Feds to meet with Albuquerque black leaders after controversial ATF operation
By Andrew Shepperson
The acting U.S. attorney for the District New Mexico, James D. Tierney, has agreed to meet with black leaders in Albuquerque after an investigation into a controversial 2016 ATF sting operation.
New Mexico In Depth reported Tierney agreed in a July 11 letter to meet with leaders from the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and from a grassroots group called the Sankofa Men’s Leadership Exchange.
The groups’ leaders had requested a meeting with Tierney after a New Mexico In Depth report found that a 2016 ATF sting operation had led to the arrest of 28 African Americans out of a total of 103 people arrested.
In a city where only 3.3 percent of the population is black, Dr. Harold Bailey, president of the Albuquerque NAACP chapter, said in a July 5 letter that the operation’s “arrest ratio seems alarming.”
The Sankofa Men’s Leadership Exchange echoed Dr. Bailey’s sentiments in a July 6 letter, asking Tierney for a meeting and to contact the group’s leader, Patrick Barrett.
NMID’s investigation into the sting found that the ATF targeted a poor, largely minority area in southeast Albuquerque. Many of those arrested were charged with drug crimes and some with gun-related offenses.
Another key finding in NMID’s investigation was