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June 19, 2020 – This week began with the announcement by Tim Keller that he planned to create a new public safety agency—the Community Safety Department—to provide a non-police response to some 911 calls. That move was quickly overshadowed when what started as a peaceful, prayerful protest of a statue of conquistador Don Juan de Oñate outside the Albuquerque Museum of Art devolved into violence. As demonstrators gathered, members of the self-described New Mexico Civil Guard militia group stood around the statue with guns brandished. Before long, the situation escalated and Steven Ray Baca, Jr., a failed city council candidate, allegedly shot one of the protestors. The Line opinion panel discusses the presence of undercover police officers who did not intervene, as well as the city’s actions before and after the shooting. 

Host/Correspondent: Gene Grant 

Line Panelists: 
Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group PR 
Sophie Martin, attorney 
Kristelle Siarza, Siarza Social Digital 

For Further Reading: 
Protester Shot After Militiamen Raise Tensions At Oñate Monument – KUNM 
Protester shot at Albuquerque anti-conquistador demonstrationDaily Lobo