Tom Garrity

Posts Tagged ‘Sheriff’

The Garrity Perception Survey 2018: The Law

In Reputation on November 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.35.13 PMNew Mexico’s legal system is ripe with opportunity to gauge public opinion when compared to community conversations.

The Garrity Perception Survey measures four areas related to the New Mexico legal and justice system.  It includes favorability of the courts and justice system as well as measures trust of judges, lawyers and law enforcement officers.

Favorability of the courts and trust of lawyers do well to hover in the lower quarter of favorability.  Based on a seven-year statewide average, the courts system averages 26 percent favorability and lawyers average 21 percent favorability. Geographically, the two areas are hard pressed to find any pockets of significant support in any part of the state. It is safe to say that despite some very good people and qualified professionals, favorability of the court and trust of attorneys is difficult to increase given awareness of high crime rates, drunk drivers and repeat offenders.

Interestingly, while New Mexico residents are not favorable of the courts they are trusting of its officers, the judges.  An 18 percent gap exists between trust of judges and favorability of the courts.  Geographically, judges have higher trust among residents living in the Eastern and South/Southwestern parts of the state.

Police officers and law enforcement officers are the most trusted when compared with their two counterparts, judges and lawyers. However, New Mexico residents didn’t always have this level of trust (a 49 percent average) of police officers.

In 2013 and 2014, a series of high profile incidents captured local, statewide and national attention.

In 2013, the New Mexico State Police pulled over a van carrying the suspect and her five children.  After the second time the driver tried to speed away, officers fired three shots at the van’s tires. The police dash-cam video captured the exchange which made national coverage.  The officers were cleared of the shooting as a judge said they were justified to shoot at the tires.

Also, in 2013, the Deming Police Department and the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office conducted a full cavity search on a person who was pulled over for allegedly for not coming to a full stop at a stop sign in a Walmart parking lot.

In 2014, the Albuquerque Police Department was involved in the fatal shooting of a homeless man who also suffered from mental disorders. After the shooting, the suspect was found to have knives in each hand.  The incident was one of several officer involved shootings faced by the department in as many months.

The APD shootings captured the media attention and attracted attention of the United States Justice Department.  Police Chief Gordon Eden, an experienced law man and relatively new to his role as police chief, led changes to the force.  With the help of the Mayor and Albuquerque City Council, the Civilian Police Oversight Agency was established.

These actions helped to rebuild trust among Albuquerque residents which in turn increased trust of police offices statewide.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.35.44 PMMore information and analysis of this information is available online at www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.

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