Trump’s law and order regime faces opposition from Gov Grisham, Rep. Ben Ray Luján
Trump’s initiative, dubbed “Operation Legend,” now turns its attention to Albuquerque, but faces opposition from Hispanic Caucus Members.
MORE IN THIS SECTION
The backlash facing President Trump is growing following his decision to send unmarked federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security to Portland, Oregon, where weeks-long protests against police brutality have spiraled into violence.
Trump has increasingly labeled these Democrat-led cities like Portland and Albuquerque, New Mexico as “radical left,” blaming them for the rising violence surrounding the movement to defund and dismantle police departments.
He has blamed the Black Lives Matter movement which surged in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing for the start of “a shocking explosion of shootings, killings, murders and heinous crimes of violence,” the president said at a White House event.
Now Trump has deployed federal law enforcement to Chicago and Albuquerque, part of a military-style crackdown on protests labeled, “Operation Legend.”
In response, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Democratic Attorney General Hector Balderas have said they will actively monitor the federal law enforcement operations for any civil rights violations. In a statement, Grisham added this action involving federal forces violates the rights of New Mexicans.
“The [New Mexico Attorney General] and I will actively monitor potential civil rights violations if and when the federal government sends officers to our state,” Grisham tweeted.
“We would welcome a genuine conversation about community public safety work and fighting violent crime. I hope that is the case,” she continued.
The @NewMexicoOAG and I will actively monitor for potential civil rights violations if and when the federal government sends officers to our state. We would welcome a genuine conversation about community public safety work and fighting violent crime. I hope that is the case. pic.twitter.com/bfWlLiPBYB— Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) July 22, 2020
“If the Trump administration wishes to antagonize New Mexicans and Americans with authoritarian, unnecessary and unaccountably military-style ‘crackdowns,’ they have no business whatsoever in New Mexico,” Grisham said in a statement issued July 22.
“If there is any manner of clandestine authoritarian attempt to usurp local or state law enforcement operations in our state, the Attorney General and I will not hesitate to litigate against the federal government and hold the Trump Administration accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” the statement continues.
There are some officials, like Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales, who are at odds with Grisham, defending the federal law enforcement’s effort to assist communities who have been forced to deal with persistent late-night crime, which spiked since protests erupted in Albuquerque in June.
But even more still call Trump’s tactics authoritarian.
Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) running for US Senate says yes, crime is a problem, but these are not the right tactics to instill.
“Crime in ABQ is a serious problem — and that’s why I pushed to secure funds to help make our city safer for New Mexicans,” Luján tweeted. “But the Trump Admin’s approach of unleashing unmarked officers onto streets to round up peaceful protesters — like they did in Portland — isn’t the answer.
Crime in ABQ is a serious problem — and that's why I pushed to secure funds to help make our city safer for New Mexicans.— Ben Ray Luján (@benraylujan) July 22, 2020
But the Trump Admin's approach of unleashing unmarked officers onto streets to round up peaceful protestors — like they did in Portland — isn't the answer.