Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Use of force by police in Albuquerque, protest over a man shot March 16th

Albuquerque was the site of a tear-gas filled 12-hour protest of a shooting that is eerily similar to the Errol Chang shooting.  (Ian Butler)

View image on Twitter
Albuquerque fired tear-gas at protesters
about 8:20 p.m., Sunday, 3/30/14 (Roberto E. Rosales)
CNN/Shawn Nottingham and Ashley Frantz, 3/31/14. "In Albuquerque, protesters clash with police." 
"Several hundred demonstrators clashed with officers in riot gear in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sunday in a protest that raged for more than 12 hours, ending around midnight, CNN affiliate KOAT reported. The protesters were enraged by what they called police brutality in the March 16 shooting of James M. Boyd. KOAT reported that Boyd was homeless.

The U.S. Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the shooting, as have the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Mexico, the Justice Department said in a release.  

Meanwhile, arrests were made related to the protest, KOAT said.  Mayor Richard Berry told the station that an officer was spat on and hit with a rock and another officer was trapped in a patrol car.  The mayor praised the police department for how it handled the protest, saying officers did an "exceptional job of de-escalating situations when we have protesters who obviously" want to "escalate the situation."   Read more,  article includes a video, 2:16 minutes.

Submitted by Ian Butler

Related - Huffington Post/Susan Montoya Bryan, 3/31/14, (Associated Press and Russell Contreras contributed to this report).  "Albuquerque protesters clash with police over deadly shootings." "This protest and another last week were in response to the 37 shootings Albuquerque police have been involved in since 2010, 23 of them fatal. The outrage bubbled over recently with the release of a video showing officers fatally shooting 38-year-old James Boyd, a homeless camper, as he appeared to be preparing to surrender on March 16. Ten days later, officers killed another man after they say he shot at them. On Friday, the FBI confirmed it had opened a criminal investigation into the Boyd shooting. And the U.S. Justice Department has been investigating the Police Department for more than a year, looking into complaints of civil rights violations and allegations of excessive use of force." 
Riot police launch tear gas toward activists in downtown Albuquerque, following a 10-hour protest around the city on Sunday. (Russell Contreras/ AP)
Albuquerque police
controlling the protest

Related - Huffington Post/Sebastian Murdock, 3/25/14."Police shoot homeless man during camping arrest, (graphic video)." There are two videos:  one is news, the other is the shooting/killing, 3:56 minutes.  "A homeless New Mexico man who was illegally camping in the Albuquerque foothills was fatally shot by police. New helmet camera video released by the Albuquerque Police Department on Friday shows the moment 38-year-old James Boyd turns his back to officers and then gets shot dead. Despite overwhelming criticism to the shooting, the department says its officers were justified, KRQE reported. Boyd was shot on Sunday, March 16. Police Chief Gorden Eden said officers approached Boyd, who was sleeping, to speak to him about illegally camping in an open space, according to the Albuquerque Journal.  According to authorities, Boyd began arguing with officers for more than three hours before the fatal shooting. Graphic video released by the department shows cops yelling at Boyd to "get on the ground" moments before he's shot." 

Note photographs:  police on horses from Roberto E. Rosale, Huffington article above, riot gear police from by Russell Contreras/AP from Washington Post, Mark Berman, 3/31/14, "What is going on in Albuquerque?  Your guide to the police shooting protest." 

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Ian, How many law enforcement people are shot in killed in the line of duty.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Yes Ian, this mentally ill man also pulled a knife on a downed officer. In the Pacifica incident the man actually stabbed an officer. The police were more than justified in using deadly force.

Anonymous said...

You know all the stoners have a hate for the police.

Hutch said...

Over on riptide they were ready to lynch the cops, Bray was saying the SWAT guy wanted to throw a flash-bang grenade at bystanders on purpose. Dan Underhill said this is the reason he never calls police for anything. Peter Loeb indicated the video told the story of what actually happened. These are the people some would listen to about highway widening.

ian butler said...

this is not a "stoner" issue, people all across the spectrum are concerned about how this was handled. For instance, the reason that the SWAT team was called was because of a rumor of a gun in the house. No gun, no SWAT team. How do you gun owners feel about a SWAT team storming your house and killing you based on a rumor of a gun?

As for the Albuquerque incident, the video shows there is clearly no threat to the police, yet they used deadly force, which is only allowed in cases of "immediate danger".

In both cases the police treated a mentally troubled person as an enemy combatant, needlessly escalating the situation and leading to an unnecessary death.

