By Dan Klein
-- Ninety-eight killings so gar
Albuquerque’s homicide machine has slowed down a little, thanks to the excellent work by UNMH Trauma Center. As of September 18, 2021, the Albuquerque Journal is reporting 85 homicides within the city limits of Albuquerque. In addition to this number there have been 11 justified homicides within the city limits, add to this the two children murdered by their drunk mothers, and we have 98 so far this year (APD recently changed several homicides to suicide and drug overdose).
The justified homicides are:
Mark Padilla, killed on January 9, 2021
Ruben Parra, killed on February 2, 2021
Claude Trevino, killed by APD officers on February 20, 2021
Dominic Lueras, killed on on March 19, 2021
Neil Green, killed on March 27, 2021
Juan Cordova, killed by APD officers on April 16, 2021
Marquez Floyd, killed by FBI on July 14, 2021
Richard Castillo, killed on July 31, 2021
Eric Padilla, killed by APD officers, August 15, 2021
4th and Bellamah, criminal killed while robbing store September 6, 2021
1305 Gibson, Subway, criminal killed while robbing store, September 14, 2021
When a citizen kills someone, how does APD and the District Attorney determine the case to be justified? Know one will say. Inquiries made to APD and the DA office have only resulted in silence from both agencies. We know that when police officers kill someone the case is reviewed by the DA office via a private contractor who makes the decision and then reports it to DA Raul Torrez. But when a citizen kills someone, neither the DA nor APD seem to have any real policies governing how to decide it is justified. At least that is what their silence seems to be saying. Once again, there is no transparency within our local government.
There is also a question about how some homicides are being documented. In February 2021, three people were found dead in a home in Westgate. One person was found inside a vehicle, which was running, in a closed garage. The other two people were found deceased in upstairs bedrooms. All three died from carbon monoxide poisoning. But for some reason the OMI decided that all three deaths were “accidental”. Calls to the OMI office asking for an explanation have, you guessed it, resulted in silence. I guess the OMI doesn’t answer to citizens either.
Here is the problem with naming all three deaths accidental. It does not matter if the person in the garage was attempting suicide or was just stupid (why else would he be in a running car with the garage door shut), his actions took the lives of the other two individuals. Even if he didn’t mean to, he caused their deaths and had he lived he could be charged with their murders. So why did the OMI say “accidental”? How many other suspicious deaths have been mischaracterized? And why?
APD, OMI and the DA are not being transparent. Taxpaying citizens deserve better treatment from our public servants.