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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A Proper Flag For Old Town? Lawyered Up At The Boyd Hearing; Any Day One Winners Or Losers? And Pushback On APD And Mayor's Repeat Offender Assertion 

Here's an idea. Instead of pulling down the old Confederate Flag at ABQ's Old Town Plaza, why don't we put up a white flag of surrender and let Colorado take us over? The news:

Albuquerque ranks 152 in the country when it comes to the best places in the U.S. for business and careers.That's according to the latest ranking of 200 cities in the U.S. by Forbes magazine, which finds Denver as the best city for business and careers. . . Raleigh, N.C., Portland, Ore., Provo, Utah, and Atlanta round out the top five in the 2015 Forbes list.

ABQ's exceptionally slow job growth was the main reason for it languishing near the bottom of the list. No wonder that mere 8 hour drive to Denver is looking so enticing to the city's millenniasl. (#4 Provo is only a 9 hour drive).

HEARING OF THE DECADE

The ABQ hearing of the decade got underway Monday. The preliminary hearing will determine if two APD police officers will stand trial on murder or lesser charges or not at all for the 2014 fatal police shooting of homeless camper James Boyd. Police lapel camera video that showed Boyd being killed stunned viewers around the globe. We asked former Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Pete Dinelli--who is sitting in on the hearing--to weigh in on day one:

You have very good, seasoned trial attorneys that are evenly matched and a trial judge--Neil Candelaria--in full control. Special Prosecutor McGinn's opening statement was succinct, effective, aggressive and set the tone. The cross-examination by defense attorney Luis Robles was exceptional in characterizing the facts of the case with answers from witnesses that were favorable to the defense. A major revelation on day one: APD Chief Gorden Eden testified that he has never read the final report on the Boyd shooting, even though he is chief and was at the scene. This is the same chief who said in a news conference the day after the shooting that it was justified. Other facts that came out--Boyd was well known to APD. For two years two Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) police officers were actually assigned to deal with him but that those CIT officers were not dispatched the day he was killed. This was the first round of a 10 round match and in my estimation it appeared to be a draw. 


James Boyd
Chief Eden's testimony drew sharp criticism from one of our Legal Beagles:

Chief Eden’s performance confirmed what most already know: APD’s cover-up culture is alive and well. Eden took the stand and claimed he hadn’t read the report on the Boyd killing. By claiming he hadn’t read it, Eden dodged having to testify about what the report said. The city just paid $5 million to settle the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Boyd's family, but Eden--who is paid $160,000 a year--wants the public to believe he hasn’t read his own department’s report? Eden also claimed there’s an ongoing investigation into why Officer Keith Sandy’s lapel camera video disappeared. Eden’s had a year and a half to get to the bottom of it. What’s the hold-up? The answer is Eden doesn’t want to know, or he knows what’s on the video and doesn’t want the public to see it. Despite former APD Chief Ray Schultz having fled the jurisdiction, APD’s past problems remain the same for this “new” APD. When the truth is inconvenient or might make APD look bad, count on the Cover-Up Cops to cover it up.

Those Beagles sure are good at sniffing out all the angles, aren't they?  Here's another one with pushback to the contention from Mayor Berry and APD that repeat offenders alone are the reason for the recent crime wave:

APD is attributing all the crime to repeat offenders. That is nothing new and doesn't explain the kinds of things we are seeing. APD officers are openly commenting that the city is super dangerous and they don't want their families on the streets. A big reason for repeat offenders being on the streets is the new court rule that went into effect on 2/2/15. It sets deadlines to speed up the disposal of cases.  Prosecutors can't proceed on cases without all the discovery necessary and it is next to impossible getting it from APD. So while prosecutors are waiting and sending request after request for discovery, these guys are out on the streets. If prosecutors had what we needed, they could move forward with the cases and have a better chance of locking the bad guys up. 

Also, getting cops to show up to testify for DWI and misdemeanor cases in Metro Court,  for grand juries and at preliminary hearings and trials is very challenging. Cases are dismissed all the time because of "No Shows." Some of this may be due to APD's low officer numbers, but a lot of it is simply a lack of organization and not caring.

THE BOTTOM LINES

We rechecked with our Senior Alligator who told us here last week that ABQ Cultural Services Department director Betty Rivera was headed for the exits at the behest of the city's Chief Administrative Officer. That has yet to happen but our Gator says hold on and watch for this to play out.

We'll give it a bit more time, but in the event this was bad info, we'll have to take the unprecedented step of administering to a Senior Alligator ten lashes with a wet noodle-- the customary punishment for errors. And you thought you're job was tough. . .

By the way, in case you forgot, a Senior Alligator is someone with at least 20 consecutive years experience in La Politica has reached the age of 45 and preferably has run for political office and lost. Applications for Senior Alligator status are taken only twice a year--on Good Friday at a Mora County penitente morada and on New Year's Eve in the back room of ABQ's El Modelo restaurant.

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