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$5 Million for Boyd Shooting

$5 Million for Boyd Shooting

'The family sought justice to ensure that what happened to Mr. Boyd never happens to anyone else' -- Boyd family attorney Shannon Kennedy

Gavel, lawyer, auction.The City of Albuquerque and the family of James Boyd, who was shot to death by Albuquerque police officers in March 2014, have reached a $5 million settlement in the family’s lawsuit over the shooting, the family’s attorney said.

“The family sought justice to ensure that what happened to Mr. Boyd never happens to anyone else, and they believe the city is taking necessary steps to ensure officers are provided adequate training, supervision, and support and that Mr. Boyd’s death changes policing for the better in Albuquerque,” attorney Shannon Kennedy said in a statement.“The family hopes Albuquerque becomes a model for other cities struggling with the same issues around the country.”

Boyd, a schizophrenic homeless camper, was fatally shot on March 16, 2014 after an hours-long standoff with police in the Sandia foothills where he had been camping illegally. Former APD officer Keith Sandy, and officer Dominique Perez have been charged with second-degree murder in the case. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled to begin on August 3 in Bernalillo County District Court.

The Boyd case sparked a national outrage when video of the shooting was released.

Kennedy added that APD’s past “policies and practices created an atmosphere where the officers most indifferent to human life could recklessly interact with residents, killing them without significant concern or consequences. As a result, even the most well-intentioned officers did not, and could not, police constitutionally within APD.

“Because the killing of James Matthew Boyd was so needless, so preventable, and visual finally, Albuquerque and department officials could not turn away.

APD has signed a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to overhaul its training methods and return the department to constitutional policing practices.

— Dennis Domrzalski

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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