Skip to main content
The largest online newspaper archive

Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico • Page 1

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

All RNAL The Weather NEW MEXICO-Scattered thundershowcrs over eastern plains afternoon and evening today. Generally fair and warmer in west today. Details on page B-4. 91st Year Volume 368 Number 7i 26 Pages in Two Sections Price 10c Monday Morning, June 14, 1971 r)) mot wKt gS -rfl Nine Shot As Police Battle I By TOM AS MARTINEZ and MIKE PADGET Window-breaking, looting, burning and shootings erupted in Albuquerque's downtown area Sunday night following a major confrontation earlier in the evening at Roosevelt Park between heavily-armed police and nearly 500 youths. Police said nine persons were treated at three city hospitals for gunshot wounds.

Three of the injured were reported in critical condition. Dozens more persons were injured, but not seriously. Two policemen were injured. Roving bands of rioters began hurling rocks and sticks through windows of downtown stores at about 5 TP X. 7 v' More Riot Coverage, Photos on A-2, A-5 8:30 p.m.

following a demonstration in front of the new Police-Municipal Court Bldg. The crowd at the park, estimated at nearly 1000 per i. Phut by Gut Braller sons, began gathering on the green park slopes after noon for a scheduled rock concert, but the music groups failed to appear. The large crowd remained and the violence followed about five hours later. BEFORE MIDNIGHT, police reported widespread looting and window-breaking throughout the down Newsmen Pinned Down in Fighting at Park By (jARY STONE The crowd kept growing at Roosevelt Park, and as it grew it became more difficult for police to deal ith it.

Two police cruisers had already been overturned, and as the police and wreckers attempted to upright the second squad car, rocks began (lying through the air. Reporters and some police officers took refuge behind a concrete block wall at a house facing the park. Other officers stood their ground and shot Bulleti in City Manager Richard H. Wilson this morning proclaimed the city to be "in a slate of civil emergency." Wilson, who issued the statement after consulting with police officials, made the proclamation effective at 1 a.m. this morning.

According to city, ordinance 58-1968, the ordinance "shall terminate within 48 hours" or after a proclamation has been issued stating that a civil emergency no longer exists. City officials said the curfew would be lifted at 6 this morning if the "present situation is under control." The proclamation specifies "a curfew is declared effective 1 a.m. June 14, 1971, within the city limits of the City of Albuquerque and all persons shall forthwith remove themselves from the public streets, alleys, parks or other public or semi-public Violence Explodes In City By JOHN IRA PETTY It Vas something you'd think couldn't happen in Albuquerque but it did, in all its ugliness and violence. The crowd left Roosevelt Park and moved into the downtown area and seemed almost in a holiday mood. Some walked, while others rode atop cars slowed to the pace of those on foot.

A trial of broken glass and unanswered burglar alarms followed them. Looters were seen in several stores, along Central between First and Fourth and along Fourth between Central and the police station. THEN. FIRES, looting and shooting erupted. The Radio Shack, at the corner of Fourth and Copper NW, seemed especially hard hit, with broken indows and looting.

The crowd gathered between the new police and City Hall, and filled much of Marquette NW between the two buildings. Doors on the north side of City Hall were shattered, and marchers moved in and out. Many sat on the steps north of City Hall. The crowd seemed to grow, and rocks were thrown intermittently at the police station. Two men wearing black berets emerged from the police building at about 9:15 p.m.

Many members of the crow gathered around them after they crossed Marquette and mounted City Hall steps. One man, using a portable public address system, called for calm, and asked them to assemble in Roosevelt Park today. Voices from the crowd called for action now and the two men went into the Police Building again. AS THEY approached the door, a rock bounced on the sidewalk near them. Several persons in the crowd began beating one youth, who had apparently thrown the stone.

