From the ABQ Journal (h/t: ChéPasa):

One woman chained herself to an art case. Others strung up crime-scene tape and shouted for the firing of the police chief.

It all happened inside the mayor’s suite on the top floor of City Hall this afternoon, just two hours before the City Council was to meet on a variety of bills centered on the Albuquerque Police Department. Mayor Richard Berry was out of town, but his top administrator, Rob Perry, watched and later confronted protesters as they continued their sit-in.

The demonstration ended with the arrests of 13 people charged with criminal trespassing, unlawful assembly and interfering with a public official or staff. One person was charged with pushing a member of the mayor’s security detail.

Police quickly cut the chains that protester Nora Tachias Anaya had looped around a display case.

‘All we asked is to talk to the mayor,’ she said just before officers cuffed her with plastic ties.

The confrontation came just four days after an autopsy report revealed that police had shot a homeless man in the back in March. The shooting — of James Boyd, who struggled with mental illness — triggered street protests throughout the spring, some of which ended with police dispersing tear gas.

‘We want answers,’ Mary Jobe, whose fiancee was also shot and killed by police, said in an interview. ‘We’re tired of the mayor hiding from us.’

The sit-in lasted about 90 minutes and triggered a lockdown of City Hall. The council canceled its meeting.  [snip]

Gilbert Montaño, the mayor’s chief of staff, said one of the protesters, David Correia, pushed his way through the interior door as other people were going in.

Correia ‘rammed through the door and pushed one of our officers,’ Montaño said.

Barbara Grothus, one of the people arrested, said protesters didn’t have to force their way into the mayor’s suite.

‘There was no lock,’ she said. ‘We just opened the door and walked in.’

The protest continued outside at one point this afternoon.  Protesters from the Coalition Against Police Brutality and the Answer Coalition, among other groups, gathered beside City Hall and blasted the mayor for not meeting with them.

‘We need answers and the police chief and the mayor does not give them to us — they hide, they hire people to do their talking for them. Where was the mayor for eight days after James Boyd was shot? He couldn’t face anybody because he’s a coward,’ said Mike Gomez, father of Alan Gomez, who was fatally shot by police.

Montaño said Correia had been charged with battery on a police officer.

(I ‘m indisposed by an ooky headache, so I won’t likely be back to answer questions.  Anyone interested: please help.  I can’t afford the time online to give you background, but you could read this post ‘ABQ Citizens Show What Democracy Looks Like, and a Fine Sight It Is’ from May 9.)

I haven’t seen names of all those arrested, so I don’t know if FDL’s LeMoyne or other denizens were, who’s out on bail and who’s not. You might find more on Russell Contreras’s Twitter account; I’ll paste in some of his Tweets and video coverage.

Update: KRQE news is reporting that David Correia has been charged with felony battery on a police officer.  If so, think: Cecily McMillan.

The city council meeting was cancelled and rescheduled for June 9 at 5:00 due to ‘security concerns.  See more video of the arrests at KOAT TV news; watch as Barbara Grothus is hauled off.  You go girl!

Be sure and put a candle in the window for Barbara and the others, so they can follow the light home.  Stay safe, all.  We’re all in your debt for being courageous in the name of justice for all citizens everywhere whose police departments can murder citizens at will for being poor, brown, homeless, or even ‘peeking through store windows in a suspicious manner’.


Cross-posted at Café