An Albuquerque police officer fatally shot a suspected car thief yesterday during a foot chase in which the suspect pointed a gun at the officer as he closed in on her, officials told the New York Times. The shooting occurred 11 days after the Justice Department rebuked the police department for engaging in a “pattern or practice of unconstitutional use of deadly force.” She was the first woman to be fatally shot by the police since 2010.
Tensions over police of deadly force have resulted in heated protests in recent weeks. Twenty-four people have been killed by the police since 2010, and the city has paid several millions of dollars in legal settlements as a result of some of the deaths. None of the officers involved in the shootings has faced criminal charges or, in most cases, other types of internal reprimand. The U.S. Justice Department, after a 16-month investigation into allegations of abuse by police, listed 44 remedies. Among them were significant revisions to training so officers learn to rely more on verbal warnings and less on stun guns.