Albuquerque police Wednesday were trying to explain why they shot and killed a man outside an apartment complex just hours after a downtown protest sparked by the Albuquerque police shooting of a homeless man only nine days earlier.
In fact, the Albuquerque police have shot 36 other people since 2010, which is why protesters rallied with placards reading "APD is Guilty" and "Justice For James Boyd."
Boyd was the homeless and apparently mentally ill camper gunned down by Albuquerque police on March 16. Cops said he menaced an unarmed K-9 officer with knives and threatened to kill other police. But when Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry saw a helmet-cam video of the shooting, he described it as "horrific."
The video showed Boyd, 38, who seemed convinced that he was some kind of undercover federal agent, gathering his personal belongings and turning away from the cops, when the Albuquerque police opened fire with stun guns, bean bags and six live rounds.
At the time of that shooting, Albuquerque police were already under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for the previous three dozen shootings in the past four years. Of those shootings, 22 were fatal.
Not long after the protest over the James Boyd shooting dispersed Tuesday night, Albuquerque police officers opened fire on Alfred "Lionel" Redwine who, according to the 911 call that brought officers to the scene, was pointing a gun at two young girls.
The officers said that Redwine came out of the apartment building with gun blazing. But his family later said he had no gun, just a cell phone. In this case, Albuquerque police video appeared to show shots coming at police officers from somewhere, and the cops can be heard shouting, "Put the gun down, Alfred!"
Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden said that there was no way to know at this early stage whether the shooting of Redwince was justified.