Archives for category: macondo

So, about the crisis of confidence in the Albuquerque police department. A roundup to settle my thoughts.

I am wondering if the peace officer who has charged David Correia with assault at the sit in at the mayor’s office is Chris Romero, the officer seen manhandling Correia in this video, and possibly the same Chris Romero dismissed from, but present at, an absolutely Soviet case of police harassment detailed by Joline Gutierrez Krueger. There appear to be at least two Chris Romero police officers in Albuquerque.
Video and screen caps of Correia’s take down by Chris Romero at the mayor’s office:

Krueger’s 2008 column on the unbelievable excessive force incident at which a Chris Romero was present:

I am interested in the proposals by a retired policeman, Joe Byers, for the reform of the police department. It takes courage and love to come forward, and I’m glad he did. I want protesters to work on putting together a group of Joe Byers and his colleagues, as many as possible, to work together for plausible and real reform.

As beady-eyed as I feel about David Correia, he makes the perfect points in Mayor Berry’s oddly stoned, bubble boy response to the APD crisis — hiring dubious interlocutors, setting up toothless police complaint commissions. The idea that a photo op kind of charrette is reparation, rather than a.) PR control, b.) nut-cutting co-optation, c.) surveillance of citizens by notably violent and paranoid cops and d.) a veritably Dickensian Office of Circumlocution, is firmly planted in Berry’s mind as a form of proactive governance.* It’s not. Correia’s “press release” (um, no, it’s a polemic, although a good one; fighting spin with “press releases” strikes me as vying for the spotlight) on the topic of Berry’s spurious police complaint commissions is here. (If this is a movement and not a personal crusade, the good points about the police complaint commissions should have issued from protest HQ, not by the professor personally.)

The APD audio in the shooting of Ralph Chavez is here, along with a transcript.

The video of Officer Pablo Padilla arresting for drunk driving, and smashing the testicle of a law student, is here.

It seems to me both officers are performing for the camera. The audio of the Chavez shooting has the cop repeatedly saying I do not want to shoot you as he prepares and signals his intent to do so. Officer Padilla appears to discover a joint invisible to the camera, but pointedly described by Padilla — Is this a joint here?.

I think this is obvious to anyone who listens to or watches the (disturbing) tapes.


*I have to add, given, for example, Dinah Vargas and others’ detailed accounts of harassment by the APD as activists against excessive force, that community participation in police complaint boards is going to be minimal. The account in the Krueger column of the torture of a citizen by four police thugs at night is reason number one why no citizen with a real complaint against the police would ever show up and say anything to a police complaint board. Considering the fates of civil rights lawyer Mary Han, and Jerome Hall, shot dead six days after he won a police brutality suit against the APD, no sane person would show their face at one of the proposed police complaint commissions. You’d have to be crazy.

There’s a Supercuts I like for its grittiness at San Mateo just down from Zuni, set in a sea of asphalt next to a crumbling adobe House of Prayer. Went to see M. there for my haircut today just as the proprietor, a giant man with a shaved head and a moustache of a shade of black not seen, perhaps, in nature, was depositing a young Native American on the sandy concrete sidewalk in front of the shop in the sea of asphalt. Apparently the young man, neatly dressed in clean jeans and a windbreaker, had been panhandling the haircut customers and was so high he could not stand up after the giant had gently escorted him outside the shop.

As I entered the shop the proprietor was saying “Don’t call the cops yet.”

M. and I talked about her parents, who taught on the rez for 40 years. M. herself was born here in Macondo and perhaps on account of such virtuous parents spent her early days in what she calls the party zone. Twenty minutes later, my hair was cut, the young man was still sitting on the concrete outside, and the police had been called. M and I joked about how I am still paranoid, after 40 years, about having a roach in my pocket when the cops show up.

On the way to the car, I said, “Take care of yourself,” to the young man. He was sitting on the sidewalk leaning against the crusty adobe. He heard me and said he would.

Went to San Felipe de Neri mission church in Old Town today, then next door to the former convent, now a gifte shoppe, where the treasured parish cookbook, Memories and Recipes, San Felipe de Neri Parish is for sale. It’s recipes as well as the sociology of working class Hispano Albuquerque and their posadas and dias de los muertos, among many many other things.

I was eating a big bowl of green chile chicken stew at Flying Star and reading the cookbook when I met a new friend. Like me, she was raised in Bolivia. Like me, she went to grade school in the 1950s and was taught — very well indeed — by wounded Nazis at the Deutsche Schule in Oruro.

My fourth grade teacher in Cochabamba, Miss Hallek, looked like Adolf Eichmann, and tried to convert us to some kind of scary bleeding heart Lutheran religion with a really interesting flannel board.

My new friend lived in Taos and says all the abuelitos of all the Hispanos there were peones, walking sheep from Taos to Oklahoma and back. They speak the Spanish of Cervantes.
The cookbook has all kinds of Hispano and Mejicano fuds for festal days in it, including about seven versions of such Lenten dishes as weeds ‘n’ beans (quelites=lamb’s quarter or canned spinach, according to the seven permutations of San Felipe, who is said to have had a big heart and a sense of humor).
I love¬†weeds ‘n’ beans. I thought only the Italians ate it (for example, Sam Giancana’s last supper, the one he was cooking when he was assassinated.)
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