TIME Civil Rights

Feds Blast Albuquerque Police For ‘Excessive Force’

Vigil For Veteran Shot Dead by Albuquerque Police
Marla Brose—Albuquerque Journal/ZUMA Press Star Garrett, left, and Shannon Haley, second from left, embrace during the vigil for James Boyd in the foothills near U-Mound in Albuquerque, April 2, 2014.

The scathing report comes weeks after protests against police brutality shook the city. The mayor has already said the police department will implement reforms as a result of the Justice Department probe

A federal investigation into the Albuquerque police department found “a pattern or practice of use of excessive force, including deadly force” that violated the Fourth Amendment, the Justice Department said Thursday.

The probe, launched in 2012, found that the Albuquerque Police Department too often uses deadly force, applies less lethal force—like Tasers—unnecessarily, and too often uses force against people with mental illness. The report also details problems within the department that include inadequate training and lack of accountability.

The scathing report comes weeks after protests against police brutality shook the city, fueled by outrage over the police shooting of James Boyd, a homeless mentally ill man. Since January 2010, 37 people were shot by police, and 23 were killed.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry announced last week in anticipation of the report the hiring of a deputy police chief to oversee implementation of the report’s recommendations.



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