Watch

User menu

Search form

Albuquerque protesters say video acquits man accused of assault

Albuquerque protesters say video acquits man accused of assault
Fri, 6/13/2014 - by Rory Carroll
This article originally appeared on The Guardian

Activists who occupied the Albuquerque mayor's office in protest of police shootings say video footage exonerates a university professor who is accused of assaulting a police officer during the protest.

David Correia, 45, who teaches at the University of New Mexico, has been charged with battery on a police officer – a felony – over a confrontation during the 2 June sit-in.

Video footage contradicts the police version and establishes that Correia posed no threat when the officer grabbed him and hauled him away, several activists said on Monday.

The group Photography Is Not A Crime, which documents alleged police abuses, on Sunday posted footage of the confrontation and other incidents during the sit-in, drawing on cellphone video shot by several activists.

About two dozen activists, including relatives of people killed by the police, occupied the office of mayor Richard Berry last week, prompting acrimonious exchanges with officials and the cancellation of a city council meeting.

Twelve people were charged with criminal trespassing, unlawful assembly and interfering with a public official or staff.

A thirteenth, Correia, was charged with assaulting Chris Romero, a police officer attached to the mayor's office. According to the criminal complaint the professor “hit him with his body in his chest area, causing (Romero) to lose his balance.” The complaint adds: “When David hit Officer Romero he pushed him back which allowed the rest of the protestors to enter the office.”

In a segment of video shot by Caden Rocker, Correia and several other activists were already inside the lobby when the incident occurred. Correia was addressing other members of the group, declaring “a public meeting in a public office,” when he became tangled with Romero. Correia turned his back from the officer and held his arms in the air, still addressing his companions, when Romero pulled him down a corridor.

“I was surprised when the officer started dragging David,” said Rocker. “And I was shocked after the fact when David was charged with these phoney charges.” Charlie Grapski, another activist who compiled the clips, said the officer was the aggressor.

Correia appeared at his first hearing at the metropolitan court last week and pleaded not guilty. “These charges have no merit,” he told the Guardian on Monday. He may not leave the county or attend city council meetings – which are held in the same building as the mayor's office – until the case is resolved.

The district attorney's office said in a statement it was considering whether it would be “appropriate” to bring the case to a grand jury. “While it would be inappropriate to discuss any specific evidence, we will be reviewing all documentation and evidence that is submitted to us by law enforcement.”

The case was the latest twist in the campaign to reform Albuquerque's police department in the wake of 25 fatal shootings since 2010. Simmering anger erupted into coordinated protest in March after a video surfaced showing police shooting James Boyd, a mentally ill homeless man.

Last month activists took over a council meeting and attempted a symbolic citizens' arrest of the police chief. They staged a silent protest at a subsequent council meeting, prompting guards to escort them out. The 2 June sit-in caused a third disruption to the city council.

 
Also this week, in ongoing protests related to Boyd's killing, "Albuquerque to Pay $6 Million for Wrongful Police Shooting".
 

Sign Up

Article Tabs

gun violence, sexual harassment, fracking, universal healthcare

Check out these uplifting tales in an age of diminished expectations.

participatory budgeting, citizen decision-making, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Citizen control of spending decisions means communities decide what their city does and does not do with public funds. For 30 years the process has worked in Brazil, and now it's spreading rapidly.

Did you know that showering less will save some water—sadly, not millions of gallons that fracking operations use in a day—nor will it keep your water safe from contamination—or your house from exploding

Greek economic crisis, Greek bailout, Syriza party, Greek austerity measures, E.U. bailouts, Alexis Tsipras

Poverty, privatizations, debt – in Greece, which just officially "ended" its bailout program, the silent majority can't let go their fear that this might just be the prelude to something worse yet to come.

California, privatization, PG&E, investor-owned utilities, energy utilities, fire risk, fire damage, Global Climate Action Summit, public banks, energy prices, consumer fees

Oil companies heat and dry up the planet, power companies start fires on the dried up land – and we pay the bills.

gun violence, sexual harassment, fracking, universal healthcare

Check out these uplifting tales in an age of diminished expectations.

A 2016 demonstration in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, where the Occupy Wall Street movement started five years earlier. (Corinne Segal / pbs.org)

We live in a new feudalism. We have been stripped of political power. Workers are trapped in menial jobs, forced into crippling debt and paid stagnant or declining wages. Where will this end?

participatory budgeting, citizen decision-making, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Citizen control of spending decisions means communities decide what their city does and does not do with public funds. For 30 years the process has worked in Brazil, and now it's spreading rapidly.

bank bailouts, criminal executives, bank crimes, foreclosure crisis, subprime mortgages, derivatives market, too big to fail

Here's Why No One Went to Jail After the 2008 Financial Crisis. To many people, this is the single most frustrating post-crisis question.

Did you know that showering less will save some water—sadly, not millions of gallons that fracking operations use in a day—nor will it keep your water safe from contamination—or your house from exploding

California, privatization, PG&E, investor-owned utilities, energy utilities, fire risk, fire damage, Global Climate Action Summit, public banks, energy prices, consumer fees

Oil companies heat and dry up the planet, power companies start fires on the dried up land – and we pay the bills.

Posted 6 days 17 hours ago
participatory budgeting, citizen decision-making, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Citizen control of spending decisions means communities decide what their city does and does not do with public funds. For 30 years the process has worked in Brazil, and now it's spreading rapidly.

Posted 3 days 18 hours ago
“We just want to be able to take care of ourselves as men and women, in this Department of Corrections,” a strike participant from a South Carolina prison said.Photograph by David Paul Morris / Bloomberg / Getty

Wages for incarcerated workers are typically cents per hour, and several states—Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and South Carolina—use prisoner labor without paying them at all.

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago
Occupy Wall Street, OWS, Occupy protests, Zuccotti Park, wealth inequality, Occupy anniversary

How a movement that eschewed electoral politics is now showing up everywhere in the 2018 progressive resurgence.

Posted 6 days 17 hours ago
gun violence, sexual harassment, fracking, universal healthcare

Check out these uplifting tales in an age of diminished expectations.

Posted 2 days 18 hours ago
“We just want to be able to take care of ourselves as men and women, in this Department of Corrections,” a strike participant from a South Carolina prison said.Photograph by David Paul Morris / Bloomberg / Getty

Wages for incarcerated workers are typically cents per hour, and several states—Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and South Carolina—use prisoner labor without paying them at all.

gun violence, sexual harassment, fracking, universal healthcare

Check out these uplifting tales in an age of diminished expectations.

FISA warrants, surveillance programs, monitoring journalists, journalist surveillance, FISA court, Freedom of Information Act,

The U.S. government can monitor journalists under a foreign intelligence law that allows invasive spying and operates outside the traditional court system, according to newly released documents.

California, privatization, PG&E, investor-owned utilities, energy utilities, fire risk, fire damage, Global Climate Action Summit, public banks, energy prices, consumer fees

Oil companies heat and dry up the planet, power companies start fires on the dried up land – and we pay the bills.

too big to fail, public banks, public banking, Bank of North Dakota, financial crisis

When the next crisis hits, the public will once again be called upon to step in and bail out Wall Street. We need to start seriously preparing an alternative response: public banks.