David James was shot and killed by four Rio Rancho police officers on the front porch of his parents’ home on Feb. 5, 1998. The 37-year-old man was brandishing a ceramic cross that police apparently mistook for a gun. They fired when he refused to lower his “weapon.”
A Sandoval County grand jury determined the shooting was a justifiable homicide, but James’ parents filed a lawsuit in federal court.
Why revive this tragic bit of history?
Because it is relevant in the current debate over the amount of secrecy that is legally allowed, and the amount that ought to be allowed, when it comes to legal claims and settlements handled by the state’s Risk Management Division for state agencies.