New Mexico Police videotaped themselves shooting a homeless man in the back and killing him — but despite the death being ruled a homicide, everyone still has a job. The murder of James Boyd was just another in a long line of police killings that has plagued the city of Albuquerque for years. In fact, it is such an epidemic that the police department is on the verge of federal oversight.
The mentally disturbed Boyd was attempting to camp in the hills above Albuquerque one night in March after the city’s homeless shelters had closed — an act that was illegal, yes, but harmless. Boyd was holding two small camping knives when officers confronted him and engaged the man in a five hour negotiation to get him to leave his makeshift campsite.
As Boyd was stepping down, police threw a flash grenade at him. Shocked by the grenade blast, Boyd turned his back, and police took advantage of the opportunity to shoot the homeless man in the back three times. On the ground and desperately gasping for breath, Boyd then endures police siccing a dog on his leg before firing multiple beanbag rounds into him. They then handcuffed the wheezing man, who would later die in the hospital.
James Boyd was the 26th person in the last 4 years to die after being shot by Albuquerque police. In a report written before Boyd’s murder, the US Department of Justice said that, “we find that the department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force during the course of arrests and other detentions in violation of the Fourth Amendment.”
The city has paid out over $30 million in settlements, but not one single officer has been charged during the entire 13 year term of Albuquerque D.A. Kari Brandenburg, who cleared the two officers who killed Boyd.
Not a single officer has been charged in the past 30 years.
Watch a report on the situation, below: