Police Complaints

News about Fraternal Order of Police shocks Police Oversight Commissioners

Police Complaints dropped a bombshell on the Albuquerque Police Oversight Commission this week: Linda Martinez, chairperson of the Commission, is also a member, national trustee, and past-president of the pro-cop advocacy group, the Fraternal Order of Police—a group that opposes citizen oversight of police misconduct issues.

Our exposé was reported today on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal and has been picked up by national news services. Martinez told the Journal she didn’t know that the organization she’s served for eight years opposes citizen review boards like the Police Oversight Commission.

Our announcement seemed to come as a surprise to all the commissioners. Commissioner Siegel seemed especially disturbed and Commissioner Shine ask to know why we didn’t inform them of the issue sooner1.

Commissioners voted to table discussion of the matter to the December meeting. Some in attendance were disappointed by the delay, but it was a proper method for handling the news. This information must be added to the public agenda and public notice must be given so that other citizens can weigh in on the issue.

And we hope they do. Read our exclusive story about the Fraternal Order of Police and their involvement in citizen police oversight in Albuquerque. Then come speak at the next POC meeting, December 13. Demand that chairperson Linda Martinez recuse herself from the Commission for possible appearance of bias. It is not necessary to prove that Martinez is actually biased; just the possible appearance of bias is enough to lessen public trust in the important work of the Police Oversight Commission.

Our FOP bombshell opened the meeting, but many other important items were discussed. The commissioners voted to hear police shooting cases in a more public forum, the police chief announced numerous improvements to mitigate use-of-force, and the commissioners again objected to an inadequate investigation performed by past-IRO William Deaton.

Look for an update later on this page about the entire meeting of the Police Oversight Commission.

1 We find Commissioner Shine’s question confusing, not to say disingenuous. The commissioners have never informed citizens of any avenue by which to communicate their concerns, except the public comment forum that opens each of their meetings. If they wish to improve communications with their constituency, they have the power to do so. We have done the best we could with the tools they’ve given us. In the meantime, they may find it worthwhile to read our blog, where the news about Linda Martinez was posted almost a month ago.

  • She didn't know?? In 8 years she never bothered to read the rules of the FOP??? Suuuuurrre! lol

  • When asked by the Journal, her husband Bob knew of the FOP position—and defended it!

  • The comments about Linda Martinez begin at 0:04:18