Two Albuquerque Police Officers will face murder charges for the March 16th, 2014 killing of a homeless man. The District Attorneys Office of Bernalillo County, New Mexico, announced on Monday that the Officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez would be facing Murder charges for the March homicide of James Boyd. Boyds Killing attracted scrutiny when a police helmet camera caught the act in its entirety. The video footage was subsequently published on the Internet for all to see.
James Boyd was a homeless man who had been camping in the Albuquerque area when approached by police. Boyd apparently had previous contact with some of the officers and had shown somewhat unstable tendencies during previous encounters.
The decision by the district attorney’s office to file charges openly, is contrary to previous procedures, in this and other jurisdictions, to present such a case to the grand jury for an indictment of charges. This decision will bring a auspices of transparency over the criminal procedures. The public will be able to observe the facts as they are presented in the indictment. This is with the understanding that the indictment process will be open, as it should be.
Last April the US Department of Justice issued a 46-page report that detailed an “aggressive culture” and pattern of excessive force within the Albuquerque Police Department. In this report the Department of Justice states: “We have determined that structural and systemic deficiencies—including insufficient oversight, inadequate training, and ineffective policies—contribute to the use of unreasonable force. ”
In a State Police dashcam video (audio below) obtained after the shooting Officer Sandy expresses that “He is going to shoot him (Boyd) in the penis with a shotgun here, in a second.” A short time later Officer Sandy did, indeed, shoot Boyd.
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