ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Questions continue to mount over APD’s recent officer-involved shooting as graphic helmet cam footage showing APD officers fatally shooting a homeless man has gone viral.
Type in the words “Albuquerque police shooting” into YouTube, and “Raw Police Helmet Camera Captures Shooting of James Boyd” is one of the first videos viewers find.
The video has more than 100,000 views and counting. Look under the comments section, and viewers will find hundreds of angry comments.
Some call for the officers involved to be “tried for murder,” others say the shooting was an outright assassination. But these YouTube users aren’t the only ones. Some articles have the words “police brutality” in the headline, others read “killed for camping.”
Albuquerque’s City Council President Ken Sanchez is demanding answers surrounding the shooting of Boyd. He’s now calling for a federal investigation.
The video is very graphic and could be disturbing for some.
Sanchez describes the helmet cam footage of the fatal shooting as troubling and a real cause for concern.
APD says Boyd was arguing with police for hours last Sunday in the foothills after officers tried talking to him about illegally camping.
Sanchez says he hasn’t thoroughly reviewed the investigation, but says he’s confused as to why there wasn’t someone there to de-escalate the situation.
Sanchez says he’s also alarmed Police Chief Gorden Eden came out so quickly to justify the shooting.
Sanchez says he believes the Department of Justice – which is already investigating the troubled department – needs to look into this shooting.
“I believe that this shooting also needs to be included on the investigation of the Department of Justice, and I may also ask the council that we look at allowing the Department of Justice to come in and oversee the Albuquerque Police Department,” said Sanchez.
The negative publicity the video garners is what leaders like Sanchez say is the last thing this city needs.
“We need to restore confidence in our Albuquerque Police Department and we need to respect the work that many of our law enforcement officers do in our community,” explains Sanchez.
Sanchez says he recently watched the video for himself.
“I was troubled, I was disturbed and I’m extremely concerned,” Sanchez says.
He says this city needs more officers to serve the community and with an already tarnished reputation, Sanchez worries this shooting will be an even bigger blow for the department and, possibly, Albuquerque residents.
“It’s going to be difficult for us to recruit new officers. That’s a concern for me,” says Sanchez.
Just between Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening, views on the Youtube video jumped from 80,000 hits to 113,000 hits. By Monday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than 131,000 times.