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Thursday
Apr102014

Justice Dept.: Albuquerque Police Commonly Use Excessive Force

iStock/Thinkstock(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- The U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday that the Albuquerque Police Department "has engaged in a pattern of practice of excessive force that violates the Constitution and federal law."

The findings were released at a press conference held by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels following an investigation that lasted over one year.

The Justice Department report deemed that APD officers "too frequently use deadly force against people who pose a minimal threat and in situations where the conduct of the officers heightens the danger," that officers "use electronic-controlled weapons on people who are passively resisting, non-threatening, unable to comply with orders or pose only a minimal threat," and that "encounters between APD officers and persons with mental illness...too frequently result in a use of force or a higher level of force than necessary."

"We are very concerned by the results of our investigation," Samuels said, adding that "holding police accountable for constitutional practices improves public confidence, promotes public safety and makes the job of providing police services safer, easier and more effective."

The Justice Department says that the APD suffered from deficient policies, failed accountability systems, inadequate training and supervision, ineffective investigation and adjudication systems, the absence of a culture of community policing and a lack of sufficient civilian oversight.

The full report can be found here.

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