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Video: Albuquerque PD Releases Footage of Controversial Camper Shooting

March 24, 2014  | 

VIDEO: Albuquerque PD Releases Video of Controversial Camper Shooting

The Albuquerque Police Department has released video that shows the shooting of a man who was camping illegally in the Sandia Foothills. The March 16 shooting has been decried by activists in the community who have called for rallies against the police.

The shots came after a confrontation in which the man, identified as 38-year-old James Boyd, told police he was going to walk down the mountain with them.

Boyd picked up his belongings and appeared ready to walk down toward officers. An officer fired a flash-bang device, which disoriented Boyd.

Boyd appeared to pull out knives in both hands as an officer with a dog approached him. He made what the Albuquerque Journal describes as a threatening motion toward the officer, then started to turn around away from police just before he is shot. 

Comments (26)

Displaying 1 - 26 of 26

Paul @ 3/24/2014 4:36 PM

Ouch. I won't argue that it wasn't justified, but often times when we are justified in using deadly force, doesn't mean that we have too elevate to that level. It appears to me that there was no clear understanding between the officers as to whether or not less lethal was to used first. I think one or two officers may have fired out of reaction to hearing the less lethal shotgun firing. Perhaps not but it seems that way. Also, I never heard anyone call for an ambulance or even begin to check for the suspects wounds to find out if he was hit with lethal or less lethal rounds. No one appears to be in charge of the situation. Regardless the suspect did have a knife and was deemed a possible harm to others, but still, it doesn't look good in the public's eyes. I wish nothing but the best for the victim's family and of course the officers involved.

Billy @ 3/24/2014 4:51 PM

The article does not talk about why LEO's was called to the scene. Other than illegal camping. There's more to this story than the article talks about. Just because the video shows the shooting it doesn't tell the full story. I really do not believe these officers showed up and just shot the suspect. People need to remember to follow instruction and they won't be shot. At the end of the day he should have listened. Because if you listen closely the suspect stated, if he was in a bar he would have the right to kill the officers. There's more to this story.

John @ 3/24/2014 7:44 PM

The militarization of the police has gotten out of hand. Who do these LEO's think they're dealing with, the Taliban? A disgraceful display by military wannabes. Incidents like this cause us to lose credibility with the public.

Matt @ 3/24/2014 9:17 PM

John you are an idiot. And thats all the time ill waste on you.

Paul. Careful calling the suspect a "victim".

Last i knew you dont gear up your esu for a callout on a disorderly. This looks like a team deployment, not a happenstance response to a random call. There is a hell of a lot untold. How about monday morning quarterbacks hush up. If you want to throw in your 2c how about how long it looks like they took to secure his camp. An accomplice may have taken them out. Were all human and killing is the worst thing well ever have to do. Unfortunately tunnle vision is practicually automatic. It has to be forced to the side. I hope they had someone with eyes on the background while they secured the guy.

Guys like John who whine about "militaristic" police crack me up. Do you want deuschbags like you with guns and authority? Give me Military Discipline any time.

E @ 3/25/2014 12:54 AM

"Follow instruction or you will be shot" - wow...that's really what most police officers think though. Incredible how brain washed some cops are. And always backing each other up no matter what. No sense of independent thinking left. That shooting may have been justifiable in court and probably would not be ruled a homicide but how can you live with yourself after that. There was no need to shoot at that moment at all.

Greg @ 3/25/2014 2:37 AM

Disgraceful. Absolutely disgraceful.


FACTS ARE FACTS for you LEOs what you see is what you get in this video and there are many who have been watching your TREASON PIGS?---- remember that ? Not all people will drop for you and best that you stop in murderous actions right now? Support this and you are just a THUG with POLYESTER CLOTHES and TIN BADGE and all your yelling tactics and training is know to many of us just remember that?

Justified @ 3/25/2014 8:32 AM

So the many who are saying he was “just an illegal camper", how about "he just rolled a stop sign" or "it was just a bag of chips". Arm-chair Quarterbacks is all everyone wants to play. A sad situation, nonetheless, the officers gave clear directives to the suspect which he failed to comply numerous times. The only negative thing that in this video and the second video that has surfaced, is the Officer shooting his weapon, behind and shifted to the left of his partners. That can be solved, by more training, which we all know; we can never have enough of. I've been doing this 9 years, I don't consider myself at pro by any means, however, if you choose to display potentially deadly force to an officer, expect it right back. If all you "just an illegal camper" men/women noticed, when the K-9 was released the suspect tossed what appeared to be either a bulky jacket or sleeping bag in the dogs direction. For all we know, how could’ve been doing this as a ploy to get to the officers.

