James Boyd

New Mural Honors Victims Of State Violence In N.M.

Jul 20, 2020
Hannah Colton / KUNM

Communities across the country are demanding justice for people killed by police. In Albuquerque, the SouthWest Organizing Project is creating a mural to honor victims of police shootings and other forms of state violence in New Mexico. On Friday, organizers invited community members to gather and write the names of victims. KUNM spoke with some folks there. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

After officers shot and killed a man camping in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains in 2014, outcry over how Albuquerque police deal with people who have mental illness reached a fever pitch. More than three years later, Bernalillo County announced on Tuesday, May 23, that it’s rolling out long-promised teams of mental health experts to respond to crisis calls. 

Massachusetts General Hospital and Draper Labs via Wikimedia / Creative Commons

LISTEN: May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In 2014 voters in Bernalillo County voted in favor of a tax for increased mental health services. This came after the shooting by police of James Boyd, a homeless man who had schizophrenia, as well as other shootings by police of people who struggled with mental illness. The tax went into effect in 2015 and is providing up to $20 million annually for new programs through the Bernalillo County Behavioral Health Initiative.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Last fall, a jury couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict for the two former Albuquerque Police Department Officers facing murder charges for shooting and killing homeless camper James Boyd. And that left the door open for another trial. 

Juror Talks James Boyd And Empathy

Dec 19, 2016
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

In a historic trial earlier this year, a jury weighed the fates of two former Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed James Boyd. Three jurors could not be swayed from a guilty verdict.

The deadlock resulted in a mistrial, and days after it was announced, KUNM’s Marisa Demarco met with one of those jurors—Robby Heckman—in the Foothills of the Sandia Mountains. There, a small white cross marks the spot James Boyd stood before he was killed.

During the murder trial of two former Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed a man with mental illness, video and audio of James Boyd ranting and threatening police officers was played by the defense. The neighbor who called the police on him took the stand to say that he was afraid of the man, who was homeless and camping nearby in the Sandia Foothills. Boyd might not have had a lot of other options.

Jury Deadlocked In Ex-APD Officers' Trial

Oct 11, 2016
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Two Albuquerque police officers were charged with second-degree murder for an on-the-job shooting for the first time in at least half a century. They were facing up to 15 years in prison for killing James Boyd, who’d been camping illegally for about a month in the Foothills of the Sandia Mountains in 2014. The jury announced that it was deadlocked Tuesday, Oct. 11.

James Boyd’s Brother: His Life Mattered

Oct 7, 2016
Juan Labreche / Associated Press

The jury is deliberating whether two former Albuquerque police officers will be convicted of second-degree murder after shooting and killing James Boyd, a homeless man with mental illness in 2014.

Boyd’s brother Andrew Jones wrote in an email that it was painful to watch his brother killed again and again as the video was replayed in court. Boyd won’t be forgotten, he wrote, and that gives him some comfort. His life mattered. 

Sandy Defends Police Banter Before Boyd Shooting

Oct 6, 2016
Marla Brose / Albuquerque Journal

After James Boyd was shot and killed by members of the Albuquerque Police Department, a recording emerged of one of those officers telling a colleague he was going to shoot Boyd hours before he did it. Keith Sandy is facing aggravated battery and second-degree murder charges. During much of his testimony on Wednesday, Oct. 5, he tried to explain police culture and the banter between officers.

Jim Thompson / Albuquerque Journal

The defense asked the judge on Wednesday, Oct. 5, to dismiss all charges against the two former Albuquerque Police Department officers who shot James Boyd in 2014. 

Sandy Explains Saying He'd Shoot Boyd

Oct 5, 2016
Greg Sorber / Albuquerque Journal

After members of the Albuquerque Police Department killed James Boyd in 2014, audio was released of one officer saying he was going to shoot Boyd with a Taser shotgun before he’d even gone into the Foothills of the Sandia Mountains.

Perez Talks Tactics In Boyd Shooting Trial

Oct 5, 2016

For the first time in memory, two former Albuquerque police officers are facing second-degree murder charges for an on-the-job shooting. And their trial is offering a rare glimpse into the mindset of law enforcement in tense situations. Former officer Dominique Perez took the stand in his own defense on Tuesday.

Marla Brose / Albuquerque Journal

Two former Albuquerque police officers are facing murder charges for what could be the first time here. The effectiveness of the SWAT team in dangerous situations has come into play during the trial, and police who were there the day James Boyd was shot in 2014 have been testifying in court. It’s the first time the public has heard directly from many of these officers. 

Greg Sorber / Albuquerque Journal

The defense has started putting on its case on Thursday, Sept. 29, in the trial of two Albuquerque police officers facing murder charges for shooting and killing James Boyd.  There were protests in Albuquerque after the shooting, and many people objected to police treatment of the homeless man, who had a mental illness.

