New Mexico of­fi­cers face mur­der charges

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION -

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.

Al­bu­querque Po­lice De­par t ment photos

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.

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