Police Accountability & Oversight

Chelsea Van Deventer Forced Out of Albuquerque Police Oversight Board

Chelsea Van Deventer sat on the Albuquerque Police Oversight Board before she resigned. Even though she had penned a nine-page resignation letter alongside an email to show that she had retired from the force, not many people have been able to read it. One reason people think she has retired is because she serves as a prosecutor at Laguna Pueblo. Such a job means she will be controversial in her decisions when it comes to the board. Van Deventer had been serving as a member of the board since 2018.

Old tweets resurfacing

In the midst of the conversation about her departure from POB, there have been conversations about whether or not the resignation has anything to do with the posts she had retweeted. Van Deventer retweeted a post on a “Blue Lives Matter Bill” and retweeted other posts about police shootings with the caption “F- THIS.”   The bill states that anyone who assaults or kills a police officer might face up to 10 years in federal prison.

The tweets brought about an uproar among people online since the main aim of POB is to help people who have been victims of police assault. People felt that she did not deserve to be a part of the board if she sympathizes with police officers.

There has also been conversation around the fact that people only pay attention to the Blue Lives Matter movement and forget all about the Black Lives Matter one that has highlighted way more cases of black people getting killed or assaulted by police. The repercussions in such situations were not as harsh as when compared to the ones people would face if police officers were the victims.

 POB and Social Media 

Joanne Fine, vice chairwoman of the board, said that POB does not have a rule about social media yet, and as such, there is little that can be done over what someone chooses to post or talk about. According to her, the aim of the board is not to make anyone impartial to whatever is happening around them but rather to help any victims of police brutality.

According to Fine, the Blue Lives Matter movement is a reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement and seeks to show that police officers get assaulted as well and, as such, should be listened to. She says that the aim of POB is to ensure that the victims feel like whatever ruling was done is done in a fair and honest matter and that no one fails to receive justice. Fine also said that the board would not chastise anyone for holding a different opinion as long as they were fair and just.

Although Van Deventer initially said that she was going to stay a member of the POB, she has resigned. There have been talks about whether her resignation was due to her tweets or if it was about her new job as a prosecutor. The entire thing brought to attention the conversations on Blue Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter. 

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