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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Deaton's retirement questioned

By Pilar Armstrong

When the City's IRO announced his retirement in an exclusive Albuquerque Journal article, many were skeptical. Some city critics claimed that William Deaton's retirement announcement was a crafty polictical maneuver fabricated after city councilors proposed a national search for a new Independent Review Officer at a public study session for the Police Oversight Commission. When asked if Deaton's retirement was effective immediately Deputy Director of Communications responded,
"We have not received a formal retirement letter from Mr. Deaton. He is required to stay in his position until a replacement has been named," said Breanna Anderson.

So far the former Chief Public Defender has not applied for or sought out any additional employment with the City of Albuquerque. The City IRO contract is up for renewal at he next City Council Meeting on Mon. Feb. 6.
Activists are demanding that the council reject the contact and commence a national search for a new IRO immediately.

"All POC reports and the mayors recommendation for a temporary IRO should also be rejected," suggests Silvio Dell'Angela.

"The contract is up right now. This is the time to proceed with a national search for a new IRO," said Councilor Dan Lewis the POC study session.

Citizen's and City Councilors have become disenchanted with Deaton's five year reign after a series of execution style shootings by the Albuquerque Police Department plagued the city. The majority of the shootings were deemed acceptable by both the POC and IRO enraging many and inciting praise from very few.  Police Chief Ray Schultz still feels that the system works despite intense scrutiny of police misconduct and an impending Department of Justice investigation.

"For every complaint (from a citizen) there are at least ten positive commendations," said Schultz at the study session.

Schultz also claimed that problematic police officers were dealt with disciplinary measures such as verbal reprimands and immediate suspension. Councilor Rey Garduno made a controversial suggestion as how to deal with such officers.

"We have a project of putting DWI offenders in the paper. Should we do that with police officers who are repeat offenders?" asked Garduno.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely the city needs to do a National search for this position. No-one in state can be trusted. Another question is WHERE IS THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. Why the DOJ has not publically come into the city to investigate the city and the police department is very offensive to this citizen and taxpayer, both state and federal.
    Albuquerque has had far more questionable police killings than most or all of the cities the department of justice has recently entered. I am starting to think the department of justice cares more about African American cop killings (this is who police were killing in the other cities) than our Hispanic men. Are our lives valued less than that of an African American? This is the national and local message. We have 3 times as many shootings of citizens, citizen killings, criminal activity by police officers and fire officers than in Miami, where DOJ recently entered. What about us here in Albuquerque, NM? What about our men and children? Do we not have a state with enough electoral votes to cause enough concern for the DOJ to come here and ask, what is the problem? All of us pay local, state, and federal taxes. I pay those taxes alongside the rest of the country and expect to be protected like the rest of the country. Where are you DOJ? Who at the Attorney General’s office is delaying the help? There is ample evidence that we have a problem from the Governor’s office on down. The governor gave White a job after his fiasco, the Attorney General had to fire the lawyer who was “in charge” of investigating police because he never investigated police. Brandenburg’s daughter married wife murder Levi Chavez (why it took so long to file charges against him), Chief Shultz (enough said there), POC finds every shooting justified (what is the probability of that being the case when every other month a cop or fire officer is on the news with yet another criminal activity being reported), and finally us – we are here walking around every day in the community with all these “administrators and public officials” dangling a puppet string. Whose string will be cut next? Where in God’s name is the Department of Justice? Who will penetrate this criminal covenant in Albuquerque, New Mexico?
    Albuquerque has been under the control of a criminal state and local system since the 1970s. Administration after administration has failed us in cleaning up the city and firing criminal administrators and all criminal public safety officers, both fire and police. We have all read that for years one after another police men and woman along with firemen and fire women, at all levels of public safety, have one way or another been involved with criminal activity. Honest police and fire public safety workers know they will never move up the ranks with the habitual criminal-like administration that has offended us for decades and have held honest public safety workers hostage. I grew up back east. I grew up holding police and fire men and women in the highest regard. I never heard of any wrong doing by either. Then again I am an upper-class white woman. I moved here to New Mexico and I feel I have been naive. I am physically disgusted with city councilors, the mayor, and administrators ignoring grieving family members – then again they are low-earning Hispanic community members – Getting the picture here? The state of affairs here sickens me and I pray that we find another Martin Luther King-like individual and he/she steps into the light and saves our people. Where is the department of Justice? Not only does the community who has been directly affected by the killings want and need intervention at the federal level many police and fire men and women want intervention also. I pray for our men and women in both the public safety department and community – I pray that all of us can come together and send a single message to the puppet “master” – We will not take it anymore. We are not going away.