Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico shot and killed an alleged homeless man who was “illegally camping” in the Sandia Foothills this week. The incident was caught on an officer’s helmet camera.
James Boyd, 38, was killed by the police officers during the altercation. According to reports, Boyd was confronted by officers for camping in an area he wasn’t supposed to be in. When the officers attempted to frisk him, Boyd reportedly gave them a hard time and told them he was a government agent. Authorities claim that Boyd had started to threaten the officers’ lives.
“I’m almost going to kill you right now,” Boyd supposedly said at the beginning of the incident. “Don’t give me another directive. Don’t attempt to give me, the Department of Defense, another directive.”
Later, more officers were called to the scene, and that’s when things started to heat up. Albuquerque Police Chief Gordon Eden said that Boyd continually threatened the officers’ lives.
“In a private world, if you were down at a bar or a bus stop, I would have the right to kill you right now because you’re trying to take me over,” said Boyd. “Don’t get stupid with me!”
At this point, officers had their guns drawn and pointed at Boyd, and eventually, he told them that he would walk down the mountain with them.
“Don’t change up the agreement,” said Boyd. “I’m going to try to walk with you.”
While Boyd turns around the retrieve his belongings, one officer fires a flash-bang device at him, which seems to throw him off guard, and that’s when two of the officers fire multiple shots that take him to the ground. Boyd was later pronounced dead.
“Actually if you watch the videotape, all the less than lethal devices were in fact deployed,” said Chief Eden. “It was when the canine officer was down directing the canine dog that the suspect pulled out the two knives and directed a threat to the canine officer who had no weapons drawn. He was handling the dog.”
When asked if the shooting was justified, Chief Eden said he believed it was.
Boyd reportedly had a history of violent offenses, and had spent time in jail over the years. He also had a history of mental health problems.
119-Year-Old Omaree Varela Kicked to Death By Mother After Calling 911 To Report Abuse Six Months Earlier (Video)
The disturbing death of a young boy in Albuquerque, New Mexico has many calling for more people to be held accountable.
In June of last year, 9-year-old Omaree Varela called 911 and let operators hear what was happening in his home. In the troubling recording, two adults voices are clearly heard berating and verbally abusing the young boy as he cries.
"You make everybody sick around you, Omaree. Everybody,” said the unidentified man. “You make me and your mom fucking sick, man. I f*cking can't stand you Omaree, my Lord.”
A woman, believed to be Omaree’s mother Synthia Varela-Casaus, can also be heard screaming and yelling at the boy, calling him names and making him cry.
According to reports, authorities were dispatched to the home following the 911 call, but no police report was filed.
Six months later, Omaree Varela was found dead at the very home that police went to earlier. His mother Synthia was arrested and has now been charged with one count of child abuse resulting in death, five counts of child abuse, and one count of tampering with evidence. Authorities say that the mother repeatedly kicked Omaree to death, which she claims was an accident.
Now, many people are angry that nothing was done to prevent this from happening back in June when the initial 911 call was made. Activist groups in the area are calling for the firings of the two original responding officers and of the Children Youth and Families Department secretary.
In the meantime, Albuquerque police say that the two responding officers have been placed on paid leave while an investigation is launched.
“As of February 4 the two officers who were dispatched on the call have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation,” said Albuquerque Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry. “There are many aspects of this call which are extremely troubling. “If it is determined by the internal affairs investigation that officers involved did not respond in accordance with proper procedures, swift action will be taken to hold those individuals accountable.”
Omaree reportedly told school officials about abuse in his home a year before he died.
A homeowner in Albuquerque, New Mexico is suing the city over claims that its mistake, a mistake that it fully admits to, has ruined his life.
Johnny Robinson, a contractor, began renovations on his home after his blueprints were approved by the city in 2008. Robinson mapped out plans for his dream home and went through all the necessary steps to get approval for construction. Once the city gave him the go-ahead, Robinson began work on the home he lived in with his son, expanding it from 1,600 to 5,400 square feet.
“I know what I’m doing in terms of building it, but with all the paperwork and stuff, I relied on the city to make sure everything I was doing was right,” said Robinson to Albuquerque’s KRQE News. “I made sure, I was down there all the time, asking questions.”
