Women and Children in Albuquerque at risk

I am baffled by the citizens of Albuquerque. Both the ABQ Free Press and the Albuquerque Journal reported (last week) how the Albuquerque Police Departmen leadership blatantly lied to everyone regarding Victoria Martens and yet there is no outrage. This is just a continuing story of how APD and the City of Albuquerque does not protect women. Victoria's murder comes after it is exposed that the thousands of rape kits by APD that have sat, untested, for years.  

APD does not seem to care about serving and protecting women and children.  Why should they? In any other city if someone representing the police chief were to lie about a CYFD referral and then double down by saying "trying to kiss a little girl against her will is not a crime" they would be met by hundreds or thousands of people protesting at police headquarters.  Of course it is a crime, but no one in Albuquerque seems to care.  And the Mayor and Chief go into hiding to protect their political backsides.  Where is the outrage? Where are the pink ladies?  

Why is it that the shooting death of a mentally ill homeless man, who 99% of us would cross the street to avoid, causes thousands of Albuquerque citizens to march in the streets, but a 9 year old girl drugged, raped, murdered and mutilated, causes no outrage.  No outrage when the police department whose job it is to protect the innocent, lies about their own actions regarding her case. Why does James Boyd give Albuquerque residents cause to protest, while Victoria Martens is quietly ignored by everyone?

And the lies from APD? Let me explain them.

Lie 1.  APD responded to the March 28, 2016 CYFD referral alleging that Victoria had an unknown male (boyfriend of mother) attempting to kiss her against her wishes.  APD PIO Celina Espinosa told Elise Kaplan with the Journal (and this is on audio recording) that "our (meaning APD) detectives spoke to both Victoria and Michelle Martens and determined that nothing happened.  The truth is APD never sent anyone and they never spoke to Victoria and Michelle Martens. Does your police command staff lying upset you?  Apparently Albuquerque doesn't care, and Richard Berry is AWOL.

Lie 2. Espinosa then said no police report was generated because "attempting to kiss a child is not against the law".  This shows two things.  First, that Celina knew the SOP always requires a police report, body camera video and a dispatch number, in all incidents involving a child.  This goes deep into creating a lie to cover a lie, as none of these reports and dispatch numbers exist. Second, it is against the law to attempt to kiss anyone against their will.  An unwanted kiss can be a misdemeanor battery.  The attempt to do so is Assault.  For APD to say it is not against the law, without speaking to the victim is outrageous and another lie.

APD  was going to stick with these lies until I began asking for clarificiation because a report is required. Add to this Chief Eden told officers at a briefing that no officers were ever dispatched to Victoria's CYFD referral. I suppose Eden and Celina were not on the same lying page. Once I pointed this out to Celina she admitted that officers were NEVER DISPATCHED. She admitted that she lied to Elise Kaplan of the Journal.  No officer ever checked on Victoria! Elise Kaplan followed up with an excellent story detailing the lies she was told by Celina and APD.  When I repeatedly asked Celina who at APD command was instructing her on how to respond to these questions she stopped talking to me.

Chief Eden and Mayor Berry have both gone into hiding regarding this issue, hoping it will go away. By the lack of interest it seems they might be right.  Why does Albuquerque only wake up for memorials? You can keep your balloons and teddy bears if you aren't willing to march for those children still in danger. 

Where is the outrage? Where are the womens' groups? The groups who say they protect children? It's like no one outside of Elise and myself care that APD lied about this and never protected Victoria.

Below are the links to the two stories.  This community will never get better until we start demanding accountability. Berry should be firing those in APD command who ordered the lying. He won't, he never holds his friends accountable. And remember this, when officers don't get sent to protect our children I can promise that something bad will happen. Someone at APD command should be held to task for not sending officers to Victoria's CYFD referral and then lying to cover it up. 



Dan Klein

Views: 165

Comment by once banned twice shy on March 20, 2017 at 9:09pm

You're absolutely right. As to your question about why James Boyd's being shot and killed garnered so much more protest and attention, the reason is because there was video.  Sad, but true--this story about poor Victoria Martens requires reading and also a knowledge of APD policy--just too complicated for people who are addicted to You Tube videos posted on Facebook.

Comment by Dee Cohen on March 21, 2017 at 5:27am

I appreciate your comments. I followed this horrid story pretty closely. To my mind, there is outrage at every turn but to rally against the APD covering up the truth (again!) is only one segment in a complicated and conflicting history. How did neighbors, school, family miss so many signs? I think asking people to focus on the APD's deceit is not realistic. It doesn't mean you are the only ones who care. Many of us are exhausted and depressed by the child, spousal, animal abuse in this city. Oh,and a president who lies about everything. I'm shell shocked. Dee


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