Have a Plan to Kill Everyone You Meet…And One to Let Them Walk Away

 

 

Albuquerque police officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez were charged on Monday with murder for the March 16, 2014, shooting of James Boyd, a 36-year-old homeless man who (allegedly) was illegally camping in the Albuquerque foothills. Officers Sandy and Perez shot Boyd after a standoff that lasted four hours. Boyd allegedly had refused to leave his ersatz campsite after officers approached him guns drawn. The entire confrontation was captured on a helmet camera . . .

It sounds as though one officer is trying to talk the man into giving up, assuring Boyd: “Don’t worry about safety – I’m not a [expletive deleted] murderer.” It looks like Boyd collects some a backpack and some possessions from the ground. Someone then says, “Do it,” a concussion grenade goes off, Boyd reaches for something in his pocket, and the officers open fire.

I am not an expert, I have not seen all of the evidence, and in the right context everything I say may be wrong, but it isn’t clear to me why this situation had to end the way it did. It appeared that Boyd was getting ready to leave, which is my understanding of the reason why the police were there in the first place, but the officers had a plan to take him down and executed it on cue. It is clear from the video that Boyd had a knife in each hand after he was down, but (and again, the video is not completely clear) it looks like he may have drawn them only after the action began. It is also worth noting that Boyd had apparently been diagnosed with schizophrenia, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

It’s also not clear what else happened in this situation – the confrontation for four hours, and the helmet cam video only lasts for four minutes. The officers’ case is not strengthened by a dashboard cam audio recording from two hours earlier, in which Officer Sandy–upon being advised that New Mexico State Police had been requested–replies: “For this [expletive deleted] lunatic? I’m going to shoot him in the penis with a shotgun in a second.”

Regardless of the merits of this shooting (the police officers, like anyone, are innocent until proven otherwise, and are entitled to their own day in court,) I couldn’t help but think, just because you have a solid plan of action, and have the ability to execute it successfully, that doesn’t mean that you have to execute it. If the situation changes, you may have to adapt accordingly. Yes, easier said than done, especially in a situation where you’re already outside of your comfort zone and feel sufficiently threatened to have drawn (or are about to draw) a firearm, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

It also struck me: many people have licenses to carry firearms. Some of those fulfill some sort of state-mandated training requirement, and others who are not required to do so still attend training at their own expense. But I’d be willing to wager that the lion’s share of the training done by non-law enforcement civilians is focused on gun safety and the basic mechanics of shooting. Perhaps some close quarters armed/hand-to-hand stuff for the people who take the ‘advanced’ classes. Important topics, to be sure, but in terms of the twin objectives of surviving without grievous bodily injury and avoiding an extended all-expense-paid stay in a local correctional facility, having a plan to control and de-escalate a tense situation is at least as important as being able to hit the X on demand.

So…have a plan to kill everyone you meet. But also be ready to let them walk away. Knowing which plan to execute is wisdom, no?

comments

  1. avatar Don says:

    My heroes…. and the pukes that sent a platoon of body armored shock troops out to kill a homeless mental patient for camping somewhere he wan’t supposed to be. Your tax dollars being wisely spent. If they show any sane jury in the world that video, there will be a line to help put the needles in their arms, and I’ll volunteer as well. Makes me sick.

    1. avatar TheBear says:

      You have to love the hard line in the sand being drawn and people being killed over victimless crime.

    2. avatar Ethan762 says:

      These men are a product of their training – but this does not make them evil men (evil is knowing what you are doing is wrong and doing it anyways). The training needs drug out into the street and shot, not the guys who were (for the most part) doing what they were trained to do. They simply need prosecuted for murder.

      They should be punished according to their actions, 100%; but there is also blame to be had on the training they were given, 100%. Their training being at fault DOES NOT make this any less of a murder, but we can’t prosecute one and ignore the other.

      1. avatar TheBear says:

        I disagree.

        Any rational individual with an ounce of sense would have used the dog or beanbag rounds before killing a man over a victimless crime.

        Training is irrelevant on this one.

      2. avatar 2hotel9 says:

        “evil is knowing what you are doing is wrong and doing it anyways” So, they are evil. Thanks for clearing that up.

  2. avatar Skyler says:

    Maniacs. But they will win in court because Police.

    1. avatar AllAmerican says:

      Not nessicarily, the former police chief of my city currently sits in prison for a drug smuggling ring he ran within the department. Along with several of his minions. Sometimes the bad guys get theirs.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        It’s hard for the defense attorney to tell the jury you “Put Your Life on the Line” to distribute drugs to the needy addicts in your town. Much easier to convince them that you “Put Your Life on the Line” to protect them from an evil murdering bum with knives and now you’re being prosecuted for “Just Doing Your Job”.

      2. avatar Fuque says:

        he will just get paroled and run for office.

        1. avatar AllAmerican says:

          Good point. I should keep tabs on elections in California and New York after he gets out…

  3. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Gotta wonder why it took ten months.

    1. avatar David P. says:

      Gotta wonder why they fired the beanbag rounds after using lethal projectiles and you gotta wonder why they have a dog that can only attack a dead guy.

      1. avatar Ethan762 says:

        Reality comprehension fail.
        “He didn’t comply with my commands – HE MUST BE RESISTING!”
        …or maybe he’s just been shot to death…. maybe..

  4. avatar Grindstone says:

    Where’s all the right-wingers to come in here an call him a “thug”? Is he not black enough?

