The Streets of Albuquerque: The War On Poverty Is Turning Deadly

The Streets of Albuquerque: The War On Poverty Is Turning Deadly

[photo credit: David Martínez]

On Friday, April 4, sometime after 5pm, as I was heading to the Sushi King, next door to the Sunshine Theater, I suddenly heard a commotion from down Central Avenue. I could hear voices shouting, followed by an eruption of car horns. It wasn’t long before I spotted a large group of people carrying signs, walking en masse on the north side of the street, heading eastward. Before arriving in Albuquerque, I had seen news of the APD’s controversial and tragic shooting of a homeless man flow down my Facebook newsfeed. I knew many were upset by the excessive use of force, which was a concern I heard firsthand during my visit. However, the people’s concern had obviously turned from worry to action. Albuquerque is a poor city populated with good, conscientious people. With this in mind, I actually felt genuine excitement, even pride, as I witnessed the change for a better community that the people marching down Route 66 were seeking. They were just ordinary men and women, young and not so young, who seemed to understand that what happened to James Boyd could easily happen to any of them. The New York Times reported on March 30, 2014: “A helmet-camera video showed Mr Boyd agreeing to walk down the mountain with the officers, gathering his belongings and taking a step toward officers just before they fired.”

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