Video shows how illegal camping can lead to arrests in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After a back-and-forth legal battle over how the city can tear down illegal homeless encampments on city property, new body camera video shows what officers go through when they arrive on the scene of an encampment.

On January 22nd, an Albuquerque Police Department officer returned to a spot near 2nd and I-40 after citing two people camping on the sidewalk just days earlier.

“Put your hands together. I already cited you for the same thing…I already told you yesterday,” said the responding officer.

The officer was reminded that the two men being arrested had resources they could use.

“I already told you about the shelters and yet you said you don’t want to use the shelters. It’s your choice,” the officer said. The back and forth continues as the two sit in the back seat.

“When I came back today, you are still here, so what else do you want to do? Not following my work? All right then,” said the officer.

The city’s Solid Waste Department brought in two large bins for the two men’s belongings while city crews cleaned up the area. “Then you tell us what Yale is and we’ll put it in the box. Then you got three months to take it,” said the officer.

He goes through each item with the two to see what they want to keep and what can be thrown away. Shortly thereafter, a nearby business owner explained the camp’s problems to the police.

“With their fire … all the smells going into the store, the smell of smoke,” the business owner said.

The city’s solid waste department said people can store items at city facilities for up to 90 days. The department said about 11% of people who choose to store solid waste return to collect their items. Any items not picked up after 90 days are considered unwanted and disposed of properly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *