ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - For months families fed up with the actions of the police department have been calling for change. The father of an Iraqi war vet has taken to the streets, in a push to have cops who have been cleared in shootings investigated again.
Kenneth Ellis is in uncharted territory; pushing for a new review of two dozen cop shootings. But, he's not alone. Ellis has got thousands of people behind him.
"I'm trying not to get emotional, but it's tough," Ellis told KRQE News 13 Tuesday as he posted flyers around the Nob Hill area.
An Albuquerque cop shot and killed his son , Kenneth Ellis III, outside a 7-Eleven in the northeast heights in early 2010.
Kenneth Ellis III, an Iraqi war vet and Purple Heart recipient had PTSD, was holding a gun to his own head at the time of the shooting.
An investigation revealed the cop who pulled the trigger didn't mean to saying "was that me?" right after the shot was fired.
Ellis says APD killed his son, then went after his reputation; painting him as a car thief and a white supremacist.
"Slandering him and saying all the bad things that they can dream up to say about him and it's all simply not true," said Ellis.
Those comments and the continued shootings that followed over the next two years have sent him into action.
"We are petitioning to have a grand jury and special prosecutors investigate all the police shootings," said Ellis.
Even the one's where a special grand jury has already cleared officers. Earlier this year the chief, district attorney and chief criminal judge decided the current process, which has never found an APD shooting unjustified, isn't working. But no new system has been set up.
Ellis is after 8,300 signatures to convince district court judges to seat their own grand jury and appoint an outside prosecutor. And he's still in constant talks with the department of justice.
He says he respects the men and women who patrol the streets but feels the brass needs to go.
"God bless them, they have a tough job and with this administration, and the way these guys, they have a tougher job," said Ellis.
The city has paid out millions for some of the shootings over the past two and a half years and there are more lawsuits in the pipeline. APD even fired an officer after he shot an unarmed burglar in the back, yet that officer wasn't charged.
Some brazen thieves made off with a man's prized possession, and now the victim is hoping for some holiday justice. Little did the suspects' know, their entire crime was caught on camera.
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