Jerry @ 3/25/2014 10:29 AM

This is a situation where there appears to be poor communication with no clear leadership or deployment plan. There was a beanbag rifle on site, but not used until deadly force had already been deployed. If they had Tasers, they were not deployed. It looks like the canine went in for a bite, and was quickly withdrawn by the handler. Someone commented that individuals should know how to comply with officers commands. If this guy were normal, he wouldn't have been in the situation to begin with. This was rough terrain, and the 21 foot rule is not applicable here. There is no way the suspect could have moved that quickly toward the officers. This was a lone camper, and the entire team could have backed off and let him sit there until an intelligent decision could be made before resorting to deadly force. It appears there was no need to rush in. I have faced many situations of a similar nature in my career and this appears to be one that should have ended very differently.

RPG @ 3/25/2014 12:08 PM

Suspect had the high ground and could move quicker. What isn't obvious to people that don't know is that it may look like there was no immediate threat, but in that interim of time that he displayed the knives and moved forward, the officers processed the threat, measured it against their rules of engagement, realized the danger and decided to use deadly force, the nerve impulse traveling to arms and hands to line-up the shot and then for the brain to "authorize" the trigger finger, the subject had already started to disengage and turn around. This is exactly how suspects get shot in the back in that fraction of a second that it takes to turn around. The average officer may take 1-2 seconds to process a deadly force event. Its not like in the movies where it happens instantaneously, because unlike that, real life isn't scripted. You'll note that two or three officers fired. Each within a 1/10th of a second of each other, all acting on the same realization of threat and response.

GoingHome @ 3/25/2014 12:18 PM

Before slamming APD, take a look at this "poor homeless guys criminal background". CSP,Agg.assault,Agg.battery(with a blade),Agg.battery on a PO,Agg.battery on a CO, much more...for those of you that want to call cops military wannabes,pigs,etc. how a bought a nation wide blue flu for about two weeks... and we'll see how well everyone does handling things themselves...

Jelly @ 3/25/2014 12:44 PM

To the real police officers that visit and post on this site; don’t get so wrapped up in what these idiots are posting. They have no training, no experience, no background and no balls to do the job. I know it is frustrating, I read the crap too. I have also noticed that it seems to be more and more cop bashing pansy on this site, now more than ever. I think the reason for that is, liberals just love to argue EVERTHING and don’t bother with silly things like facts. I have considered cancelling my “” connection just for this reason, but why should I. There are still some good articles to learn from, you just have to skip over the whinny bullshit. I guess my point is, we have enough to deal with in real life, why argue with some internet computer geek trying to get a rise out of you knowing there is no consequence for running his mouth on a computer. They are getting what they want and therefore more and more keep posting on what used to be a good “POLICE” resource.

mike tuna @ 3/25/2014 1:14 PM

Hey rocket scientist Jerry, did you ever think that he may throw the knives at officers rather than rush the officer?

jerry @ 3/25/2014 2:22 PM

First of all I am not a rocket scientist. More importantly, I am an experienced field officer. What I did think about were the opportunities that seem to have been missed to resolve the situation without deadly force. I also know that as police officers we take on certain risks, and that is part of the job. Preventive measures may have been taken by the team to avoid injury. They were not taken. The only frame of reference I have is the video taken from the officer's point of view. From what I can see this was not a justified shooting.

ResAgentSWA @ 3/25/2014 11:43 PM

I can't tell who is speaking when they talk about "walking out of here." It appears that the suspect seems to be in agreement with that statement when he starts picking up his belongings and walking. I still am trying to justify the use of the flash-bang at the point where he is complying with "walking out of here." The use of the distraction device would make sense if he is not complying or if there is a need to rush him but not when he is doing what was suggested/talked about. I hate to second guess those involved but when the flash-bang went off it seems the whole dynamic changed and not for the better. I believe that this video won't play well with the public and, like it or not, we serve them and need their support if we are to be effective. No one will walk away unharmed in some way from this event and that is sad for all involved.

