It’s been over two weeks since a three-day takeover of the Santa Fe Plaza by Indigenous activists and supporters ended in a controversial war monument being pulled down, and Santa Fe police have yet to publicly release any documents or video of the obelisk’s destruction.

Greg Gurulé, a spokesman for the Santa Fe Police Department, said the reports should be released in the coming days, but any video might take longer.

“We try to be as transparent as we can,” Gurulé said. “We’re just trying to assemble all of the information. There is a lot of data and a lot of video.”

The holdup, Gurulé said, is a combination of a small staff at the department, combined with the number of police body camera footage and reports that must be compiled before being released.

Gurulé dismissed any suggestion there was a deliberate delay.

“We’ve added some staff to get things done, but they are training and trying to get up to speed on it,” he said.

On Indigenous Peoples Day, about 50 people used a rope and chain to pull down the obelisk, which some activists believed celebrated the death of Native Americans. Originally erected in 1868 to honor Union soldiers who fought in the Civil War, the main point of contention for activist groups was a plaque at the base of the monument that stated the obelisk honored the soldiers who fought “savage Indians.” The word “savage” had been chiseled out and replaced with “resilient” some years prior.

Police were monitoring the scene and made at least two arrests, one on a felony charge of battery on a peace officer and a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest, and another on counts of resisting an officer and criminal trespass, both misdemeanors.

Shortly after the arrests, a commanding officer made the decision to stand down and leave the Plaza. As of late Thursday, no suspects had been named and no warrants had been issued regarding the incident.

Santa Fe police Chief Andrew Padilla and Mayor Alan Webber defended the decision to have officers stand down during a video conference Oct. 13, a day after the incident.

“It was preservation of life over property,” Padilla said. “I stand by the commander’s decision.”

(20) comments

Samuel Herrera

The Mayor and police chief need to resign. They do not release the video because it will contradict the Mayor and police hives rendition of the facts.

Rachel Thompson

Since we now seem to be partly sharing ideas about what the plaza could be, I’ll put mine out there: I would love to see the bandstand go because I think it’s just a big piece of kitsch And it spoils A full view of the façade of the Palace of the Governors. I would love to see a place where People could also dance when there were musical performances (There has to be a spot for musicians). I also long to see a place in the city Where a little kids and families could come at night and ice skate, and drink hot chocolate and sit and watch other people. Not hockey games but people just kind of having a nice time and falling down once in a while. And the rest treeS And native plants. And little seats here and there or benches carved from stone (See Rae Park).. It seems to me that whenever we talk about a memorial of some kind it winds up suggesting that one group or another “owns” The space or is more important than the other, Which becomes poisonous. Maybe it isn’t realistic but I would love to imagine a place where the real residents of Santa Fe want to come again.

Lupe Molina

This is all very strange because I have seen the video. It was posted on the SFPD Facebook page and appeared to be a video taken of a computer monitor. That appears to have been deleted. Sooooo whats the holdup? If it was posted previously, then taken down, what doesn't PD want us to see?

john allen

However it happened...good riddance.

Just because the thing was old, doesn't mean it was ever a good idea in the first place.

What powerful clique ever forced that thing onto the plaza anyway?

A family park was never an appropriate site for that depressing, ominous, and intimidating carbuncle.

When in doubt, always refer to John Gaw Meem, the first and last reference for anyone who ever had truly pleasant ideas for this town. "paint it pink and have a nice day".

Meem hated the thing and tried to get it moved. Only years later, buckling under the pressure of the dark drama that pervades this tiny island and backtracking.

So here's to a fresh start and new beginnings.

We vote for "dancing waters" in the pavement in the place of that thing.

Dancing waters are a feature that have been included in family gathering spots around the country. Children and dogs love to run through them and play.

Truly a bright spot of joy to replace that icon to misery.

Doug McDowell


Rachel Thompson

Cold dancing waters?

Rachel Thompson

Do you mean something like this?

Mike Johnson

Cover-up for political reasons still in effect.

Doug McDowell

The obelisk was damaged and the police are working at holding those people who did the destruction accountable.

This is a perfect opportunity to renovate a historical monument in our town to better represent the people of our town and state, historically and currently.

The plaques could be removed and hung in the Palace of the Governors for people to see with historical explanations of the obelisks history.

The obelisk top could be rebuilt with the cracks and filler showing as a recognition of this historical occurrence. The plaques could have words that were accepted after a city wide submission of ideas for the plaques.

For now, lets clean the plaques or take them off, fix the fence and rebuild the damaged obelisk as best we can and forgive the police. Just like these times call for.

jan Brooks

agree with Doug and with

beverly Spears

Donato Velasco

another portland, police lost the community support and respect..

Robert Keesing

The right of Americans to protest is a long help right that sets America apart from many countries in the world. I will and have defended this right till my dying breath. However that right does not include any act of violence towards any person or property, that is where it becomes a criminal matter. There were many "protestors" on the Plaza that day but only a very few criminals. I hope the criminals are brought to justice in an equally public way. There is no viable excuse for attacking the police when they were defending public property. To the police, thanks for avoiding more violence, now go get those criminals. To the New Mexican, I want to see those perps in cuffs on the front page.

Maxwell Vertical

I support SFPD, but the fact no further arrests have been made is further evidence of a breakdown. I hope they get this corrected in the future.

Phillip Trujillo

The easiest way for those that choose to protest peacefully to keep their cause going is to do a little community policing the next time the extremist looters and destroyers of property show up. Immediately assist law enforcement with detaining and arresting them. This we we can find out who they really are. My guess is they don't have anything to do with your protest, but rather are radical extremists trying to bring negativity to your cause. The same way the masses are gullible and immediately stereotype blacks and the police by watching and hearing lies they will do so with your cause. Let's find out who the protestors really are. Mu guess is they are those who are against your protest.

Samuel Herrera

Ask the Three Sisters Collective

Rachel Thompson

The standing down part I understand, if it means that the police did not get into it with the protesters (and we can agree or disagree about that decision). What I don’t understand is why they also left, and didn’t cordon off the area to make sure that no bystanders were hurt - that no one was hurt. Does that indicate that if they weren’t going to take action, they didn’t want to be seen there at all? This I’m confused by.

Richard Reinders

They followed the progressive hand book of what to do , just like Keller had police close to the Onate statue and only got involved to record the aftermath of destruction and a shooting, which if the police were involved in the first place would not have happened. So if all we need the police for is record keeping they can get rid of their uniform and specially equipped cars and save the people the expense. Any one can be hired to record the past events.

Stefanie Beninato

Actually the ABQ police were allowing the right wing militia to do their jobs. They were called friendlies by some ABQ police officers...Militias like rent a cop are not the way to go.

Tiffany Thomas

I can agree Rachel. That is the question that we are all wondering. I think it was a miracle that nobody was seriously injured, but we all can see that this is what Webber wanted. These individuals did his dirty work. Everything they needed was left, paid for by us, the tax payers, for this. I have seen so many videos on social media and there were little kids there. What if one of them got hurt? Does the administration care? Everyone knew this was going to happen. Webber was there over the weekend talking to the guys chained up there so if that wasn't a huge blinking red light I don't know what is. The people who organized this obviously didn't care about human life and the City of Santa Fe now wants to claim they do because its convenient for them. They are at every other event on the with snipers on the rooftops so it doesn't make sense that they ran away with their tails between their legs, not on their own, but because they were told to...hmmmm, weird huh. There is more police attention to loud mufflers. This administration, the mayor and the police chief are whack.

Samuel Herrera

The police left a video truck at the plaza and were keeping an eye on the video stream from the Dunkin Doughnuts

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