Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal
The Albuquerque Police Department on Tuesday denied the Journal’s Inspection of Public Records Act request to view videos and photographs police made at a June 21 police protest in Roosevelt Park.
Deputy Chief Eric Garcia said in an interview days after the peaceful protest that police would soon release a short video recording made at the park. He said police only took one recording of a man who was suspected of disorderly conduct, though the man was never charged with a crime.
In its rejection of the request, APD cited an exemption for records “that reveal confidential sources, methods, information or individuals accused but not charged with a crime.”
Albuquerque police spokeswoman Janet Blair said she couldn’t comment on the denial on Tuesday but that she would try to get an explanation today.
Albuquerque residents critical of APD’s use of force organized a protest in late June, which included a mock trial of APD Chief Gorden Eden.
APD has shot and killed 26 people since 2010.
Reporters noticed that an undercover police officer, who had been involved in a prior police shooting, was in the crowd at the June 21 protest with a camera.
The ACLU also filed a records request to obtain any surveillance data that police collected at the protest but hadn’t gotten a response from APD as of Tuesday.
Micah McCoy, a spokesman for the ACLU in New Mexico, said the response to their request was due back today, and the agency would wait to hear back about its request before commenting.
Also on Tuesday, a records clerk at the Albuquerque Police Department headquarters denied a Journal reporter’s request for a copy of a police report. The clerk said that while residents can go into the office and get copies of police reports, members of the media would have to file Inspection of Public Records Act requests, which can take up to three weeks for a response.
Blair and an APD commander apologized for the denial Tuesday evening and said it was a mistake. Blair said there had been no policy change and that media would have the same access to police reports as the general public.
Journal reporter Nicole Perez contributed to this report.