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Ex-Officer Accused Of Murder Testifies In Boyd Shooting Trial

Jim Thompson / Albuquerque Journal
Former APD officer Dominique Perez on the stand. He's facing second-degree murder.

One of the two former Albuquerque police officers facing second-degree murder charges for shooting and killing James Boyd took the stand in his own defense on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Dominique Perez and his defense attorney reviewed—frame by frame—footage from his helmet camera of the homeless camper being shot in the Sandia Foothills. 

In the video, Boyd says “don’t change up the agreement,” and looks like he’s gathering up his things and preparing to leave his illegal campsite. That’s when an officer threw a diversionary device called a flash-bang at him. 

Perez explained why police didn’t just let him come down the hill.

"We have the situation in somewhat of a containment at that point," Perez said. "You don’t want the suspect to dictate and start moving your containment, especially towards the citizens and towards the public."

Perez said they were also concerned about what Boyd might have had in his bags, since he’d been threatening to kill officers.

In the video, a dog is released, Boyd drops his bags, and officers yell for him to get on the ground. Keith Sandy and Perez fire their rifles.

Boyd died later at the hospital and the two officers are facing up to 15 years in prison.  

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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