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Police have now thrown additional tear gas canisters at protesters who descended upon APD headquarters more than 10 hours after protests first began Sunday.
At least 10 canisters of tear gas were thrown, and two people arrested, after the last of a dwindling amount of protesters confronted police Downtown.
The mayor’s office has also confirmed three or four arrests.
A band of fewer than 100 protesters are left in front of Civic Plaza, tailed by a police wall who are trying to force the protest toward Double Tree Hotel.
The canisters were thrown near Roma and Fifth Street, just in front of APD headquarters.
Albuquerque police have thrown around a dozen tear gas canisters to disperse a crowd of unwieldy protesters on Central Avenue near Princeton.
Police continued to warn the protesters that they would deploy the gas if the protesters did not disperse peacefully. They then threw the gas at protesters on the north side of Central Avenue, and protesters have since largely dispersed into the parking lot north of Central that lines Johnson Field.
State Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Las Cruces) said his daughter in the UNM dorms on Girard and Central has been impacted by the tear gas, according to a tweet he posted Sunday night.
Keep with ABQJournal.com for updates.
9:22 p.m. (updated)
Mayor Richard Berry said police officers have tried repeatedly to de-escalate the protests while still respecting people’s right to express their opinions.
But once the main protest broke up, a group of people kept pushing in more aggressive
ways, he said.
“We respected their rights to protest obviously,” Berry said, “but what it appears we have at this time is individuals who weren’t connected necessarily with the original protest … they’ve taken it far beyond a normal protest.”
Berry said one officer was injured, though he wasn’t sure how. At least one other was trapped in a police cruiser while protesters tried to break the windows, the mayor said.
Some officers have reported rocks being thrown at them and “verbal abuse,” Berry said.
“The professionalism these men and women are showing is extraordinary,” the mayor said.
There have also been protesters lying down in the freeway.
“They’re certainly putting their lives in danger,” Berry said. “They’re putting other people’s lives in danger.”
Berry said there’s been vandalism, damage to property and stopped traffic.
“It’s a serious situation. They’ve certainly gone far beyond what a normal protest would be,” Berry said.
“We want people to be able to voice their opinions,” Berry said. “We also want people to be safe.”
Meanwhile, the city has also been defendings itself against attacks on its websites and email system, Berry said.
As for a report that officers’ home addresses had been released, Berry said: “It’s obviously a concern, not just for those officers but their families.”
At least one protester has been arrested as the standoff between police and protesters continues on Central Avenue.
Protesters were able to circumvent the line of riot police, so officers are now facing east. Tensions are rising, according to a Journal reporter, after the arrest.
The Bernalillo County SWAT Team has arrived at the scene to help with the situation.
Protesters can be heard angrily shouting at police about the arrest. It’s unclear why police arrested the protester.
City spokeswoman Erin Thompson released a statement about the protest:
“Mayor (Richard) Berry is actively tracking the situation in consultation with Chief (Gorden) Eden and command staff and has been all afternoon and throughout the evening. The city remains committed to the public’s safety as the highest priority,” the statement reads.
An APD spokeswoman said drivers and others should avoid Central Avenue in the area, because the crowd is moving west again.
Also, UNM has issued an alert to students, urging a shelter in place due to “protests and police activity.”
A line of riot police have blocked about 200 protesters’ passage west on Central Avenue near Girard, and protesters have thrown eggs and water bottles at APD vehicles.
About 75 protesters are confronting police in front of the line of officers, which includes those mounted on horses and empty prisoner-transport vans. Officers have been issuing commands over a PA system for the last 20 minutes or so, saying that the protest is unlawful.
“We want to ensure you have the right to protest in a lawful manner,” police can be heard telling the protesters.
The nearby APD Monte Vista substation was also vandalized with spray-painted expletives.
Keep with ABQJournal.com for updates on this fast-moving situation.
8: 04 p.m.
Protesters have moved east along Central and can now be seen on top of an small APD substation at Girard and Central.
The demonstration itself has gotten more and more unruly as the sun has begun setting. Before arriving at Girard and Central, one protester climbed atop a university-area lightpole and tried to bring it down. It appears he was unsuccessful.
Police are nowhere to be seen, according to a Journal reporter and photographer on scene, but a large group of Albuquerque and State Police was spotted near Central New Mexico Community College alongside large prisoner-transport vans.
The group of protesters is now walking west along Central Avenue, according to reports from the scene.
After dispersing from Fifth Street, the protesters are now marching east along Central from First Street.
An APD spokeswoman said drivers should avoid the area.
The protesters have dispersed south down Fifth Street, though it’s unclear if they intend to regroup elsewhere.
Police have taken off their gas masks, but are still holding their batons and riot shields. They are still standing in a line on Fifth Street.
Keep with ABQJournal.com for updates.
More than five hours into a protest against APD, a group of protesters is sitting down before a wall of APD riot police, ignoring commands to disperse southbound on Fifth Street.
Riot police are ordering the protesters to walk southbound along Fifth Street, according to a Journal reporter at the scene. Police are calling the protest an “unlawful assembly”.
The protesters do not appear to be complying, and officers on horseback are now arriving on scene. Protesters are wearing moist bandanas in anticipation of a tear gas attack.
The protest started at the Alvarado Transport Center and went to APD headquarters at Fourth and Roma before heading to Civic Plaza. It then sprawled from Downtown all the way up to Central and Carlisle, and the group of a t least 300 people broke apart and came together several times throughout.
An APD spokeswoman said she was not aware of any arrests as of 5 p.m., though a live video stream captured some heated exchanges between demonstrators and officers in riot gear. One protester could be seen blowing cigarette smoke into the face of a stoic APD officer near the UNM area.
Protesters are wearing masks and bandanas, and many are holding signs accusing APD of being trigger happy and violent. One protester had what appeared to be a rifle slung across his back.
The APD website appeared to have gone back online briefly, according to a website checking service, but was down again shortly before 6 p.m. It has been due to what police called a “cyber attack”.
Also on Sunday, a Twitter account that purports to be associated with Anonymous tweeted what it called a hacked listed of APD officers’ telephone numbers. The APD spokeswoman said she had no way of knowing Sunday afternoon whether the numbers were authentic.
We have a reporter at the scene. Keep with ABQJournal.com for updates.
A group of protesters has marched to the steps of the Albuquerque Police Department’s Downtown headquarters to decry the March 16 shooting death of James Boyd by police and what they say is a history of excessive force by Albuquerque police.
Thex gathering of protesters, who assembled around noon today, includes those wearing masks of Guy Fawkes, which has become a symbol of Internet “hacktivist” group Anonymous, which has also targeted city websites after video of the Boyd shooting went viral nationally.
Protesters gathered first at APD headquarters, then moved to Civic Plaza, and then continued on a march east on Central Avenue. They were met near UNM by police armed with batons and riot gear, and still more protesters continued east on Central all the way to Carlisle.
As of 3:15 p.m., the march was heading west on Central Avenue back toward the UNM area. More than a dozen officers can be seen on a live web stream of the event waiting near Central and Yale.
“Hey hey! ho ho! Killer cops have got to go!” the protesters could be heard shouting.
Keep with ABQJournal.com for updates. We have reporters and photographers at the scene.