Mayor Richard Berry and APD Chief Gordon Eden addressed the media this afternoon regarding yesterday’s protest, which the mayor earlier characterized as “mayhem.” At today’s news conference, Berry reiterated that what happened was not productive and said demonstrators were attempting to escalate the situation.
Gordon described it this way: “What was a peaceful protest turned into this mob state. They were stopping traffic and engaging people who were doing nothing more than trying to get from point A to point B.”
When demonstrators moved from Downtown to UNM, an event organizer contacted APD to indicate things were getting out of control, according to the city’s Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry. Eden said protesters began to assault each other before tear gas was dispersed near the Nob Hill substation.
Downtown, it became known that a protester had a gun before a second round of tear gas was dispersed, he added. No one was hospitalized because of the gas, according to APD.
The Albuquerque Police Department has been criticized for years because of its high officer-involved shooting rate. The situation reached a boiling point when a video of the fatal APD shooting and killing of a homeless man went viral, garnering international attention. Hundreds took to the streets on Tuesday, March 25, and that night, APD shot and killed another man, Alfred Redwine.
“We’re evaluating every component of our training,” Eden said.
Hacker collective Anonymous promised to crash APD’s websites and called for yesterday’s protest. Demonstrators marched between Downtown and the University area all day and well into the night. They vowed to take up the cause again today. Stay tuned at kunm.org or on 89.9 FM for updates.