The city of Albuquerque and the U.S. Justice Department selected an independent monitor, Dr. James Ginger, to oversee police reforms, NPR reports. Ginger’s selection is part of a settlement the city negotiated with DOJ over the police department’s use of force. Ginger previously served as an independent monitor for a similar agreements reached with Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and the New Jersey State Police. He was selected from a pool of 17 applicants.
Last year, DOJ found reasonable cause to believe that the Albququerque Police Department “engages in a pattern or practice of excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” often against people posing a minimal threat. Police officers there have shot 37 people since 2010, 24 of them fatally. The shooting death last year of James Boyd, a homeless man who was camping illegally on the outskirts of town, touched off a wave of protests after video of his death was released. Earlier this month, another man was killed in an officer-involved shooting in Albuquerque, setting off more protests.