Jim Thompson / Albuquerque Journal

A longtime Los Angeles police officer and trainer took the stand on Friday, Sept. 30, to testify that the Albuquerque police who were near James Boyd before he was killed were acting professionally.

Neighbor Says James Boyd Was A Threat

Sep 29, 2016
Roberto Rosales / Albuquerque Journal

The prosecution rested its case Wednesday in the trial of two former Albuquerque officers, and now it’s the defense’s turn to present the events that led to the death of James Boyd, the homeless man killed by police in 2014. 

Greg Sorber / Albuquerque Journal

In the trial of the two Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed James Boyd, question surfaced about why tactical officers went to the scene when they weren’t officially activated that Sunday in 2014. 

Judge Drops Manslaughter Charges Against APD Officers

Sep 28, 2016
Jim Thompson / Albuquerque Journal

District Court Judge Alisa Hadfield declined Wednesday to drop the second-degree murder charges against two former Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed homeless camper James Boyd in 2014. But she did drop voluntary manslaughter charges, leaving jurors with fewer options for their verdict.

Juan Labreche / Associated Press

Defense attorneys filed a motion on Wednesday, Sept. 28, alleging misconduct by the prosecution in the trial of two former Albuquerque police officers who shot homeless camper James Boyd.

Greg Sorber / Associated Press

In the days after James Boyd was killed by police in Albuquerque, questions arose about whether officers specially trained to talk to people who are mentally ill had been sent to the scene. And it turned out, that an officer known for deescalating situations like the one was sent to the foothills that day in 2014. 

Crisis Negotiator Testifies In APD Officers’ Trial

Sep 28, 2016
Russell Contreras / Associated Press

Most of the testimony on Tuesday, Sept. 27, during the trial of the former Albuquerque police officers who shot James Boyd came from an APD officer who was trained to talk to people with mental illnesses. 

Officer Mikal Monette spent a lot of time talking to Boyd, who had a mental illness, before things went south on that day in 2014. Monette had a reputation for being the go-to officer for crisis intervention, he said, and he’d de-escalated hundreds of situations. He told the court he’d never encountered a person he couldn’t talk down.

Associated Press

For most people who’ve seen the footage of Albuquerque Police shooting James Boyd, the scene ends when the shots have been fired. But testimony Monday, Sept. 26, in the trial of former officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez looked at the physical impact of those bullets and what happened next. 

Juan Labreche / Associated Press

Police shootings around the country are causing protests and outcry, and video footage from many of these shootings is shedding new light on the moments before a person is killed by law enforcement.

Here in New Mexico, a video ignited demonstrations and drew national attention after two Albuquerque Police Department officers shot and killed James Boyd in March of 2014. They’re now on trial for murder.  

LISTEN: Sandy/Perez Murder Trial Update

Sep 23, 2016
Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal

The murder trial for two former Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed James Boyd has been going on all week in district court. 

Judge Dismisses Juror in APD Officers’ Trial

Sep 22, 2016
Juan Labreche / Associated Press

A judge dismissed a juror Wednesday, Sept. 21, in the trial of two police officers facing murder charges for killing James Boyd in 2014. Jurors are not supposed to discuss the trial with anyone.

"You may have noticed that one of your fellow jurors is no longer with us," Judge Alisa Hadfield addressed the court. "And that’s because it was determined that there was a violation of my instructions with regard to not talking about anything involving the case on the telephone with anybody. "

APD Internal Investigator Questioned By Prosecution

Sep 22, 2016
Adolphe Pierre-Louis / Albuquerque Journal

The detective who oversaw the internal investigation into James Boyd’s killing continued testimony Thursday, Sept. 22, in the trial of two Albuquerque police officers charged with second-degree murder. 

Perez’ Rifle Ruled Inadmissible In Court

Sep 21, 2016
Adolphe Pierre Louise / Albuquerque Journal

A judge ruled Wednesday, Sept. 21, that the rifle Dominique Perez used to shoot James Boyd can’t be admitted as evidence in the trial of two police officers facing second-degree murder charges.

Expert Witness Says APD Created Danger

Sep 20, 2016
AP Photo / Juan Labreche / Associated Press

Defense attorneys in the murder trial of the former Albuquerque police officers who killed James Boyd spent Tuesday trying to pick apart the credibility of an expert witness for the prosecution.

Defense Attorneys Paint James Boyd As A Threat

Sep 20, 2016

Lawyers delivered opening statements and the Albuquerque Police Department’s chief took the stand in the first day of the trial for two former officers facing murder charges after killing a homeless camper in 2014. 

Trial Begins Monday For APD Officers Accused Of Murder

Sep 15, 2016
Rita Daniels / KUNM

After video of police killing a homeless man in Albuquerque went viral in 2014, hundreds of demonstrators began calling for justice and an end to police brutality. A murder trial for those two officers begins Monday, Sept. 19. 

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