APD Has Given up on Transparency for on Scene Events
By: AQBRAW staff
Posted: 5/17/2023 @ 8:30AM
Chief Medina and staff stand in front of communications director Gilbert Gallegos as he records a staged secret press conference.
SE Albuquerque - In a Bizarre move APD holds secret press conference for an audience of absolutely no-one. As is customary after a significant police event APD officials ask media to "stage" at a pre designated location where in the past few decades a sworn PIO or civilian communications director provides information to media so we can forward the information to the public.
It appear that under this current administration APD is moving away from media staging press conferences. On last night's most recent officer involved shooting we along with other media outlets were staged at the pre designated location determined by APD officials.
At one point we were approached by and asked by Gilbert Gallegos not to record the plain clothes detectives involved in the shooting as they were being escorted around the scene. All stations cooperated and lowered our cameras indefinitely. We assumed wrongly that shortly after Gilbert and or Chief Medina would provide information directly to us related to the shooting.
Video from last night's fake press briefing on APD's Public Information Twitter account.
Two of the other outlets finally gave up waiting for a statement but we at ABQRAW tried to stay strong and wait for a press conference but it never happened. An hour after we left APD released on their own PIO Twitter account a staged fake press conference going over the details of the shooting.
We have worked with New Mexico State Police and Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office during officer involved shootings within the Albuquerque Metro area. They give updates via e-mail, text, and social media on when a briefing will happen after a critical incident. APD gives an initial email to "stage" in an area and rarely there is an update when "sound" will be provided. APD has apparently given up on the age old practice of providing "sound" at scenes. "sound" as it is called is when a PIO provides media some sort of statement related to the situation they are investigating. It usually is followed by some short Q&A from media and officials. APD has apparently shifted away from being asked questions. A government agency refusing to answer questions is a scary path.
After we left and it was clear there would be no sound it seems that Gilbert Gallegos and Chief Medina took this opportunity to grab two random APD commanders from the event and made them pose behind him while they pretended to speak to a fake gathered media audience.
We have noticed this practice happen also at the OIS on Central and 47th last month.