LAS CRUCES (AP) – A federal jury has cleared two Las Cruces police officers accused of using excessive force during a 2010 arrest.
Jurors reached a verdict after two hours of deliberation Wednesday. They found the officers did not commit an illegal arrest and did not use excessive force when they took Joey Valdez Perea into custody.
According to police, Perea fell asleep in his friend’s car after a night of drinking. Paramedics were able to wake him and he became agitated, clenched his fists and yelled at the medics.
Police say Perea refused to comply with their commands so they used a stun gun and physical force to take him into custody.
Police Chief Jaime Montoya says the verdict verifies that the department’s training is consistent with best practices in law enforcement.