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.