Jury Will Hear That Man Killed by Police Had Been Arrested

1 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

APD officers charged with murder face preliminary hearing Monday.

Defense attorneys Sam Bregman, left and Luis Robles, right, discuss their clients case on Friday, July 31, 2015, in Albuquerque, N.M. ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A judge on Friday ruled that a jury can be told limited information about a homeless man’s prior arrest in the trial of a former and current officer facing murder charges in his death.Friday morning in district court, attorneys for the two Albuquerque police officers, Dominic Perez and Keith Sandy, accused of second degree murder argued with the state about what evidence should be allowed in court during the preliminary hearing. “We are not asking the ultimate question was he justified in shooting.Officer Dominique Perez and retired Officer Keith Sandy could face second-degree murder charges or a judge could decide they didn’t commit a crime during the deadly officer involved shooting of James Boyd. After nearly two hours of back and forth, Pro Tem Judge Neil Candelaria ruled what can and cannot be used in the hearing which will decide if the case goes to trial. “I think that it is allowable officers at the scene how they perceived the situation at the time, how they felt how the situation was going and whether they thought certain means were necessary to quell the situation at that point,” said Judge Candelaria.

Officers who witnessed the shooting will be able to testify about what happened that day, but they won’t be able to give opinions on whether or not the officers were justified with they opened fire in the foothills last year. “They can talk about their training and how they are supposed to respond in particular instances and that’s exactly what we wanted them to be able to testify to,” said Bregman. “A lot of people have made up their mind on this case based on a video,” said Bregman. “The video by no means tells the whole story of why these two police officers had to shoot James Boyd. They are the first Albuquerque officers to face murder charges for an on-duty shooting in at least 30 years. “I plan on providing evidence of what Mr. State District Judge Alisa Hadfield in April disqualified Brandenburg or anyone in her office from prosecuting the case and ordered her to appoint a special prosecutor. The judge determined an ongoing dispute between Brandenburg and Albuquerque police over a bribery investigation into Brandenburg created a conflict of interest.

Boyd, who suffered from schizophrenia, was shot at the end of a more than three hour long standoff in an open space area east of Copper, where he had been illegally camping. He allegedly threatened responding officers with knives, prompting a large police response that included officers from the Albuquerque SWAT and Repeat Offender Project teams. The video recording of the shooting showed that Boyd, perched above the officers on a rocky slope, gathered his belongings and appeared ready to surrender when an arrest team moved in on him. Since the shooting, the city of Albuquerque and the Department of Justice have reached a settlement agreement that aims to curb Albuquerque police’s pattern of excessive force, which included police shootings.

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