Jeff Soyer on 11 Apr 2014 03:08 am
I would not want to live in that city. From the NY Times:
At least 37 times in the last four years, police officers here have responded to threats with bullets, killing 23 people and wounding 14 others. On Thursday, the Justice Department weighed in with a scathing assessment, accusing the Albuquerque Police Department of a â€śpattern or practice of use of excessive forceâ€ť that routinely violated peopleâ€™s constitutional rights.
Too often, the Justice Department said, the officers kicked, punched and violently restrained nonthreatening people, and seldom were the officers reprimanded. Many of the victims suffered from mental illnesses, and some were disabled, elderly or drunk, the 16-month investigation concluded.
More gory details at the link. This really all points to the militarization of police forces in this country these days.
I was discussing this with someone last week and he (an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran) believes that a lot of it stems from recent veterans becoming police officers after they exit the military. He thinks that many of them maintain the “this is a war zone” mentality and don’t respond properly to non-life threatening situations or know how to diffuse them without simply employing violence or emptying their service weapons into, say, a mentally ill person. He blames it both on poor training by the police academies, and on a mind-set given them when they were in the military and fighting overseas.