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Bella Davis


Trump supporters spread misinformation at Roundhouse following Biden victory

SANTA FE — Shortly after the election was called in favor of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. late Saturday morning, supporters of lame-duck President Donald Trump rallied at the Roundhouse. The rally was a part of nationwide “Stop the Steal” protests, which organized around the false claim that the 2020 election was fraudulent with rampant voter fraud. Around 200 people stood on the sidewalk in front of the state Capitol building as cars flying Trump and U.S. flags drove by — one of which had “fake news mobile” written on the side, listing local TV news stations KRQE, KOB and KOAT — and cries of “four more years” rang out.


Concerns about voter intimidation loom in election run-up

Albuquerque resident Eleanor Chavez was driving by the 98th and Central early voting site on Saturday, Oct. 17 when she passed a caravan of flag-waving Trump supporters who drove through the parking lot. Hours later, she went back and saw a man with a Trump flag on the back of his truck yelling at voters before the police arrived. “Who does that? I’ve been voting for a hundred million years, and I’ve never seen anything like that,” Chavez said. Chavez said she was planning to vote that day but decided to wait because of the activity she observed, which she called “threatening.”


GPSA announces support for graduate worker union

University of New Mexico graduate student workers are organizing a union called United Graduate Workers of UNM, with the support of UNM Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), as was announced to all graduate students via email on Monday. Pay, benefits and working conditions, all of which would presumably be the focus of union contract negotiations, “are of material importance to the ability of our graduate and professional students to access a high-quality education, maintain good standing in their graduate programs and complete their degrees in a reasonable timeframe,” the GPSA email said.


COVID-19 jail outbreak jeopardizes vulnerable populations

The Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) on the far west side of Albuquerque has seen a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases this month. Between Oct. 12-15, the jail reported 139 new cases. In response, public defenders are calling for police to cite people rather than arrest them when possible. MDC bookings show that over the past week, dozens of people have been jailed for minor, nonviolent crimes like possession of a controlled substance, driving with a revoked license and criminal trespassing. Trespassing is a charge often leveled against unhoused people, as the Daily Lobo previously reported in July.

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Graduate student workers organize for better pay, working conditions

At a virtual town hall attended by over 150 people, University of New Mexico graduate student workers discussed how the administration has continuously ignored their concerns related to pay and working conditions.  Now, they’re organizing to form a union. “This is a historical moment for us to be organizing and unionizing during a pandemic,” United Graduate Workers of UNM organizer and Chicana/o Studies PhD candidate Natalia Toscano said. “The fact is that we’re standing up to ensure that all workers have a voice at the table and that we’re getting all of the benefits and pay and resources that ensure that we live full and dignified lives.”


UNMPD officer receives written warning for racist video

After a TikTok video featuring a South Park “scanning for Mexicans” voiceover circulated on social media last month and caused an upset among the student body, University of New Mexico police officer Eric Peer was placed on paid administrative leave for two weeks while an internal investigation was conducted, as previously reported in the Daily Lobo. At the time Peer was allowed to return to work, UNM spokesperson Cinnamon Blair said “appropriate disciplinary action” had been taken but declined to disclose any details. Through a records request, the Daily Lobo has learned that the disciplinary action levied against Peer was a written warning.


UNM withholds on-campus dorms coronavirus data, citing privacy concerns

Mirroring many other universities across the country in lack of transparency, the University of New Mexico is refusing to disclose how many students living in on-campus housing have tested positive for COVID-19. Responding to a question from the Daily Lobo about which dorms have had outbreaks and how many students who live on campus have tested positive, Sarah Scott, a spokesperson for UNM Institutional Support Services which UNM Residence Life and Student Housing falls under, said the University will not release those details “to protect student privacy.” Melanie Majors, the executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, said that universities nationwide are abusing federal privacy laws as an excuse to not disclose coronavirus data.


UNMPD files leaked in large-scale law enforcement hack

Amidst national protests against police brutality spurred by the police murder of George Floyd, hundreds of University of New Mexico Police Department files were leaked in what is reportedly the largest hack of United States law enforcement agencies. Notably, UNMPD appears to be the only university police department included in the leak. It’s now been over three months since the hacked files were published with no public action from the University. Responding to a request from the Daily Lobo, UNM said they were unaware that private information — like home addresses and driver’s license numbers collected for police reports — was made public.


Breonna Taylor grand jury verdict sparks nightly protests in Albuquerque

Joining nationwide protests over the grand jury verdict in the police murder of Breonna Taylor, protesters in Albuquerque have taken to the streets every night since the decision to not indict the officers was announced on Sept. 23.  Taylor was a 26-year-old Black woman killed in her apartment by Louisville, Ky. police officers during the execution of a no-knock warrant in March. A grand jury indicted one officer, Brett Hankison, for wanton endangerment for his actions that night, but none of the three officers who fired shots are facing charges for Taylor’s murder.

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‘Alarming’ inaction: Department chair calls for transparent investigation of UNMPD

American Studies Chair David Correia is calling for a community-led investigation of the University of New Mexico Police Department “with a focus on finding alternatives to armed police on UNM’s campus,” per a letter Correia sent to UNM President Garnett Stokes on Friday. The letter was written in part as a response to UNMPD officer Eric Peer, who recently returned to work after two weeks of paid leave following an investigation for a racist TikTok video that featured a “scanning for Mexicans” South Park voice over. University spokesperson Cinnamon Blair said disciplinary action has been taken but wouldn’t say what that disciplinary action was. The Daily Lobo has filed a records request in an attempt to learn the nature of the sanctions levied on Peer.

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