In addition to the necessary paperwork that was approved, Robinson even got written permission, as advised by city officials, from his next-door neighbor to have the home extend closer to the neighbor's property line.
By 2011, construction was underway, and the final permit was granted that April. By October, Robinson had already put nearly $20,000 into the renovations, and just as things were coming together, the city put a halt to everything.
“Right before I put the shingles on, they came and red-tagged me and told me to stop work,” said Robinson.
City officials cited Robinson for apparently breaking city code that says a house must be within 15 feet of the property line separating it from the next house over, and Robinson’s house was now twithin only hree feet. Even though Robinson had already had his plans approved and got written permission from the neighbor, the city still handed him a citation and wouldn’t allow him to continue building.
Robinson says that now, for over two years, he has been living in a construction zone in unsafe conditions with his son, and the city refuses to budge. To make matters worse, the city takes full responsibility for approving the plans and completely overlooking the property line issue in the first place, but it still refuses to change its stance. It even says that, despite its mistake's being the cause, Robinson has to pay the fines that come along with the citation.
“I don’t see how the city can allow me to live like this. They made the mistake. I didn’t make the mistake,” said Robinson. “I’m living in one room in my house, and that’s like being in jail.”
Today, there is a large hole in Robinson’s roof, no insulation, and excessive water damage in the home due to the conditions of the unfinished house. Now, Robinson is suing the city, and he hopes to be able to make it pay up for its mistake so he can move forward with his life.
Albuquerque police say they wounded a 64-year-old man during a traffic stop after he attempted unsuccessfully to commit “suicide by cop.”
Robert Garcia was pulled over at 3 a.m. on Nov. 15 for driving erratically.
In a newly released video from a lapel camera, police tell Garcia to drop a pistol he was carrying nine times.
"Put the gun down, sir!" Officer Peter Romero shouts. "Put your gun down, sir! Put the freakin' gun down!"
Garcia walks forward, aiming the gun, and Romero fires one shot. Garcia is hit in the stomach and collapses.
Even when he was on the ground, Romero says Garcia was still reaching for his gun.
Police said a note found in Garcia’s back pocket read, "Thank you officer.”
He was taken to an area hospital where he admitted to provoking the cop in order to get shot. He later apologized to Romero when he was being questioned.
At the time of the incident, Garcia was under investigation for child sexual abuse by New Mexico State Police, according to the New York Daily News. He is charged with molesting a 6-year-old in Taos County.
KOAT reported that Garcia’s family said he had been acting suicidal.
Albuquerque PD praised Romero for doing the right thing.
"Officer Romero was just doing his job" Albuquerque police chief Allen Banks said. "It's nothing we look forward to…but (Garcia) made his choice that night of what he wanted to do and put that officer in that position."
Supporters of the 20-week abortion ban in Albuquerque say they believe many people meant to vote in favor of the ban, but were confused by the wording on the ballot.
The Tuesday vote showed 55 percent were against the ordinance, which would have banned all abortions after 20 weeks, unless the mother’s life is at risk. The ordinance makes no execpetion for cases on incest, rape or fetal viability.
Currently only two clinics in New Mexico offer the late-term procedure, both located in Albuquerque.
The senior policy advisor for the ABQ Voters Against Late Term Abortion Ban campaign, Cheryl Sullenger, told LifeNews.com that pro-life voters thought they were voting against abortion, when they were actually voting against the abortion ban.
“We understand that some supporters of the ordinance actually voted against it because they thought they were voting against abortion. That is an issue that can be easily corrected next time around,” said Sullenger.
Early voter Fred Tidwell told the Albuquerque Journal that he wasn’t sure was the ordinance was meant to do.
“I don’t even know what we’re voting on,” he said.
City Clerk Amy Bailey said her office fielding an “unbelievable” number of calls asking what the ordinance was, but the wording of the ballot was City Council-approved.
‘They want us to interpret the ballot for them and tell them how to vote, and we just can’t do that,” Bailey told the Albuquerque Journal.
“Pro-life supporters may have suffered a political loss, but we are far from defeated," Sullenger said.
She promised that anti-abortion activists will get the proposed ban on another ballot in a future election.
“Now the local activists in Albuquerque have been seasoned and things just might turn out differently if we can get another bite of this apple,” she said.
