits. In just the last six months, we have forced the plugging of 16 abandoned wells, fully reclaimed 12 contaminated sites, and sued 15 companies when they would not cooperate with our clean-up efforts.”

Garcia Richard said she hoped Herrell would join in with the far-left Democrats in New Mexico’s congressional delegation to push forward legislation to “plug” wells.  She also said that she hopes Herrell will join her for “when the wells run dry, New Mexico has revenue streams from industries like film, science and technology, aerospace, hemp, and agriculture–truly every option available–to ensure that we can continue funding our state’s needs.” 

However, Garcia Richards’ hollow concerns over wells “running dry” is not a concern. According to Forbes, the inventory of drilled but uncompleted (DUC) “suggests that Permian Basin production still has a lot of room to run.” The Forbes report notes that “ If all drilling suddenly ceased in the Permian, there is nearly a year’s worth of drilled inventory that still needs to be completed. That’s a lot of oil waiting to be extracted.” 

In Garcia Richard’s letter, she said she had concern over the amount of land at her disposal to lease, however, she has leased land to unsustainable wind power companies, which are a hazard to wildlife (specifically birds and bats) and the wind turbines cannot be recycled. They also need oil to run, while being heavily subsidized by the state. 

In response to Garcia Richard’s letter, which appeared to support the Biden regime’s oil leasing ban, Larry Behrens of the pro-energy group Power The Future said, “The response from Commissioner Garcia Richard shows she is extremely out-of-touch. The federal order is months old now and Garcia Richard admits her office has not reached out at all to get any clarification from the Interior Department. Considering… Biden’s terrible orders, Congresswoman Herrell is reaching out to save New Mexico jobs and Commissioner Garcia Richard’s response proves she’s done nothing but appease radical environmentalists.” 

Department of the Interior secretary Deb Haaland recently announced even more anti-energy policies and the enactment of a new “climate task force” to enact what she calls “environmental justice.” Garcia Richard and Haaland, who is a proponent of the Green New Deal, have supported each other in the past. 

Read more about Haaland’s new anti-energy edicts. 

Gov. MLG to speak at pro-abortion group’s pre-Oscars event with Jane Fonda, Samantha Bee

On Tuesday, embattled Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who was accused and later settled $62,500 for sexual assault, will take part in a pre-Oscars event with the pro-abortion, sexist group “EMILY’s List,” which funnels millions of dark money dollars each year to pro-abortion candidates. 

According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), EMILY’s List gave Lujan Grisham at least $40,000 in direct contributions during the time she was in Congress. That amount does not account for the independent expenditures of the group in her favor. During Lujan Grisham’s 2018 run for governor, the dark money group funneled over $11,000 in direct contributions to her campaign, while spending an unknown amount on independent expenditures. 

According to the press release from EMILY’s List, the “virtual” event will “feature a panel discussion hosted by the EMILY’s List Creative Council, where a powerful mix of entertainment industry and elected leaders will come together to spotlight the groundbreaking women who are leading the way in politics and the entertainment industry.” 

Lujan Grisham will share the virtual stage for a “keynote panel” with raunchy “comedian” Samantha Bee of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” disgraced aging actress and anti-American Vietnam War activist “Hanoi” Jane Fonda, actresses Regina King and Lucy Liu, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), and EMILY’s List Creative Council Co-Chair Chelsea Handler. 

The release notes that EMILY’s List’s “vision is to be a driving force of change in America by electing more Democratic pro-[abortion] women to national, state, and local office, and this event serves to bring together politics and entertainment ‒ two areas where industries need to continue to make more space for women.” 

The event, which purports to support women, features Gov. Lujan Grisham despite claims of sexual assault and later hush money payoffs to the victim. It also ignores the 750 million female babies worldwide killed through abortion over the past 50 years. 

On May 14, Lujan Grisham will receive an award from Planned Parenthood New Mexico for her role in installing the most destructive anti-life bill in the country, S.B. 10, legalizing abortion up-to-birth and infanticide and removing all protections from women, doctors, and babies.

The 93rd Academy Awards (Oscars) will air on Sunday, April 25 at 6:00 p.m. MT on ABC.

Widower of ABQ homicide victim launches PAC to defeat Mayor Tim Keller

On Monday, it was reported that Sam Vigil, the widower of Jacqueline “Jacque” Vigil, who was killed by an illegal alien, Luis Talamantes-Romero, in their driveway in 2019. 