We will all pay for this. Just like the park ranger who tazed a man in the back for walking his dog, it leads to a distrust of those that are supposed to protect us, and often a large settlement paid out of our tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Hutch, opportunistic posts like yours at 1125 are laughable at best. At worst, they make the undecided or uninvolved wonder if you are typical of those in support of widening and I wouldn't rule out you being a deal breaker for some.
The most intelligent and thought- provoking post after the shooting was made on here by Steve Sinai. He provided a link to an article on the militarization of our domestic police force. That's the underlying issue we all should worry about. What happened to Errol Chang, and what will continue to happen, occurred because of a fundamental post 9/11 shift in the way law enforcement sees their job. It is no longer protect and serve, defuse situations, use non-lethal expertise and technology. Instead, it has become neutralize the threat, the terror, the enemy, with an ever more sophisticated and deadly array of weapons and tactics from the battlefield. The greater danger to all of us is not the Errol Changs of the world, it's an attitude and an army we unleash on our own people on our own soil. I believe a post on Riptide by Dan Underhill touched on the same underlying issue. It's an issue that crosses political and economic barriers. It's also a topic that has drawn the attention of the best and brightest in law enforcement and the judiciary and, yes, even our own military. The politicians can't be far behind, followed closely, cash in hand, by those who profit from such bloody growth industries.
It's easy and reassuring to focus on what Mr. Chang did to cause his own death. It makes us think everything is in order, cause and effect apply, it was justifiable, and me and mine are safe because we're not like Errol Chang. Don't you believe it. Not for an instant.

Hutch said...

Ian, It was not a "rumor" that a gun was in the house. The parents told police there was a gun in the house and Erol may have access to it and ammo. And it was his parents that rightfully called police because Erol had an axe and they were afraid.

You say these people were mentally ill like that means they were harmless. I believe in these circumstances it made them more of a threat.

It's easy for some to sit back and second guess what police should or shouldn't have done. I suspect if some of these same people who are criticizing police had to go into that house they would poop themselves.

Anonymous said...


watched a 2 minute video and he is ready to wrap up the whole case.

I don't know what Bray was talking about, the guy on the top of the Swat Truck fired the grinade after they told everyone to turn around and take cover. What Bray saw in his disturbed mind, was Bray trying to turn nothing into something.

Anonymous said...

Hutch, you hit the nail on the head! Did you mean to hit the nail on the head? It's in your 317 response to Ian Butler. Specifically, you say to Butler, "You say these people were mentally ill like that means they were harmless", and then you conclude, "I believe in these circumstances it made them more of a threat." No shit, Sherlock! Many believe the police made the circumstances far worse and much more dangerous by their own aggressive actions towards Errol Chang. If this was by the book, then we need a rewrite. And if it wasn't by the book, there are both criminal and civil remedies available. We all sneer at lawyers, but the civil trial system offers real checks and balances on the system for all of us. Rights are clarified, protections put in place, egregious wrongs addressed, and laws can and do change as a result of the civil trial.

Kathy Meeh said...

Appreciate Ian bringing this article to us. The Albuquerque police video shows police shooting and killing a man who was turning away and bending, possibly to do what they screamed at him: to get down on the ground. The Pacifica resident video/photos, see 3/19 "Pedro Point man killed" article, comment section, shows Errol Chang with his hands up in two windows of the house, some time before SWAT shot him dead.

The police capture or kill strategy for domestic use since 9/11, "Armed and dangerous" article posted by Steve Sinai (3/30,754 PM), is scary. And, as 326 says, "If this was by the book, then we need a rewrite".

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kathy, for the link to that article in the Economist. Since 9/11 the police have armed and trained and too often behaved as if they're dealing with Islamic Jihadis. Instead of protecting and serving the populace, they are instilling real fear and encouraging an anti-police attitude among people who have never before felt that way. And by doing that they are making their difficult and dangerous jobs even more so and all of us less safe. That's something we can share with any 3rd World dictatorship.

Anonymous said...

You don't listen to the police, you get shot.

You don't pay your taxes the irs ,comes after you.

You walk around on a freeway, you get run over.

Facts of life.

Anonymous said...

What could be more simple?

Walter Crankright said...

You use inappropriate analogies, you get laughed at.

That's the way it is.

Anonymous said...

Ersatz Cronkite, how funny that you should use Walter Cronkite's name. You're nothing like him. The real Cronkite valued and took obvious pride in America's conscience, it's sense of right and wrong. He knew that's what made us strong. You could see that in his reporting of Vietnam, Watergate, the deaths of the Kennedys and Reverend King, civil unrest, etc. He'd be appalled by the militarization of our police following 9/11. I think Cronkite would see it as a grave threat to our democracy. Too bad he's gone and we're left with complacent, clueless imposters. Yeah, that's the way it is.