Families Whose Sons Killed by APD Officers Speak Out, Superintendent Winston Brooks Resignation, Reduced Marijuana Penalties Proposed Ballot Measure

This week on New Mexico in Focus, we talk with families whose sons were killed by Albuquerque Police Department officers. They share their journeys to becoming activists with NMiF Producer Megan Kamerick, as well as their thoughts on what needs to happen for real reform to take root at APD. All three families have won judgments or settlements in their cases and a report by the Department of Justice on APD criticized police actions in the deaths of two of the sons: Kenneth Ellis III and Alan Gomez.

The Line looks at the resignation of Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Winston Brooks and the $350,000 buyout of his contract, two years early. Brooks has not given a reason for his departure and the APS Board has refused to release a report on an investigation into it described as a “serious personnel issue” regarding Brooks. The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government is urging the Public Education Department not to sign off on the buyout until the report is made public, and several media outlets have filed Inspection of Public Records Act requests seeking the document’s release.

The Line opinion also discusses the push in Albuquerque and Santa Fe for reduced marijuana penalties. In Albuquerque, the proposed ballot measure is one of five questions in an election resolution crafted by the City Council. Mayor Richard J. Berry has said there are legal flaws in the proposal, but it’s unclear if he can veto one proposition without vetoing all five. And in Santa Fe, activists gathered enough signatures to have the question of reduced penalties considered for placement on the November ballot. The Santa Fe City Council will hold a hearing on the issue later this month. Gov. Susana Martinez is opposed to the initiatives and called them political moves to get more young people to the polls in November.

And the group will discuss several issues in its On the Clock segment, including an alleged hazing incident with the University of New Mexico’s women’s soccer team, the immigration center in Artesia and the federal indictment of Rio Arriba County Sheriff Tommy Rodella and his son.

Gene Grant

Kenneth Ellis II, Son died from police shooting
Mike Gomez, Son died from police shooting
Renetta Torres, Son died from police shooting
Stephen Torres, Son died from police shooting

Line Panelists:
Dan Foley, Former House Minority Whip
Viki Harrison, Common Cause
Laura Sanchez-Rivét, Sanchez Legal Solutions
Milan Simonich, Santa Fe New Mexican


The Producer of NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS is Megan Kamerick. Associate Producer is Kathy Wimmer. Funding for this program was provided in part by the McCune Foundation.

Episode 807 for air August 22, 2014