Book helps activists dealing with police issues - Albuquerque Journal

Book helps activists dealing with police issues

Two scholars, including one who protested against Albuquerque police, have written a guide for activists pushing for police reforms.

David Correia and Tyler Wall said their book, “The Police: A Field Guide,” which was released this month, is intended to provide activists in places like Ferguson, Mo., and Sacramento, Calif., ways to identify attempts by those seeking to thwart prevention of future police shootings.

That includes pinpointing language that takes the focus away from structural changes needed at police departments to reduce police brutality, said Correia, an American Studies professor at University of New Mexico.

He led a sit-in at the Albuquerque mayor’s office in 2014 over the fatal police shooting of a homeless man.

“We’re trying to call into question ‘copspeak’ and the language of police violence,” said Wall, a social justice professor for Eastern Kentucky University.

He contended terms like “officer-involved shooting” or “stop-and-frisk” divert attention from systemic problems in police departments. Language like that legitimizes police violence, Wall said.

Bob Martinez, the president of Albuquerque Lodge #1 of the Fraternal Order of Police of New Mexico, said officers do embrace reforms and are willing to listen to community residents. He said that language used by officers does not interfere with communication.

“The real problem is that people have lost respect for authority,” Martinez said. “That is what’s preventing a lot of good people from becoming officers. This is a societal problem.”

The book comes as protests continue in Sacramento over the fatal shooting Sunday by two officers of Stephon Clark, an unarmed 22-year-old black man. The department released video footage Wednesday showing the officers yelling that Clark had a gun before firing. Clark was holding a cellphone, not a gun.

The city of Albuquerque is completing federal court-ordered reforms following a string of police shootings involving suspects suffering from mental illness.

Martinez said Albuquerque police are cooperating and want the reforms to work.

In addition, the authors said, many police departments mainly protect the wealthy against the poor. That often dictates policies about policing poor neighbors, they said.

“Policing is about keeping people in their places and protecting private property,” Correia said. “We have to have a conversation about how capitalism affects the policing of poor neighborhoods.”

Luis Robles, an Albuquerque attorney who has defended police officers involving in shootings, says he finds it “interesting” the book sees officers as the face of capitalism.

“Many officers are union members who make less than $60,000 a year,” Robles said.

Home » News » Albuquerque News » Book helps activists dealing with police issues


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Bill makes illegal the export of US Native artifacts
ABQnews Seeker
STOP Act also enables an item's ... STOP Act also enables an item's return when found
2
Raising the bar with UK award
ABQnews Seeker
After graduating, the New Mexico student ... After graduating, the New Mexico student took her talents abroad
3
Want to see a free comedy show? Big Benny ...
ABQnews Seeker
Local comedian hosting his own company ... Local comedian hosting his own company Christmas party, and everyone is invited
4
Harry Connick Jr. bringing new holiday album to ABQ
ABQnews Seeker
Harry Connick Jr.'s tour makes a ... Harry Connick Jr.'s tour makes a stop at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Kiva Auditorium.
5
Iconic musical ensemble Mannheim Steamroller making holiday tour stop ...
ABQnews Seeker
Mannheim Steamroller, which is currently on ... Mannheim Steamroller, which is currently on its Christmas tour, will make a stop on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Popejoy Hall.
6
Taylor Garrett Spirits releases whiskey finished in Pedro Ximénez ...
ABQnews Seeker
The limited batch of Taylor Garrett ... The limited batch of Taylor Garrett Sherry Cask Finish Whiskey (PX) is available at the Vara Winery & Distillery tasting room.
7
Paloma weaves a jubilant atmosphere with vibrant Mexican food
ABQnews Seeker
The next time you are seeking ... The next time you are seeking a festive spot with a vibrant vibe and dishes, head to Paloma.
8
Everything you need to know before heading to the ...
ABQnews Seeker
Over 4,000 people are set to ... Over 4,000 people are set to participate in the 2022 iteration of the Twinkle Light Parade, which begins at 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, ...
9
Mariachi Christmas celebrating 23 years music and ballet folklórico
ABQnews Seeker
Mariachi Christmas at Popejoy Hall will ... Mariachi Christmas at Popejoy Hall will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9.