“We’ll be back,” she said. “It is clear that the people are uncomfortable with late-term abortions and would like to see them end. We learned a lot from this campaign, and we look forward to another try that will better reflect the true feeling of the voters on this subject.”
Thirteen other states have similar “fetal pain” laws, based on the belief that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks.
In June, the House of Representatives passed a similar bill called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would make abortion after 20 weeks a federal crime.
“Despite being outspent four to one, pro-life grassroots activists were able to educate thousands of citizens about fetal pain and the reality of late abortion,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony List, a non-profit seeking to elimination abortion in the U.S.
“Polls show Americans are united in opposing this brutal practice,” she added.
Parents may want to shield their children’s eyes while driving down the streets of Albuquerque. Anti-abortion group Created Equal has started a new campaign to spread their cause, and is posting pictures of aborted fetuses on a moving “billboard” plastered to the side of a truck.
The group plans to drive this truck through the streets until the November 19 election to support a bill that would ban late-term abortions.
"If the photographic evidence of the injustice of abortion doesn't motive the pro-life vote, nothing will," said Mark Harrington, executive director of the group.
A similar measure was taken in June, when anti-abortion activist Bill Shaver drove his truck around with enlarged images of dead fetuses. He often parked near an abortion clinic in protest.
Said Shaver at the time, “This just shows what abortion is. It shows the reality of what abortion is. It also restores meaning to the word abortion."
"As far as late-term abortion is concerned, Albuquerque is the capital for the United States just because it's drawing people from all over the country," Shaver also said.
Kathy Foy, who was trying to find a place to park her car and eat lunch, was disgusted by the display. “I looked up and I saw that truck," she said. "It needs to stay between a woman and her doctor. It shouldn't be on a van on the street in a public place like this."
The latest moving billboard comes shortly after a campaign from Respect ABQ Women, an organization fighting the proposed ban. The group has released a video of a woman named Christie Brooks, who “found out her child would suffocate and die if she carried her pregnancy to term.” Brooks was then forced with the choice of terminating her pregnancy or undergoing labor, which would cause more suffering, and ultimately the death of her child.
Like Created Equal, Respect ABQ Women will be campaigning until the election has ended.
Trick-or-treaters in Albuquerque, N.M., received a surprise with their Halloween candy: graphic anti-abortion cards with pictures of fetuses and phrases like “I am not a clump of cells.”
Candy bars were sandwiched between anti-abortion cards that read “53 million killed”; “I am a human being”; and “Am I not human?”
KRQE News 13 visited the woman who handed out the cards. While other homes were decorated for Halloween, her house was plastered with anti-abortion posters and paintings of fetuses across her windows. One read “Abortion is Homicide.”
She would not speak on camera, but she said she stood by her actions. She believes if people chose to ring her doorbell for candy, she has a right to share her beliefs with them.
“We just noticed these cards attached to certain candies and started pulling them off, and we were pretty shocked to see that kind of stuff targeted at kids,” said one parent, Frank Valdez. “They’re forcing an agenda on little kids, pretty much.”
"My gut reaction is anger because children should not be subjected to that kind of adult material," a neighbor said Friday.
The cards are from the Right to Life movement, but placing them in Halloween handouts is not a part of the local movement, reported KOB 4.
“No, it’s not our organization,” said Elisa Martinez, head of the local group Protect ABQ Women and Children, which is pushing for a late-term abortion ban on the ballot this month.
“Everything that we’re putting out is focused on this ordinance and passing the ordinance,” Martinez said Friday. “Whatever anyone else feels empowered to do, we’re not going to stop them.”
On September 16, 2013, the State of New Mexico, Department of Game & Fish, sent a letter to Mayor Berry of Albuquerque encouraging the City and the Animal Welfare Department to “discontinue support” of the Trap-Neuter-Return policy which releases feral cats into the city’s streets.
The letter, signed by Cal Baca, Chief, Wildlife Management Division, states:
“In 2012, Best Friends Animal Society partnered with Albuquerque (City) Animal Welfare Department to begin a three-year Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program, funded by a grant from PetSmart Charities. In addition, the City has worked with New Mexico Animal Friends to cover the cost of sterilizing street cats. The Department of Game and Fish (Department) encourages the City and the Animal Welfare Department to discontinue support of these programs.”
