Was this man killed by cops because he camped in the wrong spot?

Robby Soave Reporter
Font Size:

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.

Follow Robby on Twitter