What’s behind Albuquerque police shooting protest and cyber attack?

Police in riot gear clashed with hundreds of protesters in Albuquerque, N.M. overnight. The demonstrators are angry about police involvement in dozens of shootings over the last few years.

March 31, 2014, 9:36 a.m.

What started as a peaceful protest over Albuquerque police involvement in a series of fatal shootings escalated into what the mayor called “mayhem” as cops and demonstrators clashed on Sunday. While tensions have been building for a while in the New Mexico city, the latest confrontation illustrates the continuing power of the Web and Internet groups to move beyond electrons into the streets, highlighting how the politics of protest has changed. Here is a primer to the issues.

What happened on Sunday?

Hundreds of protesters, responding to a call from cyber-activists, took to the streets to protest 37 police shootings – 23 of them fatal – since 2010. The protests began around noon and moved through the city before it was finally dispersed by midnight. Police fired at least two rounds of tear gas, according to local media reports. There were a handful of arrests for disorderly conduct; property was damaged; and at least one officer was injured and another officer was trapped in his vehicle, Mayor Richard Berry told reporters.

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    michael.muskal@latimes.com

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