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      You might want to check the expiration date on your meds, because they don’t get a whole lot more right wing than me, and that looked like the cops were straight up guilty of 1st degree murder.

      I don’t care the race of the shooters or victims. There is justifiable homicide, negligent homicide, and straight up murder. This incident falls into the latter category. I’m up for changing my mind based upon new evidence, as Robert has mentioned. As it stands, this looks like three cops who had pre-determined that they were going to shoot this guy.

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        Pretty sure there are those who sit on the far right that excuse police killing a non-violent criminals. El Mac is a TTAG example.

        And before you go there, no I am not talking about Ferguson.

        1. avatar Taylor TX says:

          While I agree with you below, “boot licker” is a pretty accurate term, he is far from the majority and potentially the exception to the rule.
          I dont ever expect anyone to really agree, there is a saying “find 2 people who agree on everything, and Ill find you two people who are lying.”

      2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        +1000 What you said. I easily qualify as the rightist of right-wingers but this looked like straight out murder the first time I saw it. Those cops set out to kill that guy for camping. As for the right-wings traditional alliance with the police, that began to unravel about the time of the Bundy Ranch standoff. Among People Of The Gun, most of whom are conservative, libertarian, or both,. the schism has been growing wider ever since.

        1. avatar Gun Safe says:

          For many of us, it dates back to Ruby Ridge.

        2. avatar Ethan762 says:

          +1 on Ruby Ridge, but the recent advent of camera phones has all but shattered that alliance for anyone who’s paying attention.

          Police are not evil thugs – but they also cannot be trusted with your life. They are a product of their training – a dangerous unstable product. Its basically like trained violent bipolar disorder – decent guys who just randomly kill people because the right switch was flipped.

      3. avatar Texsylvanian says:

        I am a libertarian conservative and a cop. Also a use of force instructor. In order to utilize deadly force under our doctrine, the bad guy needs to display means, opportunity and intent to kill or seriously harm someone else. Means and opportunity? Check. Two knives, within charging distance. Intent? I don’t think so. This is, in my own opinion base solely on the video evidence shown, not a justifiable use of deadly force.

    2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Your outrage is misplaced.

      Go back to the earlier post on this when it happened. I’m sure you will see those officers called far worse than “thug” by some of us right-wingers.

      I’m genuinely curious as to why you continually see some of us here as your enemy. Aren’t we united in seeing that what these “cops” did was not only wrong, but evil?

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        Clarification: I read it as why aren’t we calling the cops thugs.

        I’ll be scratching my head for a while if the idea why the homeless man would be called a thug if that’s what it meant.

        1. avatar Another Robert says:

          He’s saying the Ferguson “gentle giant” was just like the homeless guy except he had the misfortune to be black in a hopelessly racist America. Or some similar crock of crap.

        2. avatar Grindstone says:

          I never said anything about Brown, which was clearly a clean shoot (but makes for an easy strawman). But incident like the two people shot in Ohio and Garner choked out in NY had plenty here excusing the cops. Does the name El Mac come to mind? Hes the biggest boot-licker here.

        3. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

          Garner was not choked out. In the video I saw the chokehold was released when he said he couldn’t breathe, and the actual cause of death was the weight of the officer on his back. I’ve seen a few arrests while working in retail and it was fairly common for the officer or loss prevention guy to sit on someone who was resisting arrest particularly strongly and it never killed any of them. This tells me that for Garner to die from this meant that there were some unusual circumstances, like his asthma and weight. Normally, the eggshell skull principle would kick in (you are responsible for a death even if you employ a level of force that should be non lethal) except the officers had a legitimate arrest to make, and the authority to use force to perform that arrest. The officer used a normally non lethal level of force, and the health of Garner made that level of force cross the line into lethal.

          And I do believe the officer had no intent to end a life that day. A evidenced by the officer removing his arm from Garner’s neck when Garner said he could not breathe.

          Certainly I do not agree with the law Garner broke, what he was doing should have been legal. But as far as I know it was within the actual authority of the New York state government to pass such a law.

          Maybe there are even more details I am not aware of that would cause me to change my mind. If you present them I will listen.

        4. avatar Esemwy says:

          Marcus,
          Look up “burking” or the “Burke and Hare” murders from which the term comes. Placing your weight on somebody’s chest or back while they are prone is a sure way to suffocate them. A trained officer certainly should have known this.

    3. avatar Another Robert says:

      Maybe if he had jumped on one of the officers and beaten him with his fists and then tried to take his gun.

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        Obviously not referring to that as it was clearly a clean shoot. Yet plenty excuse the execution of a boy with a toy gun or a man with a toy gun threatening no one or a man selling cigarettes non-violently.

        1. avatar Retired Para says:

          Bro, why don’t you go stir s**t somewhere else. You bring nothing to this topic except your own ignorance. Grow up.

    4. avatar AllAmerican says:

      Well for one the homeless man wasn’t reaching through the window of the officers squad car and punching him, then trying to grab at his gun, then charging him saying “you too much a p***y to shoot me”. Does that clear it up for your libturd soaked brain?

      Oh and keep voting democrat by the way, and then when your standing in line to turn all your guns in, I want you to think long and hard about your political affiliations.

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        Yeah, knocking down that strawman sure felt good, didn’t it? Considering I spoke nothing of the obviously good shoot in Ferguson. By why reference ACTUAL bad shoots that have been defended by the far right like Rice, Beavercreek Walmart, or choking out for non-violent crimes when you can just put bullshit in someone’s mouth yourself?

