Despite a lot of the stupidity surrounding the Ferguson debacle, there are indeed problems with police acting waaay out of their prescribed power. For myself, it isn’t that I don’t like police, I just feel better when they aren’t around. I’m sure most people feel the same way.
Last spring, in New Mexico, a homeless man was killed by the police. Far from the only incident of that sort, but these officers are actually going to be charged with murder. We’ll see what happens. Here is an article about that event:
2 Albuquerque officers face murder charges in killing of homeless man
A screen grab, taken from a video camera worn by an Albuquerque Police Department officer, shows police in a standoff with James Boyd on March 16, 2014. (Albuquerque Police Department)
By Nigel Duara contact the reporter
Two Albuquerque police officers will face murder charges in connection with the death of a homeless man
Two Albuquerque police officers will face a preliminary hearing on murder charges in connection with the shooting death of a homeless camper in March that was captured on an officer’s helmet-mounted camera.
The case centers on James Boyd, 36, who had been camping in a restricted area of open space at Albuquerque’s eastern edge. During a four-hour standoff with police who had responded to a call from a local resident, he brandished two small knives multiple times.
Boyd, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, had been acting erratically during the incident.
In the video from the helmet camera, Boyd appears to be complying with commands to leave the area when an officer throws a flash-bang grenade at his feet and a second officer releases a police dog that attacks Boyd. He again draws knives from his pockets and turns away from officers, who fire, hitting him in the back.
Bernalillo County Dist. Atty. Kari Brandenburg filed an information in court on Monday, seeking to have Officer Dominique Perez and former Det. Keith Sandy, who was allowed to retire from the department eight months after the shooting, charged.
Brandenburg has scheduled an afternoon news conference to discuss the potential charges.
Under New Mexico law, Brandenburg may file charges via criminal information, which means she does not need to seek an indictment from a grand jury. Local TV station KRQE said she will file open charges of murder, which means that a trial jury could consider a range of counts — at minimum, manslaughter, and at most, first-degree murder.
The Albuquerque Police Department has come under intense scrutiny in connection with a string of violent encounters with the public. Since 2010, Albuquerque police officers have shot 37 people, 27 of them fatally.
The shootings prompted a federal investigation, and the department is the subject of a consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department, which found in an investigation that Albuquerque police have used deadly force more often than necessary, resulting in a series of unjustified fatal shootings.
The settlement calls for the police department to deescalate situations that involve people in a mental health crisis and minimize the use of force.