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Wed Jul 22, 2020, 09:52 AM

NM lawmakers speak out against Sheriff's DC trip, threat to send federal troops to ABQ

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Several New Mexico Democratic lawmakers are coming out against comments made by President Donald Trump naming Albuquerque as one of the cities where he would deploy federal officers as part of Operation Relentless Pursuit.

This comes as news was released that Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales was invited to travel to the White House to meet with President Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr. According to a press release, Gonzales was invited by Barr to discuss BCSO’s success combating Albuquerque’s crime crisis as part of the operation. Albuquerque was one of seven cities selected for Operation Relentless Pursuit. Those cities were said to have been selected because of “their higher than average violent crime rate.”

On Tuesday, Sen. Martin Heinrich called for Gonzales’ resignation saying, “Instead of collaborating with the Albuquerque Police Department, the sheriff is inviting the president’s stormtroopers into Albuquerque. If we can learn anything from Portland, it’s that we don’t need this kind of 'help' from the White House. The president is currently using federal law enforcement agents like a domestic paramilitary force. That’s precisely how fascism begins and none of us should ever encourage or accept it. I believe that it is time for Sheriff Gonzales to step aside and make room for someone who will make maintaining the peace and promoting the safety and protection of Bernalillo County residents our law enforcement’s top priority.”

Congresswoman Deb Haaland released a statement saying, “Our communities are not combat zones, but President Trump and AG Barr are trying to deploy federal law enforcement officers into Albuquerque to harass our communities and divide us. Sheriff Manny Gonzales is their accomplice. We will stand united against this thinly veiled threat that works to silence dissent and hurt our communities. Sheriff Manny Gonzales will have to answer for taking President Trump’s side instead of the side of New Mexico families."

The city of Albuquerque also sent out a release condemning the threat to send federal forces to the city with statements from Mayor Tim Keller, Albuquerque Police Chief Mike Geier and City Attorney Esteban Aguilar, Jr.


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