The Latest: Attorney: Decision brings end to tragic journey
Jul. 18, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Justice Department decision to close the investigation into the police shooting of a New Mexico homeless man (all times local):
The attorney for one of the Albuquerque police officers cleared in the 2014 shooting death of a homeless man says the decision by the U.S. Justice Department to close the investigation brings to an end what he described as a tragic journey.
Attorney Luis Robles said Tuesday it was remarkable that it took more than three years to conclude what he knew the night of the shooting, that the video depicting the final moments of the police standoff with James Boyd didn't tell the whole story.
His client, Dominique Perez, is now back at work on administrative duty with the Albuquerque police force and is ready to write a new chapter in his life.
Perez and now-retired Detective Keith Sandy were tried on second-degree murder charges in state district court. That case ended in a mistrial last year before state prosecutors cleared them both.
Members of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association are pleased with the announcement that two former officers won't face any federal charges related to the 2014 shooting death of a homeless man during an hours-long standoff.
President Shaun Willoughby says fellow union members believe the U.S. Justice Department made the right decision in closing the investigation.
The federal agency said there was insufficient evidence to pursue criminal civil rights charges against the officers.
The officers were tried on second-degree murder charges in state district court. That ended in a mistrial last year, and state prosecutors later cleared them both.
Willoughby says the James Boyd shooting was an unfortunate tragedy. He said the officers were also victims given the impact the shooting had on their lives.
Boyd had a history of mental illness.
Civil rights advocates say they're disappointed in the decision by the U.S. Justice Department not to pursue federal criminal charges against the Albuquerque police officers involved in the 2014 shooting of a homeless man.
Watchdog groups and others who have been pushing for reforms within the Albuquerque police force said Tuesday that James Boyd's death was a seminal moment in bringing a broader understanding of police use of force to the public.
Steve Allen with the American Civil Liberties Union in New Mexico says video that showed the final moments of the standoff were graphic and disturbing.
Allen says the focus now needs to be on addressing systemic deficiencies within the police department.
University of New Mexico professor David Correia, who led a 2014 sit-in over police shootings, said he wasn't surprised by the decision.
Federal prosecutors say there's not enough evidence to pursue criminal civil rights charges against the Albuquerque police officers who were involved in the 2014 fatal shooting of a homeless man that spurred public protest.
The U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday it was closing its investigation into the death of James Boyd and that officials had met with Boyd's family and their representative to inform them of the decision.
Boyd, who had a history of mental illness, was shot and killed following an hours-long standoff with authorities after he was discovered camping illegally in the foothills bordering Albuquerque.
Two former Albuquerque officers were tried on second-degree murder charges in the case that ended in a mistrial last year before state prosecutors cleared them both.
Federal officials described their review as careful and thorough.