        BTW, only Democrat I ever voted for had an A+ rating from the NRA and was a more proven conservative than the Republican he was running against. But keep voting that party line, that’ll keep our government in check!

        1. avatar AllAmerican says:

          So you admit your original statement was bullshit?

    5. avatar juliesa says:

      Where are all the Sharpton protesters? This guy is too white?

      Thugs come in all colors. This guy didn’t seem to qualify as one.

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        Not enough local community to exploit.

        1. avatar Ethan762 says:

          Beat me to it… no political advantage to exploit.

    6. avatar JasonM says:

      I think you’ll find that the TTAG crowd was very critical of virtually all of the high profile shooting (or chokehold) deaths of blacks at the hands of the po-po.
      The notable exception is the Ferguson, MO case, where there’s very strong evidence to support the officer’s self-defense claim. And strong evidence (video footage, no less) that Mr. Brown was the sort of person who beat the crap out of store clerks.

      Thug: noun
      1. a violent criminal

      Sounds like a fitting description.

    7. avatar Roy says:

      The only thugs this right-winger saw were wearing badges. Similar to the scene when Eric Garner was murdered for refusing to be a victim of extortion.

    8. avatar FedUp says:

      Plenty of copsuckers and badge worshipers on the left side of the spectrum too.
      Either you come from a cop family and support cops no matter what they do, or you don’t want to be responsible for your own safety and want to trust it to professionals, or you’re a law and order type who supports anything government does to the ones it tells you are criminals…those are just three examples of why you might choose to be a copsucker. The first and third examples I gave are often associated with right wing thinking, the second one with left wing thinking, all of them are Totalitarian/Statist thinking.

  5. avatar Jon says:

    I don’t get it. The guy didn’t have a gun, he wasn’t close enough to attack them with a knife even after they threw the stun grenade at him, and he appeared to be complying. If they wanted to subdue him, why not rush him – before he pulled out knives – and tackle and handcuff him? Why not use pepper spray? Why not use those beanbags they used after they shot him with lethal ammunition?

    And, he was in the middle of nowhere, so the officers could have backed away from him after he pulled out the knives. It’s not like he would have stabbed some civilian.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      Simple. Their dog’s life was more important than his. He pulled knives on the dog and he died for it.

      1. avatar doesky2 says:

        I increasing see reports where police dogs are essentially treated as police and the protections thereof. I’m about as far right as you can get and I consider that even the lowest scumbag has more value than a police dog. The dog should have been sent in and do what it was trained for. A human should not be killed to protect a dog from even beginning to try to do it’s job. If the man starts to overpower a dog then a policy of escalating force may come into play.

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          Word.

        2. If police value dog’s life as much as human life, they wouldn’t send the dog in first.
          I don’t care if you are left wing, right wing, or you can’t even fly. Just don’t be a hypocrite.

        3. avatar Mack Bolan says:

          If a badge does not convey a special set of rights, then how can a dog have the same protections as a human?

          Has the law conferred special rights upon canines? If so, then should not every cop who shoots a dog be charged?

    2. avatar Bob says:

      Because most cops are cowards. They shoot to kill at the slightest threat, or more accurately expressed, at the slightest excuse.

      Not very many brave cops:

      1. avatar Skyler says:

        Put me in the category of people who think there is no need for a police force. But that whiney video is not going to convince anyone to his point of view.

        1. avatar 'liljoe says:

          First responders in 9/11. Responders to domestic violence, child abuse, spousal abuse. Those who arrest rapists. I know plenty of police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and other law enforcers who are honorable, brave and who I respect. I know some bad ones as well. And a uniform doesn’t give someone magical powers, so i don’t assume they are all good. But let’s not do the whole broad brushstroke thingie that the anti-gunners do.

        2. avatar 16V says:

          Big deal. I know lots of “good” cops. They’re putting in their time. Nothing more. It’s a gravy job, with gravy benes, and tons of perqs.

          Do they arrest the guy on the platoon (let alone squad) they know beats his wife/abuses suspects/has a drug problem/is dirty as hell? Nope, they let him slide till they can cover it no more.

          They deserve no respect whatsoever.

        3. avatar pigs die says:

          Lead poisoning is what all pigs deserve.

  6. avatar davidx says:

    Bad shoot all the way. Let’s say he had a friggin’ meat cleaver in each hand. The “officers” are what, twenty, thirty yards away? Is he Jackie Chang or Bruce Lee up there and gonna wing them cleavers right through the officers or sumfin? What a joke modern cops are in too many jurisdictions nowadays; this was cowardly. Are they so afraid for themselves now that their default setting is lethal force immediately? Why wait four hours? Why not just fire a LAW up there and finish the whole caper in one fell swoop?

    I sure love it when our tax dollars go to support our heroic warrior cops busting cigaret barkers in NYC and a guy up in the hills bothering no one and probably just trying to get through the day. WTF? They needed three or four big manly cops, at least one dog, the beanbags, etc. to nail this poor bastard?

    If we’d had this situation when I was still on The Job back in the Neolithic I most likely would have had to hike on up there by myself, maybe with one other cop-drone and deal with it. Chances are pretty good I could have handled it without having to blow him away. Shoot the breeze with him, point out any help he could get, offer him a sandwich or sumfin. But shoot him down like a stray dog and then beanbag him three times and then make a big deal of cuffing him? What effin heroes.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      You fossil, that might have meant some tiny chance of an actual altercation with the man, or worse, a minor injury. Of course, you were trained back then that you could talk your way through most things, and amazingly enough, it works 99.999% of the time. “Cop” is supposed to be a bit dangerous, now it’s much safer than driving a delivery vehicle, and if you pull out traffic accidents, it’s safer than office work by a wide margin.

