Law enforcers should rethink public safety


April 21, 2016

For those who are keeping track, here’s a rundown of some recent law enforcement priorities set by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department:

If a mom in a low-income area goes into a gym and leaves her 11-year-old in the car with the doors locked, sunroof open and a cellphone to call in case of a problem, handcuff and arrest her for felony child abuse.

If a UFC cage fighter drives 75 mph in a 35 mph zone in the Northeast Heights without a driver’s license, registration or proof of insurance, let him know you are giving him “a huge break, dude,” and issue citations just for the document items that can be dismissed in court.

Because really, who poses the greater risk to public safety? In BCSO’s world it’s the mom who can see her kid through the glass storefront from the treadmill, not the mixed martial arts fighter driving 40 mph over the speed limit on a major arterial in a borrowed Corvette.

And so a deputy booked Lucila Gonzalez, 33, into jail April 4 for letting her able-bodied preteen relax in her vehicle while she worked out. A day later she was released on a $15,000 cash or surety bond.

And a deputy gave Jon “Bones” Jones his free pass on Jan. 31 — even though he was on probation for leaving the scene of an April 2015 accident in which he ran a red light in a rented SUV. The driver he hit, a pregnant woman, suffered a broken arm.

Barely one day after the license, registration and proof of insurance charges were dropped, he was cited for drag racing, exhibition driving (revving his engine), driving out of his lane, loud exhaust and a license plate violation.

The two cases should reinforce the importance of law enforcement’s focusing on whether someone’s actions truly pose a risk to public safety. But it appears fame plays a part, and it’s clear moms who let their big kids stay in the car don’t stand a fighting chance.

— Albuquerque Journal


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