Vigil previously filed a lawsuit against far-left Democrat Mayor Tim Keller and the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) in January blaming Albuquerque’s “sanctuary” policy, in part, for the death of his wife, saying that Talamantes-Romero used Albuquerque as a “home base” for criminal activity, ultimately leading to the tragic death of Mrs. Vigil. 

Keller signed a “sanctuary city” resolution passed by the The Albuquerque City Council in 2018, allowing criminal aliens to flood into the city as a safehaven for crime.

The lawsuit alleged, “After this gangster-style shooting, no steps were taken by APD to apprehend Talamantes-Romero or Aguilar, and APD did not inform federal law enforcement that Talamantes-Romero or Aguilar had illegally re-entered the country and committed multiple felony offenses.” It added that APD “ignored this gift from God to avert tragedy and continued to value political principles over the safety and welfare of the citizens of Albuquerque.” 

Now, Vigil is the chairman of the “Save Our City committee,” working “to address the serious crime and leadership problem in Albuquerque,” according to the committee’s filing on the City of Albuquerque website. 

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Vigil said he is “scared of Albuquerque crime, and ‘something has to be done.’ He said he views Keller – who is seeking a second term in the Nov. 2 election – as the ‘leadership problem.’ And unless Keller makes dramatic policy changes, Vigil sees unseating the mayor as the committee’s central purpose.” 

Keller’s campaign manager is Neri Holguin, who has consulted on many far-left Democrat campaigns, including that of Sen. Liz Stefanics (D-Santa Fe), porn star-turned state Rep. Roger Montoya (D-Velarde), Rep. Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe), Democrat Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis, and others. She also is listed as a donor to a group that works to harbor criminal aliens in New Mexico through the courts, the “New Mexico Immigrant Law Center.”

She claimed Keller did what he could to bring justice despite allowing the criminal alien to reside in Albuquerque to begin with through the dangerous “sanctuary city” resolution encouraging aliens to surge into Albuquerque. 

“This last year, the Mayor showed nothing less than strong leadership in crisis…. The pandemic, unrest, and national crime trends our city experienced was unparalleled. Much of our comeback today is a result of the Mayor’s decisive action and management of Albuquerque,” said Holguin. 

However, Keller has championed rabidly anti-police policies, including returning equipment donated by the Military to APD. He also has spoken on multiple occasions in front of anti-police Antifa-linked protests that resulted in looting and shooting on the streets of Albuquerque. 

Previously, Vigil spoke in front of the Republican National Committee in 2020 to support President Donald J. Trump. There, he told the nation the story of his slain wife and the Democrat-run city’s dereliction of duty in handling the case.

Jay Block announces candidacy for New Mexico governor

On Saturday, Republican Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block announced his candidacy for the governorship of New Mexico in 2022, the first prominent GOP figure in the state to throw their hat in the ring to replace embattled Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who was accused and later settled $62,500 for sexual assault. The announcement was held at the Rio Rancho Veterans Memorial Park.

Block, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force as a nuclear weapons officer in Afghanistan and a two-term county commissioner in Sandoval County, said, “I intend to be a governor that New Mexico can finally be proud of.” 

Block was a co-sponsor of a 2018 measure establishing a “right-to-work” law in Sandoval County. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham-signed law was later passed that bans the enforcement of “right-to-work” laws, forcing New Mexicans to pay into labor unions even if they don’t want to. 

“We are seeing us being silenced, being canceled. And today, we find ourselves fighting for our freedoms once again. Our way of life is being threatened and encroached upon by our own government, by elected officials that are tasked with representing us,” said Block during his remarks. 

“Under the guise of safety, power-hungry politicians have stripped more and more of our rights away and erected laws that benefit their elitist allies while handcuffing hard-working New Mexicans.”  

“Yet, Michelle [Lujan Grisham] is proud of where New Mexico stands today. Michelle is proud that New Mexico ranks last in education. Michelle is proud that New Mexico ranks first in child poverty. Michelle is proud that New Mexico ranks first in child hunger. Michelle is proud that New Mexico ranks at or near the bottom when it comes to violent crime, unemployment, and poverty,” said Block.

“These are things not to be proud of. These are things to be ashamed of, and Governor: New Mexico is ashamed of you.” He added, “All we are asking today is we want our freedoms back.” 

