A group of anti-police violence activists and family members of victims of police violence gathered at City Hall yesterday to demand Mayor Berry cancel the “Killer Cop” competition scheduled for next month. The Albuquerque Police Pistol Combat Tournament is designed to test efficiency in the lethal techniques that police use. Protesters claim that it celebrates militarized policing and the use of lethal force, and are demanding that the competition be shut down. A letter to the mayor signed by family members of victims condemns his insensitivity to the human cost of police violence.
Family members emerge from City Hall after trying to deliver the letter to the Mayor. After the press conference, family members went to the 11th floor of City Hall hoping to tell the Mayor why he should cancel the police shooting tournament. They found the offices closed, the doors locked and police guarding the foyer outside the elevator. Once again, Mayor Richard Berry refused to meet with grieving families of victims of his police department.
Sylvia Fuente’s son Len was killed by APD. “This militarization of police must stop,” she said. “My son didn’t have to die. And the Mayor says he’s met with family members of victims. He’s lying. He hasn’t met with me. I haven’t met a family member he’s met with.”
Mike Gomez told the gathering that APD’s Sean Wallace killed his son three years ago. Alan was the third unarmed person Sean Wallace shot as a New Mexico police officer and the second person he killed. Wallace planned to represent APD at the shooting championships in September.