      That’s the training these days, cops won’t even take a punch without resorting to lethal force. Slapjack, springjack, baton, the academy kiddies of the last 20 years has no idea what to do with them. Even of they did, all the dept encourages is to shoot any time you feel the least bit threatened. Or have an excuse.

      Back in the ’70s my grandfather (retired sheriff amongst other things) used to curse Darrel Gates every time he read about that effen statist psycho and what he did to LAPD. He swore that it would come to where we are now, and it has…

      1. avatar davidx says:

        Yah, I know, I’m a fossil derelict; I was military police in both AF and Army, and then did the gig for a few years after that in several jurisdictions, one sorta like the place Buford Pusser used to work in. The others were inner-city slag heaps. We had batons, Mace, tear gas, The Claw, and I went for three days training in the PR-24 Monadnock Prosecutor baton. Between that baby and the claw, no lethal force was necessary or even contemplated most of the time. There were maybe three or four incidents where I had to draw my sidearm, a revolver, natch, because a gunfight seemed to be imminent. But I never had to actually blow anybody away back here in The World. Now it’s like, “the perp is holed up in his garage with an overdue library book and he seems upset and angry, let’s pile on with SWAT and riddle him like a damn Swiss cheese immediately…hey he’s looking at me funny…FIRE!”

        Or they’ll get a call there’s a wacky-behaving homeless guy walking along the railroad tracks; they pile out, surround this dangerous and menacing entity, and tase the bejayzus outta the guy until he’s twitching and writhing and foaming at the mouth on the ground. Then one of the big husky warriors, shaved head, wrap-around mirror shades, will put a beefy knee into the guy’s kidneys and cuff him, twisting the cuffs extra hard. ‘Cause he made ’em all come out there and caused paperwork.

        I’ve heard from current and recent good-guy LEOs; they’re bailing and retiring in droves. They tell me it’s not only a joke now, but a very scary joke. They’re training the FNGs to be terrified of us indigenous civilian enemies and be ready at all times with deadly force at the drop of a hat.

      2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        Well, said. But criminology’s been studying this stuff since at least the turn of the last century. Reams of solid research sit in libraries that nobody reads. I wonder if anyone will listen now?

    2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      “If we’d had this situation when I was still on The Job back in the Neolithic I most likely would have had to hike on up there by myself, maybe with one other cop-drone and deal with it. Chances are pretty good I could have handled it without having to blow him away.”

      +1000. The old-school guys I worked with in our CJ program looked at things exactly as you do. Cops from another era encountered situations like this–By Themselves–and confidently talked wound-up crazies into a reasonable solution by doing exactly what you said: offer the guy a sandwich, treat him with respect, listen to his story, maybe even give him a lift, to get him to move on. It seldom, if ever, got bad and if it did they took for granted that they could handle it, took for granted that they were supposed to handle it. The point is that they knew how to keep things from escalating. The old saying of ” One riot, one Ranger” applied to them, too. And, yes, it can be done. The contemporary twaddle about ‘officer safety’ is just that.

      1. avatar davidx says:

        Thank you! It ain’t rocket science and most times you get more with a damn carrot than with a stick. But the default setting now with the cops, as with the military, is, go in with overwhelming force immediately and switch to LETHAL ASAP to avoid getting a hangnail or a bruise or being “put in fear.” No, I did not enjoy occasionally having to end up wrassling around on the street with drunks and maniacs and breaking up biker brawls in bars, and taking a few licks myself, but it was far better than simply blowing people away who maybe temporarily were outta control. I did that in my “Buford Pusser” days for $4.50/hour. Six bucks an hour for overtime road/traffic details. Now they have LEOs pulling down six figures a year for O.T. and making more than their chiefs, LOL. They retire at 40-something and grab some b.s. corporate security gig and then move to Florida. I bailed out of all that mess when it really started getting bad with liability and the affirmative action/diversity craze. 1986 was my last year on that gig and good riddance.

  7. avatar davidx says:

    “…because they don’t get a whole lot more right wing than me, and that looked like the cops were straight up guilty of 1st degree murder.”

    I’m betting that I’m even more right-wing and I agree; this was straight-up first-degree homicide by the cops. I guess they’ve been arrested but we know how that goes.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “I guess they’ve been arrested but we know how that goes.”

      Hopefully, how it goes is to a jury and they get exactly what they deserve – murder conviction and the penalty that goes with it.

      Signed,

      Right Winger, ex-LEO (last added to hopefully stave off the ‘cop hater’ comments from the dogmatic bootlickers).

      1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

        Cop hater!!!

        1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          See, it’s okay from you because you are not a dogmatic bootlicker.

          Context is everything.

  8. avatar Don Davis says:

    Just saying: The ABQ PD is under federal mandated oversight for twenty-eight lethal shooting incidents in three years. The NC city where I live had three in same time, population 280k vs ABQ 560k. You do the math.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      ABQ has a deep culture of being loose-cannons, sort of like LAPD is always corrupt, Miami cops are always moving drugs, NYPD is just complete nutters, NOPD is graft central, etc.

