Last week, a member of the “New Mexico Civil Guard,” a right-wing armed militia group, shot a protestor advocating for the removal of a statue commemorating a violent conquistador in Albuquerque. The monument at the center of the demonstration was of Juan de Oñate, who brutalized and murdered the area’s Indigenous population in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The victim of the shooting was sent to the hospital in critical condition, while the shooter and other militia members were treated gently by the police.
The respect with which the heavily-armed white militia members were detained stands in stark contrast to the way Black folks are routinely treated by the police. Unarmed Black people have been seen on camera getting murdered by the police for small infractions or even no reason at all, while violent far-right extremists can be seen getting arrested carefully, even though they carry and use lethal weapons.
And this was not the first instance of violence from the shooter at this protest. Nor was this the first time armed militia members, many of whom are former military and/or law enforcement, had shown up to silence peaceful protests around New Mexico, claiming they were there to protect property and deter violence.
It could not be more clear what and who the police serve and protect. Their actions say it all!
featured image credit: Adolphe Pierre-Louis / The Albuquerque Journal