Berry is silent when it comes to his own police command staff lying about Victoria Martens in the months before her murder. R.J., isn't lying to the public evil?
Being an adult means accepting responsibility. But not if you work for Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry.
After the bombshell report from the Civilian Police Oversight Agency that concluded that APD command staff members lied regarding Victoria Martens, I asked if Chief Gorden Eden and Berry would publicly apologize. The response from Berry’s office was silence.
This is disgraceful, especially coming from Berry, who had this to say at the vigil for Victoria a year ago: “You can’t paint this any other way, other than this is pure evil.”
Now Berry is silent when it comes to his own police command staff lying about Victoria in the months before her murder. R.J., isn’t lying to the public evil?
What should Berry say? An apology to Victoria’s memory and the entire community would be appropriate. But in Berry’s political spin machine, saying you’re sorry for the actions of your subordinates would be deemed weak and might harm him for future political office. So Berry says nothing. No comment. Silence.
I asked Eden’s office if the chief would, at last, apologize for the lying. The response I received from Eden’s Communication Director Celina Espinoza was stunning in its lack of remorse and empathy.
“As soon as I learned there was a miscommunication between the PIO office and the Journal, I worked diligently to understand how this could occur and attain the facts. This took some time due to the complexity of this case. We are human. We take this issue very seriously. We all work very hard to get accurate information to the Journal, media and public at all times.”
Except that in Espinoza’s interview with CPOA investigator Paul Skotchdopole that’s not what happened. Espinoza told the investigator that a Crimes Against Children Unit detective told her that her comments to the Journal in January 2017 were completely wrong. Espinoza then stated that she reported this immediately to Eden. What did Eden do? Nothing.
What did Espinoza do? Well she sure didn’t contact the Journal reporter to retract the lies. In fact, it was the Journal reporter who finally confronted Espinoza and got her to admit them, seven weeks later.
Espinoza didn’t work diligently to understand anything. Let me clear this up for Espinoza: She was told by a detective that she and APD Officer Fred Duran had lied about Victoria to the Albuquerque Journal. That took about five minutes.
Espinoza wonders, “How could this occur and to obtain the facts?” It occurred because you and Fred Duran lied! It’s that simple. And the facts were told to her that day, and APD command, Eden and Espinoza, did nothing to retract the lies. Lies so hideous they should have had sleepless nights because of them.
Espinoza then plays the “pity me” card. “We are human.” No shit, really? I’m not sure because humans have empathy and compassion. Humans admit mistakes and take responsibility for their actions. Eden and Espinoza have done neither. They knew lies were spoken about Victoria and did nothing to correct them.
Berry is right, “it’s pure evil” when you tell lies about a girl who was raped and murdered.
For seven months Eden has known about the lies his staff conspired to tell about Victoria and he’s said nothing. When asked if Eden would publicly apologize, Espinoza replied, “I’m not sure what you are asking? Issuing an apology?”
I don’t believe that Eden and Espinoza believe they did anything wrong. Telling lies about Victoria and getting caught hasn’t caused them any remorse. I suspect they only feel bad about getting caught as it might harm their careers.
Victoria’s memory cries out for justice not only against those who murdered her, but also against those in authority who didn’t act to save her when they had the chance. Her memory cries for vengeance against those who placed lies in her dead mouth. Lies used to cover up for their mistakes by blaming Victoria.
Any other city with a conscience would fire these people. In Albuquerque, we just keep paying them. We are a heartless town.