      It’s what they are, it’s who they hire, and just like General Motors, the only way to fix the culture is to (metaphorically) burn it to the ground. You have to tabula rasa the enterprise from top to bottom. GM will be in BK again in less than 10 years, for the same reason that ABQPD will have another incident just like this in the next 6 months. It’s who they are, it’s what they do.

      1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        This.

  9. avatar BLAMMO says:

    What I don’t get is it appeared one of the officers had a “non-lethal” color-coded shotgun. Why wasn’t that brought to bear as a first resort?

    The guy pulled a knife from 20 feet away?

    And I thought the police don’t “shoot to kill”, they “shoot to stop”. He stopped and they kept shooting.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Well, they did use the bean bags. They just perforated him with their rifles first.

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        … and the nerve of him to not comply after getting riddled with bullets. Note to these guys: use the bean bags first not last and if your dragging the dog up there do something with him or leave him in the car.

      2. avatar ropingdown says:

        Yep, it was stunning to watch Mr. Beanbag jump in and shoot the poor SOB as he lay dying on the ground.

        I called it murder the first time the story posted here. I would nearly fall in the category of 81, very conservative, basically pro-cop, at least as policing is practiced in my neck of the woods. I’m not pro-murder, or pro-abuse-of-power. The guy was clearly preparing to pack out. They used the dogs as a desperate provocation to juice the situation, clearly hoping they could light the guy up.

        As for “guilty of a crime until proven in court,” yes. But that is intended to prevent the government from punishing people without due process. The concept does not (see J.S.Mill) mean that people cannot form and live by opinions formed on firm evidence. We can certainly condemn a man to ill-repute and shunning with any action whatever by a court. We are not the government.

    2. avatar SpecialK says:

      I cannot fathom why they would not have started with the bean bags and escalated from there. It seemed like the plan was to start with a flashbang and then open fire if he did not comply, but to me it doesn’t pass the smell test because there was no imminent threat. We obviously are not seeing all of the evidence, but based on that video I think the defense is going to have a really difficult time of convincing a jury that any of the officers had a reasonable concern that there was an imminent threat of grave bodily injury or loss of life.

    3. avatar TT says:

      “The guy pulled a knife from 20 feet away?”

      The urban outdoorsman was inside of 21′. Since he had knives, he had the advantage over the police with guns. Right?

      1. avatar baue8673 says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but the 21ft rules was with the pistol holstered. Not locked, loaded, ready and pointed. Seems like the threat range should change at that point.

        1. The 21ft. rule also assumes a flat surface to run along. The terrain in this case should cut that distance down in half. It is a timing issue rather than a distance one.

  10. avatar Russell says:

    I have had many negative experiences with the state police in N.M. as they have for many years worn black clad BDU’s at the weigh stations, which is the only state to do this. My perception was that I was an enemy to them. In my 15 years as a truck driver, N.M. state officers have always been threatening and incredibly rude and for no reason. I have not seen that type of behavior in the other 49 states. The state is beautiful and the people very polite especially when juxtaposed with the state police. This culture of Us vs. Them has seemingly leeched to other N.M. police departments and has only increased their negative public image in my opinion. Whomever fired the rifle has likely committed murder.

  11. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    For camping. Killed for camping in what appears to be a fairly remote area.
    Seriously effed up.

  12. avatar Ralph says:

    I guess that illegal camping and selling loose cigarettes are both capital crimes in modern America. Like driving without a seatbelt

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/09/25/police-shooting-over-seatbelt-violation

    or living in a house near one that was supposed to be raided.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95475

    There are a lot of reasons why cops kill people, and most of them are bad.

  13. avatar DerryM says:

    I have followed this story since it broke (not obsessively, but read or watched every report I came across about it). If a needless shoot is a bad shoot, then this is it in Spades. There were so many alternatives for the Officers to have used, or called-for.

    Basically, I agree with Johannes hypothesis, but I would expect to have to employ the first proposition more often than the latter as a Citizen gun owner (emphasis on expect}. We seem to think the Police should hold the opposite emphasis, but for some reason(s) that has not been established as practicable. Non-lethal technologies are probably the key to the Police letting more people “walk away”, but need to be more widely accepted and deployed. Surely, a non-lethal tactic could have let James Boyd walk away.

  14. avatar B Bradley says:

    Imagine if those officers were not in uniform it would look like a straight up human hunt expedition and a non-humane one at that. I get sick each time I’ve seen this video.

    1. avatar great unknown says:

      I think you nailed it. When they went out there, they [at least some of them] were thinking of themselves as hunters.

    2. avatar TT says:

      That’s a great mental exercise. In any instance of police use of force, imagine what it would look like if the police were not wearing uniforms. There are of course differences in the standards between when LEOs can use force versus non-LEOs, and there are good reasons for those differences. Legally, however, the differences are really not all that great. People have a tendency to give police a lot more leeway than the law is actually supposed to give them.

  15. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    My lord what a brave bunch of heroes those cops are.
    Im sure nothing will come of this for them, as they feared for their lives……..Cowards……
    Killing a homeless man for nothing.
    They should be hung in public till dead and then shot for good measure.
    They are scum and will have to live with themselves for what they did.

    1. avatar Jake Tallman says:

      “Have to live with themselves”? You make it sound like they will have a hard time with that. Hell, these are the kind of people who will recount the story of their murder with their buddies and high five over a beer about it. You know the only other group where that kind of casual murder is celebrated? Hardcore gang bangers. They’ve got about the same marksmanship skills too.

