NATIONAL NEWS

New Mexico governor seeks federal agents to combat gun violence in Albuquerque

Sep 7, 2023, 6:21 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The governor of New Mexico is asking the U.S. Justice Department to deploy more federal agents to the state in the aftermath of the shooting death of an 11-year-old boy outside a minor league baseball stadium.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday sent a letter U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting aid in efforts to stem gun violence and human trafficking. The governor says she has repeatedly requested federal law enforcement deployments since June 2022.

An 11-year-old was killed and a woman critically injured Wednesday as their vehicle was peppered with bullets in an apparent road-rage incident, as crowds departed an evening baseball game, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said.

The governor said federal resources are needed to help curb “escalating violence and drug and human-trafficking activity that is ravaging our great state.” She also issued an emergency health order that taps into $750,000 to shore up public safety.

“The nature and volume of these crimes require focused attention from the federal government,” the governor said.

Lujan Grisham described recent deadly drive-by shootings in Albuquerque, including an Aug. 13 attack that ended up killing a 5-year-old girl inside a motor home. She also noted a news report about possible wage theft and human trafficking at a cannabis farm in the rural town of Estancia.

In 2020, Democratic New Mexico officials expressed concerns about federal overreach and the potential for civil rights abuses as then-President Donald Trump deployed a surge of federal agents to Albuquerque, Chicago and other U.S. cities in attempts to contain violent crime.

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New Mexico governor seeks federal agents to combat gun violence in Albuquerque