by Brian A.Wilkins
4/13/2011 (links and photos updated December 30, 2018)
UPDATED June 21, 2011: New Mexico Supreme Court quashes certiorari, upholds Inspection of Public Records Act transparency rules regarding citizen complaints against cops.
Albuquerque Police have now murdered at least 11 people since the beginning of 2010, and now citizens of New Mexico could possibly lose the ability to view citizen complaints (aka public records) of cops across the state.
The latest murder under color of state law happened yesterday afternoon in the northwest part of the city. Though Albuquerque Police had a bomb squad and SWAT team at the home, the only details we know for sure is that 27-year-old Christopher Torres was murdered by said cops. Torres is the son of Bernalillo County Deputy Manager Renetta Torres.
Albuquerque Police, who of course are protecting the name of the killer, continue giving robotic, cop-speak answers to direct questions regarding the incident. All they have said is that “some sort of confrontation” occurred when their syndicate tried to “serve an arrest warrant” on Mr. Torres. The young man died at the scene, and of course the killer cop was rewarded with a paid vacation (aka “paid administrative leave”).
RELATED: Family of Christopher Torres settles for $6 million (May 22, 2015)
Meanwhile, the New Mexico Supreme Court, for whatever reason is reviewing the state Court of Appeals’ unanimous decision in Charles Cox v. New Mexico DPS et al. allowing citizens to view complaints filed by other citizens against New Mexico DPS cops. Attorneys for DPS say these documents are “personnel issues” and not subject to public records requests, pursuant to exceptions in the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA), as amended through 2009.
This case started in 2006, when Mr. Charles Cox requested and was subsequently denied access to citizen complaints filed against a certain DPS officer. He sued DPS in Santa Fe County District Court in response to DPS’s denial of access. DPS had the case moved to the U.S. District Court of New Mexico, and said court granted summary judgment in favor of DPS on the federal Freedom of Information Act claims. It remand the state IPRA claims back to Santa Fe County. The county court also granted summary judgment in favor of DPS. The New Mexico Court of Appeals reversed that decision last October. It is unclear whether Mr. Cox appealed the federal court decision to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
I assume the only issue the New Mexico Supreme Court will resolve (if they are a court of integrity and not a partisan advocate for the state) is if the citizen complaints fall under an exception they determined in the City of Farmington v. The Daily Times case in 2009. However, since DPS specifically named statutory exceptions which they believe citizen complaints fall under, this exception should not apply.
RELATED: New Mexico Foundation For Open Government Amicus Curiae Brief re: Charles Cox
The fact that Mr. Torres was arrested by Albuquerque Police just this past February (in a very bizarre incident) and determined to have schizophrenia at the time, shows that citizen oversight of government is absolutely necessary in New Mexico. Albuquerque Police obviously knew who he was, and what issues he had. But these people, like most other U.S. police departments, simply approach citizens with a shoot-first mentality without regard to any circumstances. Mr. Torres needed help and the state obliged by killing him (to the delight of the copsucking community). New Mexico is becoming the mecca; the epitome of the for-profit U.S. “justice system” which gives its henchmen statutory permission to kill whomever they want.
If the New Mexico Supreme Court overturns the appeals court’s decision, then citizens of New Mexico should need no more indication that its government is not in place for the people. Citizens should have already began arming themselves, pursuant to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. They should also never call police for anything. Police even tell you that anything you say to them “CAN AND WILL be used AGAINST you in a court of law.”
We will update this story when we learn more about Mr. Torres; and will update once the New Mexico Supreme Court reaches its decision. However, we fully expect a “justified” ruling by whatever body in New Mexico (grand jury, attorney general, etc.) and for the killer cop to be back on duty after his paid vacation.