New Mexico officers face murder charges
ALBUQUERQUE — Two New Mexico police officers will face second- degree murder charges in last year’s fatal shooting of a homeless man near his mountain campsite, a special prosecutor said Monday.
James Boyd was killed during a standoff captured on video after he appeared to surrender.
His death sparked angry demonstrations around Albuquerque, with protesters calling for reform after several deadly police shootings.
Authorities have said Boyd was schizophrenic and hadn’t received proper treatment. He was holding two knives when he was shot, the video showed.
Even before Boyd’s death, the Justice Department had been investigating the Albuquerque Police De- partment over allegations of misuse of force. Justice officials harshly criticized the Police Department this year, and an agreement has been reached to improve training and dismantle troubled pro- grams.
Special Prosecutor Randi McGinn’s office announced several charges against Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez, including second- degree murder, which covers killings that aren’t premeditated. It’s punishable by 15 years in prison.
McGinn’s office also will seek voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges against the officers.
Sandy and Perez have denied wrongdoing.
Sandy “was protecting a fellow officer when he shot Mr. Boyd,” said the officer’s attorney, Sam Bregman. “There was no criminal in- tent.”
The FBI has been investigating, but authorities haven’t said whether the off icers will face federal charges.
Since 2010, Albuquerque police have been involved in 40 shootings.
Critics say that’s far too many for a city of about 560,000.
JAMES BOYD, left, in an image taken from video of last year’s fatal standoff with police in Albuquerque. Boyd was holding two knives, the video showed.
KEITH SANDY and Dominique Perez, in undated photos, will face second- degree murder charges.