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Feds confirm foothills shooting investigation

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico announced today that they have, indeed, opened an investigation into the March 16 fatal shooting of a mentally ill, homeless man by Albuquerque police officers.

There was some confusion among community members who met with Justice Department officials earlier this week over what was said concerning the investigation. Justice Department officials have met several times with the community members to update them on the status of a broader, civil investigation into the Albuquerque Police Department’s use of force.

The shooting of James Boyd, who police said was camping illegally in the Sandia foothills near the Copper Avenue trailhead, reignited criticism of the department. Video of the incident went viral, and on Tuesday, hundreds marched on the department’s headquarters in protest.


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Police said  Boyd was armed with knives and repeatedly threatened officers during an hours-long confrontation.

Below are the news releases issued by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico:


The FBI has opened an investigation into the March 16, 2014 shooting involving the Albuquerque Police Department.

The Albuquerque FBI Division wants to assure the public that a thorough and fair investigation will be conducted to determine if any civil rights were violated.

No time frame or additional details about this investigation will be provided at this time.


U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico

The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the March 16, 2014 Albuquerque Police Department officer-involved shooting resulting in the death of James M. Boyd in Albuquerque, N.M. The independent investigation will be conducted by the Department of Justice’s Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence generated by the investigation reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within the Justice Department’s jurisdiction, and whether federal prosecution is appropriate.