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TMCNet:  Albuquerque police face protests, cyberattack

[March 30, 2014]

Albuquerque police face protests, cyberattack

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque Police Department's website was hit by a cyberattack Sunday, days after threats from a group reported to be the hacker collective Anonymous.

Police spokesman Simon Drobik said in a statement that the site was struck just before 11 a.m. Mountain time and remained down hours later. The origin of the hacking was not immediately clear, Drobik said.

"We can confirm that the website disruption is due to a cyberattack," Drobik said. "The APD online site is not connected to any critical services, and IT personnel continue to work around the clock." The incident comes after a YouTube video posted last week said official sites would be hacked in retaliation for a recent police shooting in the Sandia foothills that left a homeless man dead.


The March 16 shooting, which was captured on video and sparked a federal investigation, has garnered protests and calls for reforms within the Albuquerque Police Department.

Albuquerque officials said the city also experienced a "temporary, brief disruption" to the city website late Saturday. City spokeswoman Erin Thompson said in the immediate aftermath that officials hadn't determined the cause of that problem, but a team was monitoring the city's websites.

Authorities have called Anonymous a loosely organized worldwide hacking group that has stolen confidential information and defaced websites.

Meanwhile, hundreds of demonstrators arrived at Albuquerque Civil Plaza on Sunday holding signs protesting recent police shootings. Victims' advocates called on various city officials to resign.

Since 2010, police have been involved in 37 shootings, 23 of them fatal.

Last week, Albuquerque police shot and killed a man at a public housing complex after authorities said he opened fire on officers.

In the recent foothills shooting, authorities said James Boyd, 38, died after officers fired stun guns, bean bags and six live rounds. Police said Boyd had threatened to kill officers and held onto knives as an unarmed K-9 officer approached him. The shooting followed a long standoff during which Boyd claimed he was a federal government agent.

The FBI has opened an investigation into the shooting.

The U.S. Department of Justice has also been investigating the department for more than a year over possible civil rights violations and excessive force cases.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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