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Wed Oct 1, 2014, 12:35 AM

Where Activists See Gray, Albuquerque Police See Black And White



Sam Costales, a former Albuquerque cop for more than 20 years, says of course there is a gray area.

Back in 2001, Costales was chasing an armed robbery suspect who grabbed a piece of pipe from the back of his truck and came at him. Costales took out his gun.

"I could've shot him," he says. "I had every right to shoot him. But I didn't want to shoot him."

Instead, he put his gun back in the holster, maced the guy and arrested him. "

*Costales says he tried to treat suspects with respect. But other cops yelled at people, beat people up, used their weapons against people and then covered it up, he says.

A lot of this bad behavior is the work of a good-old-boys network, where it's all about who you're related to, says Cassandra Morrison, another former Albuquerque cop of 20 years.

It's about "who you know, who you hang out with, who you smoke cigars with, who you go have a beer with," she says.

If you're in the club, she says, you don't get punished when you act like a cowboy, break the rules and use excessive force. It's a system that won't change until some of those cowboys get punished, she says.

Morrison says she's been told several Albuquerque police officers could be indicted in federal court for previous shootings.

"So I think once those indictments come down, it's gonna be like, 'Uh-oh,' " she says.

In other words, those who are part of the club aren't so invincible. "

http://kcur.org/post/albuquerque-police-department-faces-federal-and-public-scrutiny

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