The deadly shooting of homeless camper James Boyd by police in Albuquerque, N.M. -- which was caught on video -- has inspired criticism from the ACLU and others. Local protesters have marched in recent days, and the allegations of excessive force have grown louder.
Now, the FBI has instigated a probe into the actions of police in the fatal incident.
In a statement released Friday by the FBI, officials said they wanted to “assure the public that a thorough and fair investigation will be conducted.”
Boyd was repeatedly told that he did not have permission to camp in the city's foothills, and was asked to get on the ground. He did no cooperate. In the video, Boyd can be seen wielding a small knife and ignoring police orders, but appeared to be giving up as police fired six shots, killing the homeless man.
The city's police department was already under investigation by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice for its officers' continued and questionable use of deadly force. Twenty-three people have been shot and killed in the last three years in altercations with Albuquerque police officers.
Mayor Richard Berry said he is supportive of the latest FBI investigation. “I think it’s the right thing,” he told reporters earlier this week. “We need answers as a community. I want answers as a mayor.”
[Christian Science Monitor]