      1. avatar Jay in Florida says:

        Im sure when all is said and done. Your right it will become a bar story told over a few beers.
        But did you read the story in Huffington Post link regarding the number of killings by police per capita is going on in that state?
        To the New Mexico police this a game to see how many folks they can kill. Its shameful no other printable words for it.

  16. avatar miforest says:

    I watched this several times and I looked like he was complying with the order to leave. when he turned arround to get his stuff to go , they threw the flashbang. that scared him into taking out the pocket knife, then they shot him. looked to me like they set up a scenario where they could shoot him and be done by lunch. It was pretty clear he could not move fast enough to rush them. especially in that terrain.

    my guess is the prosecutor will sandbag the case to keep the police union endorsement for the next election and they will walk.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      The case is out of the locals’ hands, and therefore stands a chance of seeing justice done.

  17. avatar GS650G says:

    The authorities like to use disproportionate force arguments a lot, how about 4 heavily armed men with a dog and a homeless guy with a pocket knife 25 feet away. There is no way he was going to hurt any of them but they sure did him in.

    And like him camping up there was hurting anyone’s property values.

  18. avatar Hannibal says:

    As to letting people walk away, it creates a troubling situation where punishment to breaking the law doesn’t apply if the person is willing to resist. Much better to eliminate unnecessary laws rather than punish only the compliant.

    That doesn’t mean there isn’t a middle ground between letting people walk away and killing them, however. If someone has a knife they can present a threat… but that threat is not of indefinite range. Therefore you don’t put yourself in their ‘threat range’ and then kill them for being too close with a knife. But it gets complicated when the one who gets close isn’t the one who does the shooting…

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      Yes, the dog handler got close. But the dogs were closer, and the guy with the beanbag gun was in range with his weapon but well out of range of the backpacker with knives. To an onlooker, me, it looks like the dog-handler approach was a provocation, not a tactically justified protocol.

      Cops who effectively limit danger to the public using intelligence are laudable. Cops who seem to think that all the initial cordoning off of a possible danger is done only to justify “having to go the next step, lethal force,” are criminals, as are their supervisors who set the bounds of officer behavior.

    2. avatar 16V says:

      The problem is the obscene BS doctrine of “compliance” which they’ve been teaching for the last 20+ years, depending on your area.

      He is in the definitive middle of BFE. There is no one he could possibly harm. There is no reason to not back up and, should he not comply with some lawful order (which it appears he was), hit him with a beanbag. Or 5. Dude wasn’t right in the head. Cops knew it from past experience. Why the hell wasn’t someone there who wasn’t looking for an excuse to just kill this guy? A dog? Are you kidding? Police dogs are like military dogs, their sole reason for being is to give their lives so that no human (including a perp) has to. Value that effen cop dog more than a human? Beyond disgusting.

      1. avatar R says:

        “Police dogs are like military dogs, their sole reason for being is to give their lives so that no human (including a perp) has to”

        Disagree with this completely, though the dog shouldn’t have even been there to begin with…

        1. avatar 16V says:

          Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. But the whole point of police/military dogs was always for them to mitigate risk to us bipeds. When it’s deployed as a state agent, it’s to be a piece of tactical equipment, not a pet. Police no longer show any hesitation to dispatch anything that barks at them.

      2. avatar Skyler says:

        When I was in Iraq and Afghanistan the military dogs were often treated better than the Marines. They were required to be in air conditioning at certain times. They got higher priority than people for some injuries on medevacs. There were strict rules on what hours they worked and what they were given to eat and drink, but we could tell a Marine to miss a meal when in the field.

    3. avatar int19h says:

      >> As to letting people walk away, it creates a troubling situation where punishment to breaking the law doesn’t apply if the person is willing to resist.

      Depending on the law in question, it may well be a desired thing. If 99% would rather not get into a fight and comply, you’re still much better off (assuming a good law).

  19. avatar damarius ilion says:

    There was no reason what so ever for those two assholes to kill the homeless man. Knife or no knife, police like the military are trained to handle situations like that in a more humane way……. Just another example of way police abusing their authority………

  20. avatar ropingdown says:

    So…have a plan to kill everyone you meet. But also be ready to let them walk away. Knowing which plan to execute is wisdom, no?

    I object to this premise, and consider the notion inappropriate for anyone not operating behind enemy lines (in either the intelligence or military sense).

    It is enough in civilian life to have a plan to successfully defend against dogs-gone-mad, and to realize that if a violently criminal or insane human approaches intending serious injury or death, the means useful in stopping a small pack of dangerous hounds may legitimately used to stop the violent criminal. More preparation is not needed, nor is it psychologically healthy to consider how to kill “everyone you meet.” Just my two cents.

    Of course it would help my position if the authorities managed to successfully prosecute and jail for longer times the violently criminal or insane.

  21. avatar S.CROCK says:

    That looked like straight up murder to me until I read on and saw that it said “Boyd had a knife in each hand after he was down.” Was that actually the case? If so, things just got more complicated.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      Yup, that was the case and was known to the cops to be “off”. All that said, there was no reason for them to not back off, and find some peaceful method of defusing the situation.

      Except all these chuckleheads are trained to do is bark orders and escalate, regardless of the scenario.

    2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “If so, things just got more complicated.”

      Not really.

      They were at a safe distance in a ‘stand-off’ type situation. The cops escalated this over a potential trespassing charge.

      To contrast: I’ve been involved in a stand-off where the dude had a shotgun, not a knife. And, he fired it during the encounter, though very clearly not at anyone (so no ‘jeopardy’).

