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

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s governor is calling on the U.S. Justice Department to send more federal agents to the state after an 11-year-old boy was shot and killed outside a minor league baseball stadium.

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

An 11-year-old was killed and a woman was critically injured Wednesday when their vehicle was riddled with bullets in an apparent traffic accident as crowds were leaving an evening baseball game, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said.

The governor said federal resources are needed to curb “the escalating violence, drug and human trafficking that is ravaging our great state.” She also issued a public health emergency order providing $750,000 to improve public safety.

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

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Lujan Grisham described recent deadly drive-by shootings in Albuquerque, including an Aug. 13 attack that killed a 5-year-old girl in a mobile 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 officials from New Mexico expressed concerns about federal overreach and the potential for civil rights violations as then-President Donald Trump sent a wave of federal agents to Albuquerque, Chicago and other U.S. cities to curb violent crime.

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