Albuquerque Is Becoming Numb To Victims

Albuquerque Is Becoming Numb To Victims

We Need More Criminal Prosecution, Less Victim-Blaming

Why should you give a damn if crooks are killing each other? Why should you care if a woman dresses inappropriately, gets drunk, and then is raped? These people all got what the deserved. Right?

I hear from many Albuquerque citizens who are sick of crime, and as far as they are concerned, if scumbags kill or injure other scumbags, who cares if the police and the district attorney don’t prosecute? You want to swim with the sharks, you get eaten. You dress or act a certain way and get attacked, well, you probably deserved it. Is this what Albuquerque is becoming?

Chris Ramirez with KOBTV reported on a rape victim who was brutally attacked in an alley behind 6th and Central and then left for dead on a road in Belen. Her injuries were so horrific that the idea that she even survived is amazing.

What stunned me even more was when the victim stated that detectives and prosecutors decided not to prosecute her case, even though she identified the offender. She felt that law enforcement in Albuquerque and at the 2nd Judicial District Attorney office were blaming her for being raped. In their opinion it was her fault that she was beaten and raped.

Only after Attorney General Hector Balderas stepped in and ordered the State Police to take the case over, was she redeemed. The offender was found guilty and sentenced to 35 years in prison. I wonder how APD and the Bernalillo County District Attorney felt when this verdict came? Did they even care? I doubt it. The system has become numb to victims.

On March 22, 2015 one juvenile was murdered and six others wounded in a gang fight at Los Altos Skate Park. The fight was caught on video. It showed the man who brought a gun to the park purposely fight with the other gang, retrieve his gun from a friend and put two bullets into the back of a rival who was walking, then running, away. The shooter turned himself into APD hours later, admitted to the shooting (claiming self-defense) and admitted to tampering with evidence because he got rid of the murder weapon.

You would expect that the shooter would be charged with manslaughter (a statute specific to this type of incident) and tampering with evidence, but you would be wrong. APD didn’t charge, and the former district attorney refused to prosecute. Current DA Raul Torres has been asked to reconsider charges by the dead kid’s family. The response from his office was “No.”

So why should you care? Because we are a community of laws. If we don’t hold those in government accountable for equally enforcing all laws, then we have anarchy. Drive our roads or go Downtown on Saturday night and it seems that we are living the movie “The Purge.”

When law enforcement decides that some lives are worth more than others, or that some victims deserved what they got, they put the entire community in danger.

Because APD and the DA didn’t charge the shooter at Los Altos, he was stalking our streets a year later.

On May 20, 2016 the shooter, on video, severely beat another man inside a convenience store. This time the guy who was getting beaten up had a gun. As the Los Altos shooter ran for his life, 17 bullets were fired at him, at 6:45 p.m. at Tramway and Copper.

Luckily no one was hit by a stray bullet, but why do we have to depend upon luck? Had APD and the DA prosecuted the shooter with manslaughter charges in 2015, he probably would not have been on our streets in 2016. Making our community safe means doing your damn job.

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Dan Klein

Dan Klein is a retired Albuquerque police sergeant. Reach him via Facebook and Twitter via @dankleinabq.
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  • Anonymous
    May 23, 2017, 11:18 pm

    Every sworn APD officer connected to Internal Affairs should be investigated for their failures in these cases and in the case of Detective Jodi Gonterman. Until APD quits looking the other way, the citizens are on their own in the fight against crime.

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