      Somehow, we managed to wait him out and arrest him without killing him, as shocking as that sounds.

      The problem the cops have here is not the “shot him but he had a knife” question it’s the escalation leading up to the shooting. That is, the cops created the situation that led to deadly force “being justified,” or so it seems, and that is going to be a very hard perception to change.

      Totality of circumstances, not a cherry picked instant in time, is what matters in these cases. Then, we stir in a little “objective reasonableness” and I think it is fair to say these two cops are very likely getting convicted of murder.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        “Totality of circumstances, not a cherry picked instant in time, is what matters in these cases. Then, we stir in a little “objective reasonableness” and I think it is fair to say these two cops are very likely getting convicted of murder.”

        I’d very much like to believe that. And 30 years ago, I would have. These days? Not so much.

        They’re trained to rapidly escalate to deadly force if someone is a bit confrontational during a traffic stop.

  22. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    Haven’t spent a lot of time near Albuquerque, and don’t plan to; in my experience, it’s Gangland.

    I could understand officers being on edge there, but the actions of these two? I hope they go into general population.

  23. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Once again TTAG needs to shine a light on the Park Forest,Illinois MURDER of a 95 tear old WW2 vet at a retirement home. Shot 5 times with a beanbag shotgun round. Cop currently on trial. This murder inNM pi##es me off a lot but the old guy was much worse. And I’m pretty right wing and used to support the PO-leece. There are millions of us OFWG who are fed up too…

  24. avatar Angry & Irish says:

    Ahh, more cops geared up and rigged up like they’re on SEAL Team 6, about to raid a compound of ISIS militants.

  25. avatar Jay-El says:

    Pretty sad that the one cop can be heard assuring Boyd, “I’m not a fcuking murderer” shortly before killing the SOB.

    Then again, the police can lie to you.

  26. avatar West says:

    So if I go hiking or decide to just go off on my own and camp wherever this weekend I might get shot? There go Thoreau’s dreams.

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      If you go hiking around and pick up an Owl or Hawk feather even if you don’t know what they are, you can go to jail for up to 25yrs. This is the environment that we have made. There are so many stupid laws you can go to jail for sleeping on the wrong dirt or picking up the wrong feather – but hey, its for the children.

  27. avatar West says:

    This will probably get moderated but WHAT THE FUCK? HOW DO YOU CALL THAT A GOOD SHOOT OR EVEN SLEEP AT NIGHT?

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Well, when the story was first reported here last year, someone here defended the shooting by saying, “Well, the stand-off had lasted several hours. It was time to end it.”

      And, that was a serious comment, not a joke.

  28. avatar Greg says:

    I saw nothing less than murder in the 1st. That was absolutely premediated murder. He was not a threat, sure he had a small knife but they had TWO less lethal shotguns, bean him down. They had bangs and beans, and he was at least 20 ft away.
    Nope, this one was very wrong.

  29. Everybody is rehashing the shooting as if this is the first time hearing of it and ignoring the point of the article. The AZ killing is just an example to compliment the article, not the main point.

    On topic, I will say that the reason some do not have a plan to “let them walk away” has more to do with aggression vs. defense. There are many better examples of non LEOs failing to deescalate situations. Cops, by job requirements, are aggressors. They are called to the scene of trouble whereas we citizens act only when the trouble comes to us.
    But your attitude prior to an incident may cause you to cross over from defender to aggressor. The Michael Dunn case is one. http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/02/daniel-zimmerman/breaking-michael-dunn-guilty-four-five-counts/
    Byron Smith is another case. http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/?s=Byron+Smith
    Yesterday I chose not to peruse and shoot an aggressive driver that was jeopardizing my life on the interstate.

  30. avatar Skyler says:

    I don’t get why someone says “Do it” right before the first round is fired. From what I can see, he was complying. He picked up his belongings as he was instructed and began to walk down the hill as instructed. I don’t see anything that even remotely suggests that he was a danger when that person said “Do it” and then fired some kind of round at the guy. Then everyone went crazy and over reacted with dogs, 5.56mm salvoes and general mayhem. It appears that not only was he not a threat, but he was turning his back to them when they shot him with the 5.56.

    What a bunch of poorly trained, soldier wannabes. I hope they die by lethal injection and their families end up on the streets.

    1. avatar Skyler says:

      I count at least five cops present. Why are only two being charged?

  31. avatar 2hotel9 says:

    Only two charged? Gots to love that Big Blue Line. All of those f**king cowards should be charged, and their supervising officer along with them.

  32. avatar Warlocc says:

    I have a friend that’s a cop, and we both agree on something. It’s just a matter of time before citizens start shooting back.

    1. avatar Mack Bolan says:

      Unless and until LE start to police their own, they will deserve every round headed in their direction.

  33. avatar mark says:

    Looks like there was plenty of probable cause to charge the two officers with murder. I have watched this video many times and cannot see any reason to open fire on Boyd.

  34. avatar John M. says:

    I respect cops who put themselves in danger to preserve public safety. I have no respect for cops who come out guns blazing over non-threats or barely-threats.

  35. avatar Dermott says:

    It’s complicated. When was your last interaction with a cop? For most of us it was years ago. For me a well deserved speeding ticket.

    I’m not a fan of cops, they shoot toooo many people, but,

    They don’t spend their day at tea parties. They deal with lower class people ALL day long, many mentally ill, thus they are conditioned to react in a certain way by circumstances, NOT training, which they rarely get.

