Nineteen officers in the Albuquerque, New Mexico police department’s specialized protest team have quit after an officer was put on leave following a protest over the weekend, the Washington Examiner reported.
Two sergeants, one lieutenant and seventeen officers resigned from the team, but not from the police force, after a fellow team member was punished for detaining a Black protester who was armed with a rifle. The protest was supposed to be a counterprotest to a Proud Boys demonstration — a demonstration that never occurred.
The APD said there was a “breakdown of communication” about whether the protester, Deyontae Williams, should have been charged with a crime and the officer was put on leave while an investigation was conducted.
“Chief Medina made it clear that we cannot have a breakdown in communication during critical incidents,” the APD said of the incident. “We have worked hard to earn back the public’s trust. We will lose that trust if we resist accountability and culture change.”
Confusion about arrest
Williams told a local news station on Monday that he had not been charged with a crime, but APD said he had been charged with child endangerment but had not yet received a summons.
President of the Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association Shaun Willoughby said confusion did not help a situation in which officers feel that officials do not trust them to do their jobs.
“They don’t feel supported here, and they don’t feel trust. They feel second-guessed, and they don’t feel that they can do their job, no matter how perfect they do their job, without getting in trouble,” Willoughby told local reporters.
Willoughby said that morale has become non-existent in the department.
“I think Mayor Keller needs to make a serious decision of what this police department’s priority structure is,” Willoughby said. “Morale, let’s not even talk about it because it doesn’t exist. There is no morale. Your Albuquerque police officers are absolutely miserable at work — nobody’s happy.”
More than 20 officers have resigned from the force this year, a trend in police departments around the country.
In Democrat-run cities, leaders often express disdain for police and favor defunding and disempowering them, while at the same time looking to police when order needs to be restored.
Don’t they know you can’t have your cake and eat it, too?