Paul @ 3/26/2014 2:34 AM

Ouch. I won't argue that it wasn't justified, but often times when we are justified in using deadly force, doesn't mean that we have too elevate to that level. It appears to me that there was no clear understanding between the officers as to whether or not less lethal was to used first. I think one or two officers may have fired out of reaction to hearing the less lethal shotgun firing. Perhaps not but it seems that way. Also, I never heard anyone call for an ambulance or even begin to check for the suspects wounds to find out if he was hit with lethal or less lethal rounds. No one appears to be in charge of the situation. Regardless the suspect did have a knife and was deemed a possible harm to others, but still, it doesn't look good in the public's eyes. I wish nothing but the best for the victim's family and of course the officers involved. To those wondering, Yes, I am a 25 yr veteran, fifteen of those years at a command rank including chief of police. I am now a forensic psychologist but remind a reserve officer.

Paul @ 3/26/2014 2:40 AM

"Remain" I meant; sorry I'm on a cell phone. I myself and another officer whom I worked with to take a life just a few years ago, so yes I have walked a mile in those shoes. I assure you, everyone involved in this unfortunate situation is a victim in one sense or another. Prayers to all involved and their families. Tough days are ahead.

Greg @ 3/26/2014 3:51 AM

John somehow mixed up what "Militarization" of the police actually means. Militarization describes several things; the war hardware given by the government to the local police (armored vehicles, interesting weapons etc.) and the behavior of less a "peace officer" and more of an occupying force who don't care about civil rights (no warrant searches of cars with excuses of their drug dog we have the right to search it). Also, with more crimes becoming federal crimes, even more federal control vs. local law control. It's not because officers want to be in the military, heck, a lot of them have already been in combat. They're glad to be coming home every night .

Mark @ 3/26/2014 6:55 PM

This was a justified shooting, instead of everyone going poor camper, my prayers are for the officers that had to use deadly force, i pray i'm never put in a situation where i have to take another life, the foolish perp played the fool card and died, he killed himself period.

Jason @ 3/28/2014 6:26 PM

Regardless of the first shot being justified or not, you could se the officer shoot him several more times with a shotgun after he was down, just because his leg moved.

Dragbag @ 3/29/2014 9:53 AM

Mark it is apparent that you are a complete assclown, coming from a military background myself, I look at this as a execution no more no less, who cares what the back story is, this is a incident of straight up murder from a bunch of what I view as very untrained LEO's with no common sense. Deadly Force should not have been used, this incident does not even fall under the rules of Deadly Force. Had a incident took place like this in A-Stan or Iraq we would have called to the carpet especially if we were ignorant enough to plaster the video all over the internet. I would suggest if LEO's want to break the law and commit murder they don't film it.

Katrina @ 3/29/2014 11:40 AM

"Killed for vagrancy in Jerkwater, USA."

Antonio Trujillo @ 3/29/2014 11:42 AM

They failed to mention, that the victim was mental. All you out of state fail to understand that the police officers, here in Albuquerque have a history of killing people and getting away with it. The city has paid millions of dollars, when sued.

I also don't know if you seen the video in it's entirely, but the homeless man was turning around, with his belongings in both arms. I believe, when the officer threw the grenade, he also spooked the armed officers and they began shooting. After he was down, dying, they continued shooting bean bag bullets and released the dog. The victim just laid there, while the dog was tearing at his behind. The the "HERO," officers rushed him and handcuffed him. They didn't check if he was hurt or dead. I bet they gave each other high fives, after the cameras were turned off.

I believe every thing would be normal, if APD was careful when screening potential police candidates, and fire all the psychopaths, that currently pollute the Dept.

Roscoe @ 3/29/2014 2:49 PM

TRY THEM, CONVICT THEM, EXECUTE THEM. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SeaBass238 @ 3/30/2014 5:44 PM

As a former LEO at the state level, I saw nothing in this video that warranted the use of lethal force. This camper was not an immediate lethal threat, nor even a lethal threat. As a physical threat, this camper could have been subdued very easily with less lethal.

It's officers like these and departments like this that make the job of law enforcement that much more difficult for the rest.

I wish the hammer would be brought down on these officers, they should be criminal charged, and spend the rest of lives in prison. Seems as if DOJ needs to step in and take over APD.

As for some of you commentators on here, who purport to be LEO's, its obvious you lack any decent or professional training and most likely need to seek employment in another profession.

jeri @ 4/1/2014 11:00 AM

I don't know how anyone can even begin to think this was justified. I can't think of ANYTHING that could have been said or done that isn't on that film that would change my mind. To whomever says "people have to listen and follow police instructions" that is ludicrous. This man is mentally challenged and the police knew it. How could they expect him to follow their instructions? Thank God for the video. I hope that becomes or is a requirement in all confrontations.

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