The police of course are claiming that the shooting was justified, because the man made a “threatening” movement and had a history of violence. That very well may be the case, that he had a history of violent charges brought against him, but just imagine if instead of a cop yelling orders at him, some random civilian was yelling orders at him and decided to shoot the man, because the random civilian “felt his life was threatened.” He’d likely be charged with murder.
Some people are defending the police, because we all know that cops have to make split-second decisions that sometimes require the taking of other human lives. Yeah, and so do civilians when they’re in similar situations. And the law hardly ever gives civilians the benefit of the doubt. Quite the contrary.
And somehow the law is able to bend over backwards for the police. There’s nothing magical about being in a cop uniform that all of a sudden gives them all the leeway in the world with morality and the law. We’re all equal under the law, right?
Questions abound after the Albuquerque Police Department released video footage of cops shooting and killing a homeless man whose alleged crime was camping in an unauthorized area.
The man, 38-year-old James Boyd, appeared to be complying with police demands to exit the area when they fired a flash grenade at him, beginning a chain of events that culminated in his death, according to The Albuquerque Journal.
Police came upon Boyd while he was sleeping outside in the Sandia Foothills. Camping is not allowed in the area.
He was instructed to accompany police down the mountain and seemed to agree to the demand.
That’s when cops shot a flash grenade at him and sicked a dog on him. Boyd turned away, and was holding a knife, according to police reports. He was then shot.
“Please don’t hurt me anymore,” he said after he was struck and knocked to the ground. “I can’t move.”
Though bleeding and begging for his life, he was then handcuffed.
Police Chief Gordon Eden said non-lethal rounds were used, though at least one live round hit Boyd as well. It’s not yet clear precisely what killed him. He died from his wounds in the hospital a day later.
Eden said police were justified in shooting Boyd, however, because he made a threatening movement and had been arrested previously on violent charges.
“All of his charges have been violent,” said Eden in a statement.
Basically, what it looks like is that they executed him for “illegally camping.” If you watch the helmet cam video, there doesn’t ever appear to be any “threatening” movements from the homeless man. He appears to be reluctant, but compliant.
He was camping out in a place where camping wasn’t allowed. Is that a charge warranting a response from an army of cops?