11:13 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Feds: "Patterns of Excessive Force" With Albuquerque Police

March 16 fatal shooting by APD officers.
March 16 fatal shooting by APD officers.
Credit 3/16/14 fatal shooting of James Boyd--Albuquerque Police Department video

The U.S. Justice Department says institutional reform is needed to curb the "patterns of excessive force" that were turned up by a civil investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department.  The federal agency said Thursday that Albuquerque officers need more training and tools to ensure they can protect the community without escalating potentially violent situations.

The agency found that officers too frequently used deadly force on people "who posed a minimal threat" and used a higher level of force too often on those with mental illness.

Acting U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez says the findings will help the city determine "the next generation" of policing.

The announcement followed an investigation into allegations of civil rights violations and excessive force that spanned more than a year. The department has faced criticism over 37 shootings by officers since 2010.

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