Last Friday, 100 people showed up to Albuquerque Civic Plaza to protest the Albuquerque Police Department. It’s nice to know that there are at least 100 people who understand what it means to protest within the law and within the boundaries of lawful assemblies.
I just want to know where everyone else was. You know, the ones who caused all the problems the previous weekend.
It makes me think of all the innocent victims who have died at the hands of career criminals; where were their vigils and protests? I think of how career criminals are being released every day on the streets by our judicial system; where are the marches at the courthouses protesting their lenient sentences and early releases?
I think of the mentally ill who are violent and being released on the streets every day; where are the marches on their mental institutions? Better yet, where are the marches on the Roundhouse during the legislative session, where are people protesting a broken justice system that has endangered the overall safety of our communities?
I think of the police officers who have died in the line of duty for the people of Albuquerque; where were their vigils, where are the marches to their gravesites showing the support of a grateful city?
Lastly, what about cases such as Omaree Varela and Izabellah Montano? One innocent child dies at the hands of his mother and a 4-month-old baby dies after her mom’s boyfriend allegedly sexually abused her repeatedly. Where were their marches down “Main Street” to protest a broken social welfare system?
There have been literally thousands of victims of violent crimes in this city. So, in her great wisdom, Albuquerque has decided to make James Boyd the standard-bearer of injustice for the homeless rights movement? Boyd, a dangerous person, who for most of his adult life, dedicated himself to hurting others and committing crimes?
This doesn’t smell right and it sounds like something right out of “Breaking Bad.” I smell an agenda that goes against anything that has to do with morals, rules or laws.
While we take pride in our awesome green chile and our successful International Balloon Fiesta, we have to realize that the TV show “COPS” doesn’t want to film in Albuquerque to see those festivities. Our export of late has been violence, meth candy and, now, unruly protests.
We cannot attract businesses like Tesla if we continue to deny that a growing criminal mentality exists here and seems comfortable here.
If we all truly want the same outcome – a safer Albuquerque – then we are all going to have to work together on this one. Scapegoating police officers for society’s failings has never been the answer; that’s too easy, but one that certain people want to hang their hat on.
The answer goes well beyond that and it starts with this easy question: Why is Albuquerque so violent? The second question is: What are you doing about it?
When all the naysayers put their cards on the table, I would venture to think that they are maybe holding a pair of twos.
I personally know what APD is doing and, while none of the officers is perfect in his/her own rights, these men and women are working diligently every day to keep us safe.
I, for one, support them wholeheartedly and I will continue to speak up for them, even when most of them can’t.