The letter continues that, while Game and Fish Dept. supports spay-neuter programs for responsible pet owners, feral and free-roaming cats are not companion animals.
It also explains that, although supporters of such TNR programs refer to the released felines as “community cats,” in fact, these cats are nonnative predators introduced by humans.
Rachel Shockley of Fish and Game contends that TNR programs have not been shown to stabilize feral cat populations, as claimed, and that the number of feral cats continues to grow as food is provided.
The letter expresses serious concerns about the impact on wildlife, “Studies show that, even when fed daily by humans, cats continue to hurt wildlife. A finding by Courchamp, et. Al, in 2000, found that “supplemental feeding of free-roaming cat colonies may lead to hyperpredation and increased densities of cats, and free-ranging cats compete with native predators.”
Jim Ludwick of the city’s Animal Welfare Department says he plans to continue with the TNR program, as video footage shows large numbers of feral cats roaming streets and collecting in yards of residents.
Source: ABC Birds
High-school and college-age young people recently took part in a pro-life training camp, which included a protest outside the New Mexico Holocaust and Intolerance Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The teens held signs that read “ABQ: America’s Auschwitz” outside the museum on Thursday, but one protester admitted not knowing much about the local abortion laws (video below).
“Since I just got here, we’ve been learning about [Albuquerque's abortion laws] since then, so I don’t know too much,” the unidentified teen told KOB News.
The young protesters also went inside the museum to hand out leaflets and demanded an "inclusive" exhibit comparing the Jewish Holocaust to abortion.
“We need to show the truth about abortion,” said one protestor.
In response, the museum shut down early on Thursday.
The out-of-state young people paid $250 to be part of the training session by the pro-life group "Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust" whose website reads:
Survivors Camps are designed to involve YOU in exciting and effective activism. This FIRST-EVER New Mexico Camp will take place in Albuquerque, the Abortion Capital of the Southwest and the Late Term Abortion Capital of the country — a location that provides endless opportunities for much-needed activism.
However, some residents were offended by the protest and signs.
“We are hurt and outraged that these out-of-state extremists would come to our city and disrespect one of our most important landmarks like this,” said one resident.
New Mexico does not have any term limits on abortions.
Ron McCoy and his partner Chris Bowers were in for a rude welcoming in Albuquerque, when they flew in to attend the LGBT PrideFest in June.
Coming in from Portland, Ore., McCoy and Bowers boarded an airport shuttle holding hands when they arrived on June 28, two days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.
When the driver of the shuttle bus saw them holding hands, he allegedly became disgusted.
“I saw him look at us, look down at his hands and he looked so angry,” McCoy told KRQE. “He just blurted out at me, he goes, ‘Okay, if you’re going to do that, you’re going to the back of the bus.’”
The couple complied, not wanting to make trouble as soon as they arrived in a new city. When they got to their destination, however, they asked the driver why he made them move to the back.
“I said, ‘I think it was because you didn't like the fact that I was holding my partner's hand.’ He goes, ‘See, now you're telling on yourself.’ My partner responds, 'Well, that's discrimination,' and the driver responds, ‘You're telling on yourself again,’” McCoy said.
The driver, who works for an independent firm called Standard Parking contracted by the airport to provide transportation to rental car lots, apparently thought the couple should be secretive about their relationship.
A native of Albuquerque jumped in to defend them.
“I told the bus driver that I was completely appalled that anybody would be treated this way,” said Bernadette Aguirre.
“And the driver looks back at us and goes, 'I'll show you what's appalling,' and he points to us,” McCoy said.
“First and foremost, it is absolutely unacceptable. We immediately got in touch with Standard Parking to assess what exactly happened. They acknowledged this was a mistake on the part of the driver.”
McCoy and Bowers say they never received any apology for the incident. They have since filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union.
“First and foremost, it is absolutely unacceptable,” said Don Jiron, a spokesman for the airport. “We immediately got in touch with Standard Parking to assess what exactly happened. They acknowledged this was a mistake on the part of the driver.”
Standard Parking told KRQE that the driver got “carried away,” but they didn’t consider what he did to be discrimination.
The driver has worked for the company for 10 years and has no history of disciplinary problems.