A lawyer who has battled—and defeated—the Albuquerque Police in 2010 wrongful death case is blasting the city for the shooting death of Michael Boyd, a homeless man who appears to either be turning away from officers or who was surrendering when he was shot and killed:
After watching the entire video, “I’m shocked, I’ve never seen a murder captured on videotape before,” said Joe Kennedy. Kennedy is an attorney who teamed with his wife Shannon to win a $10 million verdict against the city for APD’s wrongful shooting death of Kenneth Ellis in 2010.
“This is, I’ve never seen anything quite like this,” said Kennedy. He believes officers put themselves in danger last Sunday by getting too close to James Boyd. “You can contain, create distance and time, distance and time every police officer knows benefits the police officer.”
Peter Simonson of the ACLU said the current federal investigation of APD needs to include this case. “Was there another way to approach this situation that didn’t have to result in someone dying?” Simonson asked. “I think that is a serious open question and its a different question than that of whether is was justified or not.”
The federal investigation of the department’s culture and use of force policies is on-going.
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Some commenters have asked why Bearing Arms covers incidents of officer-involved shootings. Our reasoning is very simple.
Police culture in the United States has become more paramilitary in recent decades, adopting a very aggressive, action-oriented stance that emphasizes speed, force, and the threat of overwhelming violence to rapidly bring incidents to a close.
It is our view that these policies are far more dangerous to both police officers and to the citizenry than traditional law enforcement methods. It is our concern that these overly-aggressive methods creates an “us vs. them” that creates distrust and hampers the ability of law enforcement to function effectively, and also constitutes a clear threat to our Constitutional rights.
Bearing Arms is fortunate to count current and former law enforcement officers among our friends and contributors, and want us all to be able to co-exist in a lawful society. Part of the coexistence depends on honest criticism when policies and tactics become detrimental to the culture and to essential liberty.