Judge rules that union can weigh in on settlement between US, Albuquerque on police overhaul


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FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2014 file photo, Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg speaks during a news conference in Albuquerque. Brandenburg, who drew national attention for seeking charges against two Albuquerque officers who killed a homeless man, says she shouldn’t be taken off the case. In a court filing submitted Monday, Feb. 17, 2015, Brandenburg said she saw no conflict of interest despite her office working closely with Albuquerque police on other cases.(AP Photo/Russell Contreras,File)

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — A judge is allowing Albuquerque's police union to comment on a proposed settlement between the city and the U.S. Justice Department on overhauling the Police Department.

U.S. District Judge Robert Brack on Thursday granted the Albuquerque Police Officers' Association's request to intervene in the case and submit its objections for consideration by Brack.

APOA Vice President Shaun Willoughby told KRQE-TV (http://goo.gl/pKGMd1) that the group didn't have a voice at the table when the agreement was negotiated though it will directly affect officers on matters such as policies and officers' legal rights.

The March shooting by police of a man later said to suffer from schizophrenia sparked protests and prompted police to use tear gas on demonstrators.

The Justice Department later issued a harsh report on Albuquerque officers' use of force.

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