Four and a half years ago, in December 2009, Richard Berry took office as the mayor of the city of Albuquerque. Ray Schultz was chief of the Albuquerque Police Department then, and if that wasn’t bad enough, Berry brought Darren White in to be Schultz’s boss. And with them came Rob Perry as the city’s attorney. White and Perry, two politically connected players with a faction of the state’s fringe Republican party led by their White and Perry’s legal anti-sage Paul Kennedy and a political stooge known as Richard Berry. Who had anything to worry about?
Under this triad of Berry-Perry-White, Schultz was let loose without controls to keep his machinations in place as he focused on things OTHER than professional policing. And as Schultz abandoned his post as chief, questionable shootings occurred. Then when there was no accountability for the questionable shootings, officers pushed the envelope and used force at anything that moved or appeared to move. Then grotesque actions of misconduct followed with the nadir exemplified by the direct and deliberate actions by the very leaders Berry appointed, or retained, to run the city: Perry, White, and Schultz.
Then the citizens started to push back. Push came in the form of speeches at city council and in the form of litigation. Finally demands for an outside entity echoed across the country into the halls of “Main Justice” in Washington, D.C. While Schultz abdicated his position as chief to build his resume, nurture business relationship, and practice “nature at play” with the ladies the city and the department was under the microscope.
Realizing an outside investigation would expose all the other things that have been going on in the city and in APD, Schultz started to make wild and bizarre actions in contrast to what he’d been doing. He even actively sought criminal indictments against his own officers whom he had previously openly praised..
Now with the DOJ concluding that APD has been run as one of the worst and most violent police departments in the nation, Berry completes the circle of lies in last nights In-Focus program on KNME with Schultz’s two buddies from Taser: Greenwood and Streicher. (watch it here: http://www.newmexicopbs.org/productions/newmexicoinfocus/)
Under Berry’s view of the last few years, he’s been “committed” to the department and the citizens of Albuquerque; right, because that’s why citizens have taken to the streets, to city council, and to the courts and are winning on a such a level the national media refers to our city and department has being legendary in its corruption.
From the interview:
Streicher and Greenwood
As Taser’s Streicher and Greenwood point out, there’s a desire to improve the image and effectiveness of APD and the city; this of course CONFIRMS the failure of the last four and a half years. They also confirm that for 4 ½ years the community and the officers who have been treated like Omaree by Berry have been left on Berry’s sidelines. They also CONFIRM rules and regulation changes, like the superficial one’s Berry put into place are not effective.
He’s going to ask DOJ to make sure the Federal Monitor is meaningful and will support obtainable milestones. Again, Berry CONFIRMS the failures he’s responsible for over the last 4 ½ years of running the city. Berry also finally makes the audacious statement that the lawsuits that have plagued this city are Marty Chavez’s fault. In saying this, he CONFIRMS his failure to keep Ray Schultz as chief and sidesteps the Ellis trial which wholly falls at his feet for the city’s largest police related judgment (nevermind what’s coming from all the others and especially the James Boyd killing). As Berry said, “April 11 started a new era of policing” and that we should get to “effective and Constitutional policing” again confirming the previous four years have been a period of darkness and failure. But he hedges his statement with making sure things are “balanced.” We hope Luis Saucedo from DOJ heard that loud and clear. Berry continues with his pontificating about bringing the community together (after all he’s done to let it fall apart).
In light of all these acknowledgments and admissions that the city and department has been not all the great things he said it was while fighting against DOJ from coming in, Berry was asked about the city’s handling of the suspicious death scene of Mary Han, and whether he was ready to “adjust the city’s posture” in response to the NM Attorney General’s condemnation of APD’s handling of the scene. Remembering Berry’s response was to call the allegations “frivolous,” Berry’s response was to say he wasn’t “familiar with what the legal department is doing with that…the mayor doesn’t run investigations” and that city’s handling of the Han scene is “not related to DOJ’s findings.” Berry also adds that “they’ve always been willing to come to the table.”
In making those remarks Berry confirms he will only do those things he is compelled to do. And when finally he is dragged to the “table” he will spin it and make it look like he’s been at the table all along. The reality is, and his comments throughout this interview reveal, that he has been feasting on this city like the fat man above and now we are seeing him scramble….and Richard Berry, this is a conversation that is going to continue……..and get much worse.