Police cite three for carrying guns at protest - Albuquerque Journal

Police cite three for carrying guns at protest

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A man is arrested by APD officers after reportedly showing up to a rally at Civic Plaza on Sunday with a gun. Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal

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The Albuquerque Police Department says officers issued citations to three people who were carrying guns during a protest at Civic Plaza on Sunday.

Each person was briefly detained, cited and ultimately released, according to an APD news release. On June 19, the city banned guns on Civic Plaza, and signs describing the ban are posted around the property.

About 100 people gathered at Civic Plaza on Sunday for a “We Can’t Breathe” protest against the state public health order that mandates the use of masks in public. Several others came in support of Black Lives Matter, leading to confrontations between the two groups. APD said citations were issued to members on both sides.

No injuries were reported.

Two people were seen carrying guns during the demonstrations Sunday morning, APD spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said in an email. Officers approached them with the administrative order that bans guns on the property, but the individuals returned to the stage on the Plaza.

“Moments later, officers returned and detained the two armed individuals,” Gallegos wrote. “They were disarmed, cited and released, at which time they returned to Civic Plaza.”

Later, a man with a holstered handgun was detained by police and disarmed. He, too, was cited and released from custody, Gallegos said.

After the citations were issued, Gallegos said there was a confrontation between a man and several counterprotesters.

“As that individual walked away from Civic Plaza, one of the counterprotesters pushed him to the ground in the street,” Gallegos said. “Officers arrived on scene and one officer used standard-issue OC spray to break up the confrontation.”

The city’s Emergency Response Team was sent in, Gallegos said, to “prevent further violence.”

Gallegos said 10 armed people were asked to comply with the gun ban during a protest Thursday at Civic Plaza. He said citations were not issued because the people either disarmed or left.

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