“A special prosecutor filed second-degree murder charges Monday against two police officers accused of killing a mentally ill homeless man in Albuquerque last year.
The shooting death of James Boyd, 36, was captured by a police helmet camera and triggered large protests in a city where officers had killed more than two-dozen people in four years, and where a U.S. Justice Department investigation concluded last year that the Albuquerque Police Department engaged “in a pattern or practice of excessive force.”
The two officers accused of murdering Boyd, Dominique Perez and Keith Sandy, shot the man to death on March 16, 2014, after a several hour standoff when he refused to leave his campsite.
Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg, who filed first-degree murder charges against the men earlier this year, withdrew from the case after her office was disqualified over an appearance of a conflict of interest, NBC affiliate KOB reported.
Brandenburg appointed a special prosecutor, Randi McGinn, who filed the second-degree murder charges. Perez and Sandy are also accused of voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter, as well as aggravated assault and aggravated battery, respectively, according to documents filed in Bernalillo County District Court.
A lawyer for Perez, Luis Robles, told NBC News that the officer was “relieved” that the first-degree murder charges were dropped. In court, Robles added, Perez will show that “he did what he was supposed to do and acted in conformity” with the law.”
At least for Keith Sandy, Brandenburg’s first degree murder charges should have stood. He was accidentally recorded on a dashcam having an exchange between Sandy and State Police Sgt. Chris Ware during which Sandy made a comment about shooting Boyd in the “pecker” hours before he and Perez gunned Boyd down.
Updated: From the abqjournal.com, additional and more precise information:
“On Monday, special prosecutors Randi McGinn and Kevin Holmes filed a criminal information, a charging document that will lead to a probable cause hearing by a judge, against Keith Sandy, a former Albuquerque Police Department detective, and SWAT team member Dominique Perez on charges of second-degree murder.
The language of the documents say it was Perez “who did kill James Boyd without legal justification” and Sandy “who did kill or aid and abet in the killing” of Boyd.
Of the new charges, Robles said, “It all comes down to the idea, ‘Are the actions of the officers authorized by law, policy and training,’ and if we can show that it’s a defense to all these charges. It almost becomes like a civil case in that sense.”
Robles successfully has defended many police excessive force cases, particularly those involving federal civil rights claims.
Sandy’s lawyer Sam Bregman said there was no justification for charging his client with any crime.
“He was a police officer protecting a fellow officer when he shot a mentally unstable man wielding two knives. There is simply no criminal intent,” he said.
Filing of any charges by the special prosecutors was deferred earlier while a ballistics expert in California using 3-D technology reviewed evidence, McGinn said.
They were able to file the charges after getting results from the ballistics.”
Given those lies, it’s time to bring the video again, I reckon.
“McGinn said Monday that second-degree murder charges often are filed when there’s an imperfect self-defense claim. “You can’t claim self-defense when you create the dangerous situation or when you start the fight,” she said.
A preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for Aug. 3-6 before Pro Tem Judge Neil Candelaria, a former police officer who was a judge in Metropolitan Court and the criminal division of District Court before his retirement.”
‘New York City to get 1,297 new police officers by next year, mayor announces’
‘According to the mayor’s office, reducing the overtime costs of the New York City’s police force will generate $70m after all the new hires begin.’ Ah, cost-saving. Note the photo: two black female cops, one holding a large sunflower. Peace and love!
In NYC last night:
Keegan says that the young black man was simply bicycling past the protest when he was attacked by NYPD ‘protectors and servers’.
No news has come yet from Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty as to any (ahem) grand jury proceedings in the drive-by assassination of Tamir Rice. His parents continue to hold press conferences full of endless grief and outrage as they seek some small measure of justice. Tamir would have turned thirteen years old on June 25. His father Leonard Warner said that Father’s Day was “just another reminder of the worst day of my life.”
The NYCLU has appealed to a three-judge panel to release Grand Jury testimony in the police murder of Eric Garner. No decision has come down yet.