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Statement from City Councilor Ken Sanchez

I want to thank the brave men and women of the Albuquerque Police Department for the incredible job they did protecting the city and its citizens last night and into the early morning hours during last night’s riots.  In the face of rock and bottle throwing and violence all around them, APD officers showed a calmness and professional restraint that reflected well on the community and the Department.  Last night, officers had literally hundreds of opportunities to engage the protestors with violence, but instead, at their own peril, they patiently redirected them until they dispersed.  I am very proud to support the Albuquerque Police Department and to have fought hard, along with the other members of the City Council, to find funding for the programs that will retain these experienced officers.

And let me be clear, the violence that erupted last night, was not the result of peaceful protests by local community action groups, but rather was the result of incitement by a small but organized group of trouble makers whose sole intent was to act out. Local protestors did their best to maintain order, but when they withdrew, those with violent intent took over. There is no excuse for their reprehensible behavior, and I know Mayor Berry and his administration are doing everything to find and hold accountable those who are responsible for last night’s violence.

Whether one agrees with a candidate’s opinions or not, one of the foundations of our society is freedom of speech and the right to peacefully assemble.  While I may not agree with Donald Trump on many, many issues, should he choose to return, I am confident that he’ll see the real Albuquerque and its engaged, intelligent, and peaceful citizens.

Ken Sanchez

City Councilor, District 1