Letters to the editor - Albuquerque Journal

Letters to the editor

THE JAMES BOYD CASE

Unity will eventually win over corruption and death

I WAS AT the most recent protest to demand justice for James Boyd. I have been to all of the protests to demand justice for James Boyd throughout the last couple of years. I wish to be able to speak.

I want to state very clearly that we had every right to voice our anger and frustration in the streets, the very same streets in which hundreds of poor and working class people are harassed, abused, tortured and murdered by the death squad known as the Albuquerque Police Department.

The recent arrest of a teacher who did nothing wrong at a protest is nothing more than a witch hunt being carried out by the media and by APD.

They feel emboldened and, because of the mistrial concerning Officers (Keith) Sandy and (Dominique) Perez, they now know that they can legally murder citizens. …

It is absolutely disgusting that, over the past 20 or so years that I have lived in New Mexico, nothing has been done to even try to curb police violence by the city, county and state.

However, it is inspiring to know that those who the media and Albuquerque Police Department despise the most, aka the homeless, will have hundreds and hundreds of young and old, black, brown, native and white peoples show up and raise hell when they are murdered. It is this multi-generational and multinational unity that will ultimately win out over corruption and death, and end police brutality.

We will be back in the streets. Drop all charges against protesters. Jail killer cops.

MICHAEL BUTLER

Gallup

We all need to rethink the treatment of our officers

I AM THE mother of a police officer. Therefore, my opinion is understandably partially biased. I am also a retired psychologist who spent over 30 years treating the mentally ill. As the state contemplates a retrial of Officers (Keith) Sandy and (Dominique) Perez, I offer the following for your consideration:

• No one should protest this mistrial unless they were either present in the courtroom or watched the trial on live-streaming and witnessed the intricacies of decision-making that was required of these two officers.

• While empathy is understandably with the mentally ill and the homeless, the public, in its sympathy, may underestimate the dangerousness of psychotic individuals.

As one of the defense lawyers reminded the jury, mentally ill people can be as dangerous as anybody.

A psychotic individual who is not on medication is at the mercy of the voices in his head, frequently telling him to commit violent acts. He believes those voices, has no ability to mediate those voices with rational thinking and has little or zero impulse control.

• The Albuquerque Police Department spent hours negotiating with this individual, had spent hours in the past arresting and dealing with this individual and has handled numerous threats against officers made by this individual. Justice must be served and the state has given him a fair trial at great expense.

The two officers, on the other hand, have had their lives turned upside down, face mountains of debt incurred for their own defense and, in the case of Perez – who served two tours of duty in Iraq, was the recipient of the Purple Heart and was described as a “stellar” officer – must fight for a job and reinstatement as a police officer – a tall order.

So, as the saying goes, “Where do we get such men?”

In a time when crime is high and police staffing is low, when officers are second-guessing whether to defend themselves when threatened by a criminal, and police are dying at the hands of felons, the public, the government and the nation need to rethink their treatment, policies and remuneration of police officers.

MARY ELLEN HARRIS-GARCIA

Bernalillo

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