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Who watches the watchers?

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King, academy haven’t gone after sketchy officers

By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — The state Law Enforcement Academy is still having big problems.
This time it involves police, who have been fired, moving to similar jobs in other communities because the Academy never files statewide charges against the officer.
The Albuquerque Journal in a copyrighted story has covered the present situation well. The following is a review of what happened three years ago when the academy was called on the carpet. Both times the problem apparently was disinterest by Attorney General Gary King.
In November 2009, an interim legislative committee heard evidence that police brutality charges never get prosecuted by the state. Testimony indicated that complaints to local officials seldom result in any action. Albuquerque has some police oversight mechanisms but no one present recommended those mechanisms as being models others should employ.
Generally, there appeared to be agreement that law enforcement misconduct should be handled at the local level but that most attempts to do so are not working because local officials tend to support each other.
Likewise, internal affairs investigations by police departments seldom result in any penalties against officers. According to testimony internal reviews protect law enforcement from the public and there is no mechanism for protecting the public from police.


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