Posted at: 03/25/2014 10:07 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Tuesday, hundreds of protestors marched to Albuquerque Police Department headquarters saying they wanted “justice for James Boyd.”
The mentally ill homeless man was shot and killed by APD officers more than a week beforehand after a standoff in the foothills. Police say he threatened officers with knives, but many of the protestors said that was no reason to kill him.
“We are all James Boyd,” protestors chanted. They accused APD of using excessive force against James Boyd and lamented what they call a lack of mental health services in family.
Shannon Haley was one of the protestors. She anonymously posted a sign reading “sorry our system failed you” at the site where Boyd was killed last week.
“We wanna show that we care, that we want to change things, that they're not working the way they are, that the humanity is not about killing,” Haley said.
For others, it was a time to reflect on past shootings.
“People do care, and the people of Albuquerque should start caring too, it could happen to their loved ones. It happened to mine,” Mike Gomez, whose son Alan was shot by police, said.
Protestors finished their march at APD headquarters. There, they packed the block, still waving signs. They called for APD leaders to step down and Albuquerque leaders to step up to prevent another death like James Boyd’s.
APD says they support protestors’ first amendment rights to say whatever they choose as long as they do so peacefully. There were only a couple officers present during the protest, mostly for traffic control.