A common form of police brutality is when officers shoot a suspect without any clear danger or reasons to use force. This can become the basis of a lawsuit if a person was unreasonably injured or killed.
A New Mexico State Police Officer opened fire on a man and hurt him while he was checking on a vehicle in Albuquerque.
Man is shot while officer checks on an abandoned vehicle
The incident began when a group of ten officers was working traffic enforcement duty on Interstate Highways 25 and 40. This was part of a month long operation that was planned for the area.
On a Tuesday at around 10 am, the officer in question spotted an abandoned blue Jeep SUV. This was in the northeast part of Albuquerque on I-25 northbound between Paseo del Norte and San Antonio. The police deputy chief and spokesperson who addressed the public said that at some point a suspect who was armed walked towards the officer while he was checking the vehicle. At least one shot was fired by that officer, but the exact number of times the weapon was discharged was not given. It does not appear that the suspect ever fired at the officer.
The suspect on the scene sustained non-life threatening injuries, while the officer who fired the shots was not injured. The identities of the two men involved were not released, but the officer was placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which is standard department policy.
The scene was closed off with yellow police tape shortly afterward, and the officer’s police vehicle and Jeep were not removed. A gun was on the ground at the scene with an evidence marker next to it.
This was the first officer involved shooting for the New Mexico State Police for the year.
Deciding if the use of lethal force is necessary
Situations like this are governed by use of force protocols. Officers are not supposed to use their weapons or resort to violence without a clear threat of danger or need to protect others in the area. Police need to be especially careful with firearm use, as someone can easily be killed when a bullet strikes a vital organ.
It can be difficult to determine if a suspect was actually armed in these kinds of situations when no shots were fired and no officers were injured. Police have even been known to plant weapons on a scene after the fact to justify their use of force, even when there was no real threat of violence.
Talk with a local attorney about police brutality
There are lawyers who handle cases against the police for unnecessary use of violence. The Law Office of Brian K. Branch has legal professionals available to assist you.