NEW MEXICO — A New Mexico District Attorney’s office has filed murder charges against the Albuquerque police officers who gunned down a non-violent camper last year.
On Monday, Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg’s office announced it filed criminal informations “in the Second Judicial Court in connection with the fatal shooting of James Boyd.
The informations contain a single count of open murder against both Albuquerque Police Officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez.”
The DA’s office performed a rare but legal move in bypassing a grand jury in order to file the informations, which reportedly mark the first time an Albuquerque police officer is charged after shooting someone in the line of duty.
The two officers will have a chance to contest the charges at a preliminary hearing open to the public prior to a district court judge deciding whether or not to send the case to trial.
Last March, APD officers approached homeless man James M. Boyd, 36, as he illegally slept in the Sandia Foothills just east of Albuquerque.
Police negotiated with Boyd for longer than three hours after receiving a call from a resident, but soon grew weary of attempting a peaceful resolution, and instead lobbed a flash-bang grenade at the man as he turned to escape.
They then fired a cascade of bullets, rendering Boyd incapacitated, and sicced their canine on him before stepping on his hand to make him release two small knives prior to handcuffing him.
It later emerged that Officer Sandy could be heard on police audio talking to a fellow officer about his desire to shoot Boyd “in the penis” prior to actually shooting him.
“For this f***ing lunatic? I’m going to shoot him in the penis with a shotgun here in a second,” Sandy was recorded saying in a conversation to another officer, which he first denied then wrote off as “locker room banter.”
Watch the video below to see the raw footage of cops murdering James Boyd (warning: disturbing content)