Regarding Lujan Grisham’s silence on Joe Biden’s anti-energy policies such as canceling the job-rich Keystone XL pipeline, Block said, “The governor lied to all of you. She stayed silent because the governor wanted to go to D.C. to be either vice president or cabinet secretary because she knew she was leaving this state a disaster. And now we are going t hold her accountable.” 

Block has a good turnout at the event, with many high-profile names showing up to back his bid for governor, including firebrand state Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Bernalillo, Sandoval, and Santa Fe) and Rep. Joshua Hernandez (R-Sandoval). Block is the first in the ring on the Republican side for the GOP nomination, however, others may have shown interest. State Rep. Rebecca Dow (R-Grant, Hidalgo, and Sierra) has teased the idea, and 2020 candidate for Congress in the Third District, Karen Bedonie is planning an announcement later in April.

Haaland begins assault on the American energy industry at DOI, enviro-Marxists applaud

On Friday, anti-energy extremist Department of the Interior secretary Deb Haaland announced the beginning of her assault on the oil and gas industry, rescinding previous orders by the Donald J. Trump administration to promote oil, gas, and coal extraction, which brought America to global energy dominance.

“From day one,… Biden was clear that we must take a whole-of-government approach to tackle the climate crisis, strengthen the economy and address environmental justice,” Haaland wrote in a statement. The new orders will “make our communities more resilient to climate change and … help lead the transition to a clean energy economy,’’ she claimed.

According to the Associated Press (AP), “The orders revoke Trump-era directives that boosted coal, oil and gas leasing on federal lands and promoted what Trump called ‘energy dominance’ in the United States. Haaland also rescinded a Trump administration order intended to increase oil drilling in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve.” 

“One of the orders issued by Haaland cancels a 2017 action that revoked a moratorium on federal coal reserve sales that had been imposed under President Barack Obama to deal with climate change,” according to the AP.

In another order, Haaland created a “Climate Task Force” to root out every possible way the United States could rely on hydrocarbon energy, which would decimate countless American jobs. She calls these actions “environmental justice.”

The orders come as a significant blow to energy-producing states like New Mexico and Alaska, despite Alaska’s Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan lending her votes in favor of Haaland’s confirmation, while the state’s at-large Republican U.S. Rep. Don Young promoted Haaland during the confirmation hearings.

Haaland called the orders by her predecessors, Secretaries Ryan Zinke and David Bernhardt, “inconsistent with the department’s commitment to protect public health; conserve land, water, and wildlife; and elevate science,” despite no such inconsistency existing. 

Haaland claimed that the previous orders “tilted the balance of public land and ocean management without regard for climate change, equity or community engagement.” 

Haaland is a supporter of the extreme socialist Green New Deal, which would completely decimate the United States’ natural resources extraction industries and cost upward of $93 trillion over the next decade, with a potential cost of $600,000 per household. 

During her painful confirmation hearings where Haaland could not answer basic questions about the Department of the Interior, Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) asked Haaland, “Did you or do you now support the Biden action of shutting down the Keystone Pipeline his first day in office?” She refused to answer the question, responding, “I have to respect it, uh, Senator. He is the president of the United States, and I realize that, um, these are some of the things that he talked about when he was running for office.” Not until Sen. Risch had to press three more times did he get a vaguely discernible answer from Haaland where she finally said, “I will tend to support President Biden’s positions. I assume you could take my answer as a yes.” 

However, radical enviro-Marxist groups such as the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) applauded Haaland’s assault on the energy industry. “Rescinding the previous administration’s orders that encouraged unfettered drilling in ecologically and culturally sensitive areas and establishing a climate task force will help ensure wise management of our natural resources for people and wildlife alike,’’ said the group’s president, Collin O’Mara. NWF supports the Marxist “Green New Deal.” 

At the Department of the Interior, Haaland oversees 480 million acres of public land, 700 million acres of subsurface minerals, and 1.7 billion acres of the outer continental shelf. She also has pledged to ban fracking, which will cripple states like New Mexico who rely heavily on the critical industry. The Department of the Interior oversees One-third of New Mexico’s land. The state’s oil, gas, coal, and refining industries are not expected to last long under the aggressive anti-energy policies of state and local, and federal leaders.

