Fortunately, that task will be more difficult, after the former’s widower journeyed to Washington, where the president himself vowed to get long-overdue justice for “Jackie.”
As the Albuquerque Journal described, Lucero was a profoundly troubled woman. For months, family members “had called law enforcement … to try to get help for their cousin and sister … who seemed to be suffering from psychosis and possibly schizophrenia.” (She had come to the legal system’s attention before, with arrests for “possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and careless driving.”)
On their night of her death, just over one year ago, Lucero attacked an uncle, and locked herself, naked, in her RV. The Bernalillo County’s Sheriff Office was called in. The 28-year-old “aggressively approached, closing distance.” Believing that she held a knife, deputies began to shoot. Lucero was killed.
In March, her family settled with the county for a cool $4 million, and donated a portion of the sum to New Mexico’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. And just a few days ago, they launched “a billboard campaign to raise awareness for what they call an urgent need for police reform in Bernalillo County and throughout New Mexico.” Almost immediately, the state’s publicity-hungry attorney general asked the local district attorney“to give up the [Lucero] case so the AG’s office can determine whether charges should be filed.”
It was awfully curious timing. Because this was the week that the White House declared its intention to devote federal resources to Albuquerque’s bloody mayhem. Sam Vigil, along with Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales, met with President Trump, as part of an event announcing “a surge of federal law enforcement into American communities plagued by violent crime.” The widower knows something about the problem being tackled. Eight months ago his wife, the mother of two state policemen, was gunned down in their driveway. Amazingly, the murder remains unsolved.
It’s quite clear that New Mexico’s “progressive” pols don’t like the narrative emanating from D.C. They are unable, or unwilling, to make the tough decisions and implement the right policies to make their state safer. They resent national exposure of their malfeasance. And they think they’ve found just the tool to redirect all that unwelcome attention: a tragic, year-old shooting of a women who was never able to obtain the assistance she needed to address her serious mental-health issues.
Elisha Lucero and Jacqueline Vigil. Their fates each tell a story about the deep dysfunction at the core of government in New Mexico.