Tuesday, April 28, 2015

We're Not Baltimore But APD Saga Goes On And On, Plus: The Pope's Pick For NM Readies An Agenda 

Well, at least we're not Baltimore. Over there they're taking it to the streets in a most violent way over actions of their police department. Our city's protests last year over the APD killing of James Boyd had tense moments, but nothing like what's happening back East. Still, the APD saga goes on, with Chief Eden saying the most recent revelation over an officer's misconduct fills him with "total disgust." You might agree:

Police found Adrian Marthell, who was intoxicated and in possession of marijuana cigarettes, according to a criminal complaint. While Marthell was sitting on a curb outside the motel, (Officer) Greer is accused of punching him in the head causing his head to slam against the pavement. He also punched the man in the ribs, which caused bruising, according to the complaint . . . Greer allegedly pulled Marthell’s arm toward his shoulder, causing pain. Greer asked Marthell “who’s the man?” several times, until Marthell responded “You are the man,” in obvious pain, according to the complaint.

That punk behavior--as in "who's the man"--reveals that the cultural rot at APD that brought the US Justice Department in here and which has given us--like Baltimore--the proverbial back eye--still spreads its putrid odor. And one senses that the community-at-large--not just those who have been in the vanguard of the protest movement--is tiring of it.

The City Council finding some hind legs by delaying approval of a multi-million dollar contract for the federal monitor hired to oversee APD reform is one sign. All three TV stations being in battle mode with APD over accessing information is another.

2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate and veteran businessman Doug Turner told us a few months ago he was baffled as to why it is taking so long to set APD right given that it is a department with less than 900 officers. It's not as though we're dealing with LAPD here.

Yes, any culture--large or small--takes time to change but it's not as if Mayor Richard Berry hasn't had over 5 years to get it right. He has and still the rogue behavior continues.

A hopeful sign in this most recent case of abuse is that it was reported by an APD cadet. Maybe we should make that young man the new APD chief or even Mayor. It is his kind of courage and forthrightness that is needed to end our city's too long nightmare.


The state's widespread poverty and immigration reform will be a focus of the new Archbishop of Santa Fe. Bishop John Wester of Utah has been selected by Pope Francis to replace the retiring Archbishop Michael Sheehan who held the post since 1993.

Bishop Wester, 64, held a ABQ news conference with Sheehan Monday (full video here) where he delivered his remarks in both English and Spanish. During his service in Utah he has been in the fore on immigration. He said Monday that everyone can agree the system is broken and added: " It's a real thorny issue . . . a political hot potato..but it's more than a political issue it's a moral issue and we have an obligation to address it." And on poverty, he said: "Pope Francis has spoken eloquently about this very thing, especially how poverty has become institutionalized in our systems.". . . .

Wester, who will be formally installed in June, did not leave his sense of humor back in Utah. When asked what was the process that led to him being chosen the new archbishop, he joked that he had the same question. He'll need that funny bone when he has to deal with the state's favorite political pastime--repealing driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants.


A reader writes of the selection of Native American Debra Haaland as the new chair of the NM Democratic Party:

She is the first elected Native American chair of the State's Democratic Party. David Gomez, a lawyer in Santa Fe from Taos Pueblo and of Navajo descent, was appointed to serve on an interim basis when Diane Denish stepped down to run for Lt. Governor.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

E-mail your news and comments. (jmonahan@ix.netcom.com)

Interested in reaching New Mexico's most informed audience? Advertise here.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2014. Not for reproduction without permission of the author
website design by limwebdesign