Gov. MLG’s New Mexico has the third-worst unemployment rate in the nation

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its March unemployment numbers and the numbers look bleak for New Mexico, ranking third-worst, tied with Democrat-run Connecticut and ahead of only Democrat-dominated New York and Hawaii. 

New Mexico’s unemployment rate is now 8.3%, which is up 1.3% or 10,500 cases since February. New Mexico’s unemployment rate is now 38.3% higher than the nation’s, which sits at 6%.

New Mexico remains one of the most heavily locked down states, which has resulted in thousands of small businesses closing and an economic catastrophe for our small economies across the state that rely on revenue that has been wiped out by the governor. Embattled Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who was accused and later settled $62,500 for sexual assault, locked down New Mexico during the pandemic, which lost countless jobs for the state.

Earlier in the pandemic, while New Mexico’s unemployment rate was sky high, she blamed President Donald J. Trump for the unemployment woes in the state, blaming what she called the “Trump recession” hurting Hispanic and Latino communities in a tweet. She claimed Trump’s “failed pandemic response” led to suffering in these communities, despite the President taking early action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic while Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden (who Lujan Grisham endorsed) blasted Trump as “xenophobic” for restricting travel from China, where the virus originated. 

Gov. Lujan Grisham tried to focus on economic help supposedly sent to small businesses during the pandemic. However, it appears her “relief” efforts have failed due to her anti-jobs policies that have left nearly thousands of New Mexicans without employment. 

Is Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham a sexual predator?

A sexual harassment allegation is something that can seriously damage one’s career, especially if that individual is serving in an office of public trust, such as the governor of a state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) has been embattled in scandal over alleged sexual misconduct with multiple women on the campaign trail and in his office. Top New York Democrats are calling for his resignation and impeachment.

But in his case, there is no paper trail tying mountains of cash to hush-money payments to accusers to keep them quiet. But that story is much different in New Mexico.

Democrat ex-governor Bill Richardson allegedly made $250,000 in hush-money payments from his campaign to a woman who had threatened to file a sexual harassment suit against him from a bank account in Mexico, according to the New York Times

Richardson was also accused of being involved with pedophilic sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, who trafficked underage girls. According to reports, “a woman claims Jeffrey Epstein directed her to have sex with powerful men, including former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.” 

It is unclear if extremely large hush-money payments of taxpayer funds involved sexual harassment accusations during the Republican Susana Martinez Administration, which amounted to over $1.7 million. But they sure happened. According to KRQE, “Sources say the Risk Management Division paid a group of disgruntled public employees huge sums of money in order to keep alleged compromising information about then Governor Susana Martinez under wraps.” 

Now, Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has admitted to sending $62,500 in hush money payments from her campaign to her former aide, James Hallinan, after he accused her of pouring water over his crotch and then groping him in 2018. As CNN reports, Lujan Grisham claimed just last month to believe Cuomo’s accusers and all sexual harassment accusers in an interview with the Washington Post. She said, “We need to take seriously all these allegations and I’m frankly in that group of elected leaders that you believe the individual. You give real credit and credibility there. If you don’t, we’re re-victimizing brave men and women who come forward.”

It may seem to some that Lujan Grisham is just following in the footsteps of her corrupt predecessors who made large payments to their alleged accusers, some with taxpayer funds and some with campaign cash to keep the scandals out of the press. 

But this is by no means the first time Lujan Grisham has been accused of similar behavior. According to a video made by a man named Eddie Dehart, Lujan Grisham allegedly grabbed his genitals during a birthday party in 2005. 

According to Dehart, attendees of the party were playing pool when Lujan Grisham was alleged to have groped him in front of his then-girlfriend, saying, “you have a man here” after touching his genitals through his clothes.

With other politicians who have been embattled with sexual harassment scandals leaving office in disgrace, such as former Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) who paid off one victim $27,000 to keep quiet, or current Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) who has announced he will not seek re-election, a sexual harassment scandal can destroy a politician’s career if the accusations have merit.

Despite Lujan Grisham’s claims that the groping never happened, payments of tens of thousands of dollars to an accuser are not necessarily something that makes one look innocent, especially as the 2022 elections are right around the corner and Lujan Grisham must battle for her political life. 

Lujan Grisham was previously considered for a cabinet position in the Joe Biden administration but did not receive a post, which may have had something to do with these hush payments to Hallinan. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was also considered but also did not receive a post in the administration.

