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Friday, December 19, 2014

Poor judgment obscures law enforcement’s virtue

Editor,

I am grateful to the men and women who devote their lives to law enforcement in the City of Albuquerque and in Bernalillo County. They place themselves in danger to enforce the laws that make our city a civilized place to live.

It is too easy to forget how necessary law enforcement is until you need their help. If someone steals from your store, breaks into your car, breaks into your house, harasses you, or commits any other crime, you realize how necessary law enforcement is for people to live together in a community. There will always be people who do not live just and good lives and will mistreat others. This makes it absolutely necessary for a community to have laws and law enforcement.

I support the APD, the Bernalillo County Sherriff’s Department, the Department of Public Transportation, the FBI, UNMPD and other law enforcement agencies working in Bernalillo County. Without them, criminals would run wild and destroy this great city. I used to be very sympathetic toward criminals and thought officers were sometimes too harsh with them. Then for a part-time job I worked loss prevention at a retail store for over a year. We were not allowed to use weapons to protect ourselves, but simply had to stand in front of a person walking out of the store and be ready for anything. Guess what? Some tried to beat the hell out of me, run from me, lie to me and so forth. I learned that a large majority of criminals are vicious human beings, full of bad habits and could care less about you or your safety. Until you spend some time with criminals, you really don’t grasp how dangerous they are and why law enforcement carries batons, pepper spray, bean bag rounds and guns.

At the same time, I also recognize that APD has seeds of corruption within it. A major stumbling block within APD is their extreme partiality in their dealing with people. If you are with APD, retired from APD, have family or friends with APD, etc., you can count on partial treatment. Partiality is a corruptor of justice, which is to render to each person what he deserves. This is why in the Bible you often read that God is not partial and judges all people fairly. God does not judge based on hearsay, appearance, reputation but judges all fairly. Don’t count on impartial treatment with APD, especially when it comes to them scrutinizing themselves.

Regarding the killing of James Boyd, it was a ridiculous and vicious act of law enforcement. Some of the officers drastically escalated the situation. Boyd was obviously gathering his belongings and getting ready to walk to the police when they used the stun grenade on a homeless and mentally unstable person. He responded to the stun grenade exactly as you would expect someone to respond who has been living on the violent streets for years. All non-violent methods and great patience should have been used to protect the lives of the officers and James Boyd.

Benjamin Sanchez
UNM alumnus