The worst part of the story is that it is not an isolated case.
Police in New Mexico have long been criticized for using progressively militarized operations and having high rates of shootings. Sadly, 2014 has been rife with incidents of police shooting unarmed victims unnecessarily.
In April this year police officers in New Mexico shot dead a family man in his own driveway in Bloomfield. 61-year-old John Rogers was gunned down by armed police officers. To the further dismay of his family, the police won’t say why they shot down the father of four and grandfather of 18.
Officers (2) claim they were responding to a domestic dispute. When they arrived at the property, the officers allege Mr. Rogers was waving a deadly weapon around. Rogers’ family, however, dispute this claim, stating John Rogers was unarmed and working on a motorcycle in his garage when they arrived.
“I seen a cop walking up towards him with his gun out, and I screamed,” Billie Rogers, the victim’s wife, told reporters. “I ran out the back door and… ‘boom boom.’”
Adding further disgust to the incident is the statement by Jonathan Rogers, John Rogers’ son, who said:
“They said [police officers] there was a struggle, and the officer pulled out his gun and shot him in the head. While he was still gurgling, they put their cold, steel boots to his neck.”
The two officers who allegedly shot the truck driver have been put on administrative leave whilst New Mexico State Police investigate the incident.
The officers responsible for shooting 38-year-old James Boyd, who was camping illegally in the Albuquerque foothills, are not facing any disciplinary procedures. In spite of phenomenal opposition to the killing, the New State Mexico Police department (3) say the officers’ actions were justified.
A video of the shooting is available to view on the Huffington Post website. The video shows James Boyd gathering his rack-sack and belongings together saying that “he will walk” with police. The police then throw a flash bang device at the suspect and set a dog on him.
Visibly disorientated, Boyd appears to take out a knife. At this point, one of the officers shouts “do it” before he is repeatedly shot in the back. The K-9 is then released again on Boyd to ensure he is dead.
A separate case involving similar police force took place in 2009. Officers in Albuquerque killed teenager Andrew Lopez as he “lay motionless on his back”. The 19-year-old had attracted the attention of officers for driving without taillights and with dim headlights.
When the officers attempted to pull Lopez over, he led them on a chase, which eventually became a pursuit on foot. According to (4) reports, when Lopez reached a fence and attempted to turn to face them, one officer fired a nonlethal shot at Lopez, hitting him in the back. When officers approached, one fired a fourth shot in the target’s chest, which killed him.
Corruption in Law Enforcement
The case resulted in a $4.25 million payout to Lopez’s estate. It is one of a number of incidents the Justice Department has cited as examples of the Albuquerque Police Department engaging in a “pattern or practice of excessive force, including deadly force”.
So why exactly are police officers in New Mexico seemingly so corrupt?
Police forces in New Mexico are notoriously complex, with each force having a different scale of authority, which can often overlap. As police are often protected by attorneys and other members of the judiciary system, it is difficult to prosecute them.
From the (5) murder of Sun-Ming Sheu revealing US judicial corruption, to looking at the most (6) corrupt judges in modern history, here at Top Secret Writers we report on numerous examples of corruption marring those of ‘higher powers’.
However, with cases of homeless campers being shot dead, teenagers being killed for being guilty of little more than minor driving offences and a family man being gunned down on his driveway, unnecessary police brutality in New Mexico has to be one of the most shocking examples of modern day establishment corruption.
References & Image Credits:
(1) Jonathan Turley
(2) Cops Corrupt Blog
(3) Huffington Post
(5) TSW: Murder of Sun Ming Sheu
(6) TSW: Top 5 Corrupt Judges in Modern History
(7) Wikipedia: Albuquerque Police Car
(8) ABQ Journal