The independent monitor, James Ginger, praised the city's overall compliance at 94% but expressed concerns about top-level mishandling of fatal police shootings.
The monitor identified a serious issue in the top brass' handling of a fatal police shooting, incorrectly deeming it justified, marking the second occurrence in a year. This raised concerns about the potential "chilling effect" on future investigations. Despite these concerns, the city has made significant strides in compliance, with only 12 out of 15 remaining paragraphs related to civilian oversight.
Mayor Tim Keller highlighted the progress, stating that the city is close to reaching the 95% compliance threshold, which, once sustained for two years, would end the consent decree. Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina likened the situation to being at the "1-yard line" and emphasized the importance of avoiding mistakes in the final stretch.
While acknowledging the overall progress, the monitor expressed fundamental concerns about oversight from top-level officials, particularly in cases of fatal police shootings. The report highlighted instances where the Force Review Board and Internal Affairs Force Division disagreed with EFIT, when APD deemed the shootings in line with existing policy.
In the report the monitor praises EFIT - "...evidence reveals that productivity levels from earlier monitoring periods have completely reversed and continue to stabilize at acceptable levels for case completion. We are aware that this reversal was achieved with external assistance provided by EFIT. Nonetheless, the progress made during IMR-15, IMR-16, and IMR-17 has been maintained during this reporting period."
Read the Monitor’s 18th Report here.