Bill Richardson Calls For Federal Investigation into Police Response during Immigration Protests

Governor calls aggressive police actions disturbing and out-of-proportion

SANTE FE, NM ---- New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today called for a federal investigation into actions by police officers responding during Tuesday's immigration protests in Los Angeles.

"The police must always be able to defend themselves and use appropriate measures to calm disturbances, but the aggressive response to Tuesday's protest was clearly out of proportion to what was happening," said Governor Richardson. "I'm troubled by the disturbing images of officers going after people who posed absolutely no threat to them, including women, young people, even news reporters and photographers -- striking them with batons, shoving and kicking them for no apparent reason. This kind of overreaction by police is an affront to not only to the Latino and immigrant communities, but to all Americans."

Governor Richardson believes a comprehensive investigation should be handled by the US Justice Department, not the LAPD.

"An independent, external investigation is the only way that the community will have confidence in the results of an investigation," added the Governor. "With all due respect to Chief Bratton, the long history of problems within the LAPD does not inspire confidence in an internal review."

The LAPD remains under a federal consent decree for failing to make court-imposed reforms.