    If you are in warrior mode, how quickly do you switch to a touchy feely sociologist? You don’t.

    If these cops dealt with him on a regular basis, which it seems they did, where was the rest of society? We don’t care about the homeless, mentally disturbed or poor. And we are not spending money for touchy feely training.

    I’d look at who these cops were dealing with before the shooting.

    How much community type training did they have? Bet the community has no one (social oboist, psych) full time talking to each cop every few days to “take their temperature”.

    Without the facts, but based on the video, the cops were frustrated. I’d say fire them and maybe probation or a very light sentence.

    Don’t flame me, you decided to read my post.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      “They deal with lower class people ALL day long, many mentally ill, thus they are conditioned to react in a certain way by circumstances, NOT training, which they rarely get.”

      The simple answer to your questions is this: Yes, they can do a better job than this. Cops are not the only people who have to deal with marginalized, dysfunctional people on a regular basis and they manage the frustration and stress just fine. They do it because it’s THEIR JOB and it’s something that they GOOD AT DOING because they’re PROFESSIONALS!

      1. avatar 16V says:

        Exactly. They are supposed to function to a higher standard. And none of us would get away with anything resembling this murderous shoot.

    2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “Without the facts, but based on the video, the cops were frustrated. I’d say fire them and maybe probation or a very light sentence.”

      So, being frustrated is a valid defense for murder now? Good to know.

      I’ve been a cop, and I find your rationalizations laughable. Yes, we spent a good bit of time dealing with low-lifes and even violent low-lifes. But, somehow, we managed to do “the job” without killing trespassers.

      You open your post with “when was the last time…” I’ll counter with: Police work has changed. There has been a fundamental attitude shift in police work in the last 20 years, and it has not been a good one.

  36. avatar Fuque says:

    Minus the dog….and filmed in Black and white….this could be a western movie…. this Just reinforces my opinion that no camping trip is complete without my weapon…. and Now I may ratchet it up to include a rifle…

  37. avatar Know Justice says:

    This goes to show that our own Police Departments are the worst enemies of We the People. The paramilitary training of officers must end.

  38. avatar Proverbs says:

    The accused muderers in this videos could be aptly described as cowards, sickos, or nut-jobs with rifles. But don’t call them professional police officers. Clearly they haven’t been trained properly, and they don’t have a clue what professional police officers are supposed to do within their community. The accused in this video, post-shooting, immediately hold their conversation with a tonal level of boredom one might express when ordering off the value menu at the drive-thru burger joint. It aligns with their cowardly actions. Maybe they just tired of the whole standoff and decided that the quickest way to end their shift on time would be to just kill the transient. Had to get home in time to watch the new episode of The Walking Dead.

  39. avatar Mike says:

    Come on, guys–I’m as libertarian as anybody else, but there’s no need to go right-wing wacko on this.

    No, he wasn’t killed for camping. No, the officers did not go in with the intent of killing him. Who premeditates murder and then records it on a helmet cam, anyway?

    It’s pretty obvious what happened here, if you have any idea how law enforcement are trained and how they think. The idea is to respond to any threat with overwhelming force to get ahead of the escalation curve. These guys are not trained to think like heroes, they are trained to prioritize going home at the end of shift. Every minute of every shift is a war–them against all the threats looming everywhere.

    The problem is if you just go on auto-pilot and don’t keep the brain engaged, this is what happens. They should not have released the dog. The guy was defending himself against the dog, cops saw a knife, training says “knife=deadly threat=justified to respond with deadly force”, so they fired. It’s no more complicated than that.

    What happens to these guys will depend on how well they can convince a jury to see the threat the same way they saw it at the time. The problem isn’t murderous officers, it’s the “training and policy is all that matters” mindset that pervades every agency everywhere.

  40. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    “It’s pretty obvious what happened here, if you have any idea how law enforcement are trained and how they think. The idea is to respond to any threat with overwhelming force to get ahead of the escalation curve. These guys are not trained to think like heroes, they are trained to prioritize going home at the end of shift. Every minute of every shift is a war–them against all the threats looming everywhere.”

    Typical “Blue Wall” twaddle. Scheech, but it’s boring having to plow through this. There’s just nothing else I can say . . .

    1. avatar Mike says:

      Maybe if you read what I wrote a little more carefully you’d realize I was describing how things are, not how they ought to be…

      You can’t prescribe the solution if you don’t understand the problem. But I get the idea your mind is already made up on this stuff…

      1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        My mind isn’t at all made up, Mike. But neither am I much swayed by rote it’s-training-officer-sefety-war-zone-go-home-at-night excuses. Those kinds of excuses played well before we had good video of bad police behavior. Now they don’t. I agree entirely that you are describing things as they are. agree entirely with your comments about training.. And that’s the problem. In this case, it sure as hell looks like there was a collective decision to kill a mentally-ill man with diminished capacity. All it would have taken is for one of the cops to simply say “stop”. Once the situation was defined, however, they all lined up behind it. Cop culture simply doesn’t allow for showing a lack of allegiance in such situations. Despite the murder charges, these guys will probably get off.

  41. avatar KenL says:

    I tend to side with LEOs, but holy shit this was a brutal shoot. Lit up with 5.56 after slowly turning away like a retarded drunkard. Damn.

  42. Looks like they could have allowed the dog to continue its attack and used the less-lethal shotgun. I think that would be the problem in their trial, but a supervisor should have made that decision. Supervisor’s plan should have been flashbang, dog, then less than lethal rounds. If no effect, then lethal force.

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