Over the last five years, 2014 in particular, the Albuquerque Police Department has come under national scrutiny for shootings involving their officers. These shootings have included 28 fatal incidents – an astonishingly high number. In a city of about a half-million people, per capita, this number is eight times the rate in New York City.
Once case garnering a significant amount of media attention came in March when two policemen shot and killed a mentally ill homeless man. The entire four hour standoff was all captured on a body camera of one of the officers.
The video taken is critical not only to this case but to national policy moving forward as more and more people are supporting the use of body cameras on police officers. This will be the first time such evidence will be used in a murder case against police in New Mexico and one of about a half-a-dozen cases nationally.
Will this case set a precedent for the handling of police misconduct cases moving forward? Unlike other high-profile cases around the country, these officers were charged – and that is certainly a step in a new direction.
Read more from PBS NEWSHOUR here.