The family of James Boyd, the homeless man killed by Albuquerque police for “illegal camping” last year, agreed to a $5 million settlement.
It made 17 demands that would force APD to change hiring practices and policies, better train officers and create a specialized group of health care professionals who respond alongside police when confronted with a crisis while dealing with homeless or mentally-ill people.
Boyd’s family issued the following statement:
“The family of James Matthew Boyd would like to thank this community for its continued support and the City of Albuquerque for striving for a solution to provide effective, compassionate, and constitutional policing to our most vulnerable residents, especially those struggling with mental illness and homelessness. They also give special thanks to St. Martins Hospitality Center, the James Matthew Boyd Outreach Team, Health Care for the Homeless, and Albuquerque Heading Home, some of the organizations in our community most committed to giving voice to the tossed aside and forgotten and achieving an end to homelessness in Albuquerque.
For far too long, the Albuquerque Police Department fostered policies and practices that failed officers and, in turn, the community. The policies and practices created an atmosphere where the officers most indifferent to human life could recklessly interact with residents, killing them without significant concern or consequence. As a result, even the most well-intentioned officers did not, and could not, police constitutionally within APD. Because the killing of James Matthew Boyd was so needless, so preventable, finally, Albuquerque and department officials could not continue to turn away.
Foremost, the family sought justice to ensure that what happened to Mr. Boyd never happens to anyone else, and they believe the city is taking necessary steps to ensure officers are provided adequate training, supervision, and support and Mr. Boyd’s videotaped shooting and excruciating death changes policing for the better in Albuquerque.
The family hopes Albuquerque becomes a model for other cities struggling with the same issues across our country.”
Last year, PINAC sent correspondent Charlie Grapski to Albuquerque where he retraced the steps Boyd had walked in order to seclude himself from the rest of society.
But a resident apparently complained, calling police on him.
One cop, Keith Sandy, was captured on dashcam saying he was going to shoot Boyd in the penis. Sandy has since resigned.