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This fatal shooting of James Boyd was unfortunate and apparently unnecessary.  
Watch the video.

Shots ring out as camper turns away

The illegal camper shot by Albuquerque police this week was turning away from officers when they fired at him, according to video released by Chief Gorden Eden on Friday.

The shots come after a confrontation in which the man, identified as 38-year-old James Boyd, tells police he’s going to walk down the mountain with them.

“Don’t change up the agreement,” Boyd says. “I’m going to try to walk with you.”

He tells officers he’s not a murderer.

Boyd picks up his belongings and appears ready to walk down toward officers. An officer fires a flash-bang device, which disorients Boyd.

Boyd appears to pull out knives in both hands as an officer with a dog approaches him. He makes a threatening motion toward the officer, then starts to turn around away from police.

That’s when shots ring out, and Boyd hits the ground. Blood can be seen on the rocks behind him.

This comes from the Albuquerque PD press conference.
– Chief Eden said APD has interviewed 40 witnesses so far, and that the suspect was sleeping as officers approached.
– Chief Eden said the suspect continued to rant after a crisis-intervention officer arrived. The suspect tells officers he’s an agent of the Department of Defense.
- Eden said the man made a threatening move toward an officer, and that’s what triggered the shooting. The shooting was justified, Eden said.

– Two officers fired shots, the chief says.

The Albuquerque Police Department hastily claimed that what looks like a near execution was necessary to protect its officers. First Police startled Boyd by shooting a flash-bang at him when he seemed to be trying to comply with police requests and was talking to the police trying to reassure them that he didn't pose a threat.   Then the moment when he was fatally shot Boyd is seen turning away from police, not trying to attack them.  

The shooting has sparked an uproar in Albuquerque.

Mayor calls APD shooting ‘horrific … unsettling’  

By Dan McKay and Nicole Perez / Journal Staff Writers

...“Please don’t hurt me anymore. I can’t move,” Boyd says as he lies on the ground.

‘Very disturbing’

City Council President Ken Sanchez, a Democrat, said he’s considering whether to introduce legislation asking the Department of Justice to oversee APD.

The more immediate concern, he said, is that the council should ask the DOJ to expedite its investigation and the city should commit to following the DOJ’s recommendations.

“I was disturbed and troubled by what I saw in the video,” Sanchez said Monday, “and I was alarmed that the police chief would come out so quickly in making statements that the shooting was justified.”

City Councilor Dan Lewis, a Republican who was the first councilor years ago to call for the DOJ to examine APD, said the video is “shocking.”

“I’m disturbed by it just like everybody else who’s watched it,” Lewis said.

Local governments have criminalized homelessness to the point that people are being shot for trying to find a safe place to sleep.

The Albuquerque Police Department has a serious problem with its officers' use of force. I hope the DOJ steps in like they had to do here in Seattle.

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 07:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group and Support the Dream Defenders.

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