Police & Prison

Navajo Nation police chief is stepping down

BY: - November 29, 2021

Navajo Nation Police Chief Phillip Francisco is leaving the position he’s held for five and half years. He’ll instead become chief of police for Bloomfield, N.M., and will begin his new job Jan. 4.  Before Francisco was named Navajo Nation police chief, it had been well over a decade since someone was in that role. […]

Grad workers ask regents to call for UNM to drop legal fight

BY: - November 25, 2021

When representatives of the UNM graduate workers union tried to talk to the school’s governing council on Wednesday afternoon, one regent quickly drove away while four others refused to intervene. The regents gathered Tuesday, Nov. 23, for lunch at Los Poblanos, a high-end restaurant, inn and organic farm in Albuquerque’s North Valley that boasts a […]

Jury convicts all three men of murder for the death of Ahmaud Arbery

BY: - November 24, 2021

A nearly all-white jury in a Glynn County courtroom Wednesday afternoon convicted three white men of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery. The 25-year-old Black jogger ran through their neighborhood in February 2020. Travis McMichael, seen all over the world in a viral video that shows him firing a shotgun into Arbery at close […]

Jury starts deliberations in trial of three men charged in Ahmaud Arbery’s killing

BY: - November 24, 2021

The Glynn County jury set to determine the fate of three men charged with the death of Ahmaud Arbery will begin their second day of deliberation today. The jurors spent more than five hours in deliberation Tuesday after the prosecution made its closing arguments. Judge Timothy Walmsley dismissed the jurors shortly before 6:30 p.m. with […]

COVID still spreading in NM prisons despite nearly everyone getting the jab

BY: - November 23, 2021

Almost all state prisoners in New Mexico have been fully vaccinated, though the latest data show one state prison here has one of the highest rates of infection of any jail or prison in the United States. As of Monday, there were 5,282 prisoners who had received both doses —  about 95% — state Corrections […]

COMMENTARY

Rittenhouse verdict flies in the face of legal standards for self-defense

BY: - November 22, 2021

In a two-week trial that reignited debate over self-defense laws across the nation, a Wisconsin jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse for shooting three people, two fatally, during a racial justice protest in Kenosha. The Wisconsin jury believed Rittenhouse’s claims that he feared for his life and acted in self-defense after he drove about 20 miles from his home in Antioch, Illinois […]

With Rittenhouse acquittal, activists hear echo close to home

BY: - November 20, 2021

Activist Lisa Christopherson said that the day news first broke of a fatal shooting in Kenosha, Wisc., she couldn’t help but see the similarities. Since then, she’s followed the arrest, trial and, as of Friday, acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse as a potential template for what might happen here in the case of Steven Ray Baca. […]

YOUNG AND INCARCERATED: Life sentences for people who aren’t yet 18

BY: - November 20, 2021

It’s a moment in Santana Serrano’s life — just a few seconds really — when she was a teenager that changed everything. Source NM’s Austin Fisher brings us this series. Fisher reported that the basics of her case were not in question: Two younger guys got in a fight down in Hobbs, N.M. Serrano was […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 5

BY: - November 16, 2021

GRANTS — When Santana Serrano first arrived at Western New Mexico Correctional Facility, she would call her mother crying. “Mom, I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this,” she recalled saying. “Please help me get me out. Do whatever you can. I can’t do it.” Her mother told her yes, she could. At […]

Biden signs executive order to address violence against Indigenous people

BY: - November 16, 2021

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday addressing violence against Indigenous communities. “These efforts are a matter of dignity,” Biden said during the opening ceremony for the White House Tribal Nations Summit. “That’s the foundation of our nation-to-nation partnership.” The executive order directs the departments of Justice, Interior, Homeland Security, and Health and […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 4

BY: - November 15, 2021

People who are under 18 but tried and convicted as adults and sentenced to life have to serve 30 years before being eligible for parole. New Mexico lawmakers are trying to cut that time in half.  Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Reps. Gail Chasey and Dayan Hochman-Vigil asked the Governor’s Office at the end of August […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 3

BY: - November 12, 2021

Data from the New Mexico prison system suggest a disproportionate number of incarcerated women are serving life sentences who were under the age of 18 when they committed their offenses. Young and incarcerated: Part 1 Overall, very few women are serving life sentences in New Mexico. Of the 446 people serving life sentences in the […]