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Is police brutality a problem in New Mexico?

More than two million people live in New Mexico. In 2022, the state had one of the highest number of incidents involving fatal shootings by police. This compelled many people to ask whether the shootings indicated that police brutality is a problem in this state.

So far in 2023, New Mexico ranks third in the nation for fatal shootings by police. A police chief in Albuquerque noted that many people focus on the number of times police have fatally shot subjects without considering that crime rates have also increased in the state in recent years. The chief also said that there are instances where police officers are the ones who are killed while carrying out their duties, such as one officer who was shot and killed during a traffic stop in July.

Many more New Mexico citizens than police officers on duty have died

Civil rights advocates say that the number of residents who have been shot and killed by police far outweighs the number of police officers who have been killed in the line of duty. Law enforcement officers take an oath to protect property and safeguard lives. They also vow to protect the constitutional rights of everyone they serve.

When excessive force or misuse of position results in a fatality involving a police officer who shot someone, it is a violation of oath and an abuse of power. Many families who have lost loved ones in this manner are hesitant to call the police because they believe that the person who committed a crime against their loved one was, in fact, a police officer. In such cases, it is helpful to seek guidance and support from a New Mexico attorney who is well-versed in civil rights laws and has provided legal support to families who have suffered injury due to police brutality.