Many have concluded that the alleged behavior of people like Cuomo and others puts them in the “sexual predator” category. A sexual predator “is a person seen as obtaining or trying to obtain sexual contact with another person in a metaphorically ‘predatory’ or abusive manner.” 

Allegedly groping multiple victims’ crotches on possibly multiple occasions throughout the years may certainly be a sign that even more nefarious sexual activity may have happened in the past by Lujan Grisham. Does such activity make Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham a sexual predator? It depends on what further details may come out regarding other possible instances of sexual deviance. 

Dem. NJ governor runs cover for MLG amid groping payoff, says she’s ‘doing a great job’

On Thursday, it was reported that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is running cover for New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham after it was revealed that she paid off former staffer James Hallinan over $62,500 over claims she poured a bottle of water over Hallinan’s genitals and groped him. 

Despite the damning actions by Lujan Grisham to pay hush money to the alleged victim, Murphy said Lujan Grisham is doing a “great job” when asked about it by the New Jersey Globe

“I think Gov. Lujan Grisham is doing a great job running the DGA,” Murphy said. “I’m its finance chair, so I don’t make the jurisdictional decisions any longer as I did when I was chair, but I think she’s doing a great job, and New Mexico, I think, is doing a very good job in the pandemic more generally.”

According to the Globe, Murphy is the “immediate past-chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. He was succeeded by Lujan Grisham, a former congresswoman, and is running in one of only two gubernatorial races this year.”

Democrat politicians in New Mexico, including U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger de Fernandez and Sens. Martin Heinrich or Ben Ray Luján, have not uttered a word regarding the payments. The Democrat Party of New Mexico has also been radio silent while Democrat congressional nominee for the First District state Rep. Melanie Stansbury has not issued a comment. 

High-profile Republicans in the state, including possible gubernatorial contender Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block, have called for Lujan Grisham’s resignation amid the revelations of a payoff for Hallinan’s silence. 

‘Miserable’: 20 APD officers quit Emergency Response Team after dozens leave force altogether

On Wednesday, it was reported that 20 officers who serve on the Albuquerque Police Department’s (APD) Emergency Response Team (ERT) would be resigning from the team. However, they are not resigning from the force itself. 

The move comes after a far-left counter-protest to a nonexistent event supposedly being put on by the New Mexico chapter of the Proud Boys, although sources close to the organization claim there was no protest originally planned at all that day.

According to Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association president Shaun Willoughby, the resignations from the ERT are because of the protest that happened on Civic Plaza over the weekend. According to KOB, “During the protest, officers said an armed man was taunting demonstrators, so APD field officers detained him. At the time of his detainment, the man was not charged.” 

“APD officials later reversed that decision and put an officer on leave for the day to conduct an investigation. APD said there was a breakdown in the chain of command about whether charges would be pressed against the armed man.” 

Seventeen officers, one lieutenant, and two sergeants resigned from the team that handles protests, according to Willoughby. The officers feel over-scrutinized, so they decided to take a stand together.

Willoughby says, “This comes down to a lack of trust,” adding that “They’re damned if they do, and they’re damned if they don’t.” 

“They don’t feel supported here, and they don’t feel trust. They feel second-guessed, and they don’t feel that they can do their job, no matter how perfect they do their job, without getting in trouble,” Willoughby added.

However, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller’s APD spokesperson released the following statement: 

“Chief Medina made it clear that we cannot have a breakdown in communication during critical incidents. We have worked hard to earn back the public’s trust. We will lose that trust if we resist accountability and culture change.”

“I think Mayor Keller needs to make a serious decision of what this police department’s priority structure is,” Willoughby said. “I think that he needs to carry that sentiment down to the police chief, so that your police officers feel supported.”

According to Willoughby, over 20 APD officers have quit the force altogether within the last two months, following an all-out assault on law enforcement during the legislative session earlier this year and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller having social workers respond to some calls instead of officers. There have also been many proposals from the Albuquerque City Council to “defund” parts of APD.  

“We are seeing a dramatic increase of Albuquerque police officers applying to go to other departments,” Willoughby said. “Morale, let’s not even talk about it because it doesn’t exist. There is no morale. Your Albuquerque police officers are absolutely miserable at work— nobody’s happy.”

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