Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.

NM researcher: Variation in forms contributes to undercount of police killings

By: - October 6, 2021

At least one-quarter of the people killed by police in New Mexico over the last four decades do not appear in official statistics, according to a study that made national headlines last week. Professor Jagdish Khubchandani at New Mexico State University helped with the international research on how police killings are reported. He said one […]

NM governor supports local TV and film workers who may be striking soon

By: - October 5, 2021

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday, Oct. 5, issued a statement of support for the local branch of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, whose members are prepared to walk off set as they fight for better working conditions behind the scenes of movies and TV shows produced in the state. “The women and […]

Rural NM lawmakers weigh calling on the US military to help build out broadband

By: - October 5, 2021

Access to fast, reliable internet has long been a problem for rural parts of New Mexico but became an especially dire equity issue when the pandemic forced many students and workers to stay home and communicate online. As many as 20% of homes in the state do not have access to broadband internet, according to […]

Study: Official statistics under-report police killings in New Mexico

By: - October 4, 2021

More than one-quarter of the people killed by police in the state were not included in official counts over the last four decades, according to a study released on Thursday, Sept. 30. Published in the Lancet peer-reviewed medical journal, the study found that 26.4% of people killed by police in New Mexico between 1980 and […]

State-level police reforms around the country may point the way for local lawmakers

By: - October 1, 2021

Forty states have laws and requirements around how police use tear gas and other chemical agents and projectiles known as less-lethal munitions. New Mexico is not one of them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures database of policing legislation. Protesters against police violence and racist policing are familiar with those weapons if they […]

Lessons from Chicago organizers on gunshot-detection tech being used in ABQ

By: - September 30, 2021

Albuquerque officials have been touting ShotSpotter as a solution to gun violence and other kinds of crime in the city, but organizers opposing the technology’s use by Chicago police say it is just part of a broader system of police surveillance and irresponsible spending of public money. ShotSpotter is an acoustic gunshot detection technology that […]

Experts ask for more time to recommend changes to state’s family violence law

By: - September 29, 2021

Officials in charge of compensating survivors of violent crime are asking for more time to come up with changes to state law governing domestic violence. In 2020, lawmakers passed Senate Memorial 50, which asked the New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission to create a task force to review and update the Family Violence Protection Act. […]

Prosecutors clear hurdle in suit against New Mexico Civil Guard

By: - September 28, 2021

A New Mexico state court ruled that a lawsuit accusing a right-wing militia of impersonating police during a protest last summer can move forward. And attorneys handling a related criminal case against a former Albuquerque city council candidate who shot a protester that day expect to go to trial next month. On June 15, 2020, […]

Prison Rat

By: and - September 28, 2021

LaDonna Evans was serving a nine-year sentence for a drug conviction at the Northwestern New Mexico Correctional Facility when moving day came. State prison officials took the 42-year-old Tucumcari resident and a handful of others from what was the women’s prison to a new, remote location several miles north on the very eastern edge of […]

New Mexico imprisons people at a higher rate than some countries

By: - September 24, 2021

A new report shows that New Mexico imprisons people at a higher rate than most U.S. states and every other country in the world, and there is little correlation between high incarceration rates and violent crime. The Prison Policy Initiative found that New Mexico incarcerates 773 people per 100,000 total population, and if one imagines […]

OSHA to ramp up workplace heat checks as global warming progresses

By: - September 24, 2021

Federal workplace safety regulators say they are taking steps toward protecting workers from heat-related illness. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Sept. 24 announced that it will finally establish a federal workplace heat standard. The agency also promised an expansion of heat inspections and enforcement of rules protecting against heat hazards.  Between 2013 and […]

Should Albuquerque’s fledgling Violence Intervention Program be the model for New Mexico?

By: - September 23, 2021

A year and a half after the launch of Albuquerque’s Violence Intervention Program, questions linger about whether it is reducing shootings in the city and should serve as a model for similar programs in other parts of New Mexico. Albuquerque’s program, started in March 2020, identifies people who are at the highest risk of being […]