Wrongful Death Verdict to be Paid by City of Albuquerque

August 11th, 2014 | by RON BELL

Wrongful Death Verdict to be Paid by City of Albuquerque

In the media we hear of too many people being killed by officers of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). During the years of 2009 to 2014 the APD was involved in at least 35 shootings, which resulted in 23 people dying. The shooting death that has caught the attention of media outlets nationwide was that of James Boyd, an unauthorized camper. After the public saw a live video of the shooting over the internet, over 300 Albuquerque residents protested and called for an end to excessive force used by the Albuquerque police department.

April 2011 a verdict for six million dollars was handed down by District Court Judge, Shannon Bacon against the APD in the wrongful death, fatal shooting of Chris Torres. Torres was an Albuquerque resident suffering from mental illness and was negligently killed by an officer. Judge Bacon disregarded any claims that the APD acted in self-defense while attempting to serve a warrant to Torres for a felony road rage incident.

A careful and thorough investigation into the Albuquerque police department was done by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the following were its most concerning findings:

  • Officers engaged in excessive force during arrest and detention of individuals (violation of the Fourth Amendment);
  • Officers frequently used tasers on those who presented minimal to no threat;
  • Officers frequently used excessive force against people with mental illnesses;
  • An ‘Internal Affairs’ division was not in place to investigate, document, or discipline officers;
  • Officers encouraged and supported fellow officer’s noncompliance.

Ron Bell wrongful death attorneys are compassionate and have experience working with the families of people who die in wrongful death cases. If you have lost a family member due to the negligence of another, we promise to provide expert representation while pursuing the compensation you need to rebuild your life and protect the future of your family.

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