A jury heard closing arguments on Thursday, Oct. 6, and will weigh the fate of two Albuquerque police officers charged with second-degree murder for killing James Boyd in 2014.
Special prosecutor Randi McGinn told the jury that we give police tremendous power. But Lady Justice wears a blindfold, she said, and no one is above the law—not even police.
"We give them guns—not just side arms but long guns," she said, "and we give them a license to kill. And as you heard from the witness stand, that license is limited."
McGinn said the case is not about the militarization of police or police violence around the country. Rather, she said, it’s about Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez, and the decisions they made that day.
Here's the full audio of McGinn's closing argument.
In closing arguments made by the defense, this idea was central: A police officer should only make decisions about the actions of the person who is in front of them, not about whether they’re mentally ill.
Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez shot and killed Boyd, a man with mental illness who’d been camping illegally in the Sandia Foothills. Defense Lawyer Luis Robles said all that mattered was the deadly threat Boyd presented.
"You don’t judge someone by where the bullet lands," he said. "You judge an officer at the moment the decision is made."
Robles told the jury that if they don’t like how people with mentally illness are treated by police, they shouldn’t hold the two officers responsible for that because they don’t have a say in policy.
The jury is deliberating.
Here's the full audio of Dominique Perez' defense attorney, Luis Robles, giving his closing argument.
Sam Bregman gave the closing argument in the defense of Keith Sandy. Here's that full audio.
Special Prosecutor McGinn gave a response to the defense's closing arguments. This is the full audio of that statement.