Officer speaks of using force before James Boyd shooting

Keith Sandy


ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — There’s new controversy over something one of the Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed James Boyd said hours before he pulled the trigger.

APD detective Keith Sandy is heard calling Boyd a lunatic, and it’s clear he spoke about using force against the homeless camper, something that was caught on a New Mexico State Police audio recording.

“This f*****g lunatic? (unintelligible) I’m going to shoot him with a (unintelligible) shotgun here in a second,” said Sandy.

The statement made by Sandy is about James Boyd. New Mexico ACLU director Peter Simonson says the audio is telling.

“Someone is entering a very volatile delicate situation with a prejudice attitude,” said Simonson.

Sandy and APD Officer Dominque Perez shot and killed Boyd on March 16th, 2014 after Albuquerque Police originally went to speak to Boyd about illegally camping.

But about two hours before Sandy and Perez fired on Boyd, New Mexico State Police Sergeant Chris Ware was called to the scene. His dash-cam video and belt-tape audio recording system was rolling as he approached Sandy, one of the first officers he met on scene.

“Where they got you guys going, what have they got you guys doing?” asked Sandy.

“I don’t know, the guy asked for State Police?” replied Ware.

“Who asked for you?” asked Sandy.

“I don’t know,” replied Ware.

“This f***** lunatic? (unintelligible) I’m going to shoot him with (unintelligible) shotgun here in a second,” replied Sandy.

“You’ve got uh.. less lethal?” asked Ware.

“I got uh… I just said…” replied Sandy.

“The TASER shotgun?” asked Ware.

“Yeah!” replied Sandy.

“Oh. I thought you guys got rid of those?” asked Ware.

Chris Ware Interview
Read NMSP Sgt. Chris Ware’s response to Keith Sandy’s comments.

According to police documents, after the incident, the multi-jurisdictional task force interviewed Ware. The interview was led by an APD investigator.

Investigators wanted to know exactly what Sandy said to Ware in that exchange, questioning Ware if he heard Sandy say he wanted to shoot Boyd in the crotch.

Ware told investigators that he heard Sandy talking about his TASER shotgun, not shooting Boyd in the crotch.

“What I was told that was on there was, ‘I’m going to shoot him in the nuts.’ I didn’t remember hearing that. And I said if he did say that, he was probably joking. But listening to that, he didn’t say, ‘I’m going to shoot him in the nuts,’ he said, ‘I’m going shoot him with a TASER shotgun,’” said Ware in the interview.

The New Mexico ACLU says the comments are still frightening.

“There’s no way that officers can operate in a professional capacity if they bare those kinds of attitudes towards the people they’re encountering,” said Simonson.

Chief Gorden Eden Statement, KRQE News 13
Chief Gorden Eden Statement, September 29, 2014

On April 7th, 2014, Sandy told APD detectives that he was “joking” with NMSP Sgt. Chris Ware, telling investigators that he remembers saying, ‘I’ll shoot him in the pecker with this and call it good,” while referring to his TASER shotgun.

However, Sandy later told those same detectives that he couldn’t remember if he made the comment. Sandy is still on paid leave.

News 13 reached out to Sandy’s lawyers on Monday to get his side, however, they didn’t get back to us.

APD Chief Gorden Eden refused multiple on-camera interview requests with News 13. Instead, he released a statement.

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