An Albuquerque, N.M., police officer shot and killed a suspect — the third in five weeks — at a time when the city’s police department is perhaps the most scrutinized in the country due to its brutal tactics, which have caused 24 deaths since 2010.
The shooting occurred early Monday morning. Police were looking for a car thief in southeast Albuquerque when they encountered a 19-year-old woman. Police claim the woman pulled a gun on an officer and was shot multiple times. She died on site, according to KRQE news 13.
It is not yet clear whether the woman was the car thief, or whether she was actually armed.
Additional details — including the names of the officer and victim — have not yet been released. The officer has been placed on leave pending an investigation, however.
The department’s penchant for killing suspects has earned it numerous rebukes — and a federal investigation. The U.S. Department of Justice determined recently that APD violated the Fourth Amendment through its “pattern or practice of use of excessive force, including deadly force.”
The government’s lengthy report blamed poor training and a lack of oversight for the problems.
DOJ recommended that APD reduce its reliance on stun guns, which have been used on elderly and mentally ill suspects. Police are expected to use clearer verbal warnings, according to The New York Times.
The recommendations have not yet made much of a difference, if Monday’s shooting is any indication. This was the first death since the release of the government’s report.
Five weeks ago, police killed two suspects within 10 days. The first, James Boyd, was a mentally disturbed homeless man killed in an illegal camping zone. He was unarmed. (RELATED: Was this man killed by cops because he camped in the wrong spot?)
The second, Alfred Redwine, was killed on his front porch. Police claimed that he had a gun but family members have disputed this account. (RELATED: DID APD jump the gun again?)