Shortly thereafter, a vehicle, apparently a van or station agon, as turned on its side at the northeast corner of city hall and was set afire. Some gathered to watch the flames, while others remained seated on the steps. As the vehicle burned, at least two policemen atop City Hall fired tear gas cannisters down Into the crowd on Marquette. They cleared the area quickly, most running to the west, where Continued on A-S 1. Hi Police Car Burnn as Young People Violence Started Here, tear gas cannisters into the crowd.

Members of the crowd lobbed the smoking cans back along with fist-sized rocks, and the officers returned them. REPORTERS remained pinned down behind the wall as the officers and most of the crowd moved up the grassy slopes of the park and headed toward the Albuquerque Public Schools Administration building. The crowd followed, still hurling large rocks. The choking tear gas drifted over the area. Grim Evidence Young Looters 4 1 of Run Wildly in Koosevelt Park Spread Through City As the rocks continued to fly, some officers drew their pistols and fired, not into the air, but at members of the crowd.

This reporter saw one man go down, apparently shot in the back. NEWSMEN MOVED up the park's adjacent street to the administration building. Then they found themselves behind the crowd, and shots were being fired toward the crowd and, incredibly, the newsmen thought, toward them. Several photographers Downtown Looting Roam City Streets town area. Fires were reported at two buildings, and the jail at the County Courthouse.

Thirty-five arrests were made. Fifteen persons arrested earlier at Roosevelt Park were released on their own rcognizance in an effort to quell the disturbance. The park disturbance erupted at 5:30 p.m. apparently when police attempted to arrest a young man. The park was crowded with young picnickers as the temperature hovered near the 90-degree mark.

As the officers attempted the arrest, a crowd gathered and within minutes police were facing an angry crowd. Numerous witnesses told reporters the youths were angered at alleged police brutality. FIVE POLICE vehicles were damaged at the park. Two of them were burned and police resorted to tear gas to disperse the crowd. Gunshots rang out and ambulances converged on the area.

At the height of the confrontation, police left the area and regrouped. They were carrying shotguns, tear gas guns and clubs in a show of force. The crowd dispersed after the police left and headed down Central Avenue toward downtown. The crowd broke windows as it marched, about 500 strong, toward the Police-Municipal Court Bldg. When it reached the police building, the crowd gathered outside the main entrance.

People chanted, "We want the pigs," and a group of about 15 men were escorted into Police Chief Don Byrd's office in an effort to iron out differences and, as one officer put it, "cool it." A JOURNAL reporter who attended the meeting between the 15 representatives and Chief Byrd said the youths complained of only one thing police brutality. Outside the building, the large crowd, estimated by that time at between 1000 and 3000 persons, splintering into small groups and roving throughout the downtown area. The police concentrated their efforts, initially, at the police building. When it became obvious that a full-scale riot was under way, officers began patrolling and making arrests in four-man patrols. Owners of small businesses in the downtown area converged on their stores, heavily-armed.

Shotgun-carrying businessmen were seen at the Radio Shack on Fifth NW, and at Woolworth's Department Store on Central. A FIRE WAS reported at American Furniture Co. While police were busy in the downtown area, reports of shootings and looting were received from other areas in the city, principally near Roosevelt Park in the lower Southeast Heights. Armed guards were placed nt numerous points in the city, including the downtown banks, courthouse, police department, and other buildings. Windows at the police department were broken.

The fire at the county jail resulted in five prisoners being taken to St. Joseph Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. At 10:30 p.m., police were sent to Cee-Vee Liquors. crouched behind a nearby car as the throng ran back past them. Shots could be heard, but it was difficult to find the courage to rise to see here or in hich direction.

FINALLY, during a lull, this reporter ran at a 90-degree angle away from the line of fire and away from the action, choosing the drifting tear gas as the lesser of two dangers. Suddenly, the officers disappeared. They moved off to a rear area to regroup, Continued on A-3 Jaral Sj Ba; 0 rfc. Cry 1417 Coal SE, where two persons were shot. The liquor store is within blocks of Roosevelt Park.

Continued on A-2 ft.

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 300+ newspapers from the 1700's - 2000's
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

About Albuquerque Journal Archive

Pages Available:
Years Available: