ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A group of about 40 protesters gathered in downtown Albuquerque Wednesday night.
This comes after a judge declared a mistrial in the murder trial against Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez. Both Sandy and Perez were facing second degree murder charges for shooting and killing homeless camper James Boyd as he held two pocket knives.
The crowd began as just three protesters and grew as the night went on. The protest had been circulating online and was set to begin on Wednesday at 5 p.m. It lasted about two hours.
Protesters were first seen in front of District Court making signs. From there, the group moved throughout Downtown Albuquerque.
There were also two women who stood in solidarity outside of district court, holding signs showing support for former police officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez.
While protesters took over the streets of downtown Albuquerque, Lavona Linson and Tanya Fraser were the only ones showing support for the former officers. Fraser, who’s husband is a retired officer, feels like police officers are under appreciated and don’t get the recognition they deserve.
Meanwhile, protesters blocked roads and yelled “Jail killer cops.” Many held signs reading “Justice for James Boyd.”
In the middle of the protest, the group requested a moment of silence for homeless camper James Boyd who suffered from mental illness.
Deputies in riot gear poured out of city buses and lined the streets Wednesday night. The protesters did appear to get angry when they saw the officers. However, no violent incidents have been reported so far.
“Like is said, this is just counter productive, how can you expect us to have a peaceful assembly when you send out 50 fully equipped riot officers, it’s like you want us to riot, you want us to feel uncomfortable,” said Arthur Bell.
According to police, protesters dispersed and foot traffic cleared up. Roads were closed at 4th Street and Central in all directions but they have since been reopened.
- DA: Former Albuquerque officers Sandy, Perez will not be retried
- Special prosecutor in Boyd case makes final court appearance
- District Attorney-elect: Panel to decide if Sandy, Perez will be tried again
- Second-degree murder charge against former Albuquerque officer Dominique Perez dropped
- Group starts petition to get charges against former APD officers dropped