these initiatives have been insufficient to ensure consistent accountability. They also have not addressed longstanding deficiencies that have allowed a culture
indifference to constitutional policing and insularity to develop within the department. We are aware that the release
our findings occurs at a time
transition for the department's leadership and amid continued tension around recent officer-involved shootings.
particular, fatal confrontations with individuals experiencing mental health crises continue to cause significant public concern over the department's ability and willingness to consider the safety and well-being
the individuals in distress. Throughout our investigation, APD leadership has been receptive to our preliminary feedback and technical assistance. However, as outlined in this letter, more work is necessary to ensure that officers have the proper tools, guidance, training, and supervision to carry out their law enforcement responsibilities safely and
accordance with individuals' federal constitutional rights. We appreciate your expressed willingness to embrace many
the changes we have highlighted in our conversations with APD.
will continue to work collaboratively with you, the department's leadership, and other stakeholders to develop sustainable reforms that will resolve our findings. However,
we cannot reach an appropriate resolution, Section 14141 authorizes the Department
Justice to file a civil lawsuit to eliminate the pattern
police misconduct. 42 U.S.C.
14141. We thank you, APD, and other city officials for your cooperation and professionalism during our investigation. We received invaluable assistance from the department's leadership, counsel, and rank-and-file officers. We also thank community members for bringing relevant information to our attention and for sharing their experiences with us. We are encouraged by the many individuals who took an active interest
our investigation and who offered thoughtful recommendations. We appreciate those individuals who came forward to provide information about specific encounters with APD, even
recounting such events was painful. We know that many residents care deeply about preventing the types
this letter and have a genuine interest in supporting the many men and women
APD who uphold their oaths and keep Albuquerque safe. Based
this extensive cooperation and participation, we stand ready, and are encouraged that we will
able, to work together with the City, APD, and other stakeholders to address our findings methodically and expeditiously.
promoting constitutional policing, we will make APD more effective and will help restore the community's trust
While officers may be required to use force during the course
their duties, they must do so respecting constitutional guarantees against unreasonable searches and seizures. For too long, Albuquerque officers have faced little scrutiny from their superiors in carrying out this fundamental responsibility. Despite the efforts
many committed individuals, external oversight is broken and has allowed the department to remain unaccountable to the communities it serves. Based
our investigation, we find that the department engages in a pattern or practice
using excessive force during the course
arrests and other detentions in violation
the Fourth Amendment and Section 14141. We find this pattern or practice in the following areas: (1) Albuquerque police officers too often use deadly force in an unconstitutional manner in their use
firearms. To illustrate,
the 20 officer-involved shootings resulting in fatalities from 2009 to 2012, we concluded that a majority
these shootings were