Created: 03/13/2014 5:17 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Tearful testimony dominated the courtroom Thursday from the parents of a young Albuquerque man shot to death in a back yard struggle with Albuquerque cops four years ago. The family is suing the police department and the city.
Christopher Torres’ mother said her son’s schizophrenia was under control and he was doing “very well” at the time police shot him while trying to arrest him for a road rage incident two months earlier. Renetta Torres remembered her 27 year old son as a happy and active young man, devoted to his nieces and nephew and grandparents.
Police say Christopher Torres tried to punch one officer and grabbed his gun when they tried to serve him with an arrest warrant in April 2011. They say the cops fired in self defense.
Renetta Torres testified that SWAT team officers kept the house surrounded long after the shooting.
“There was still massive amounts of APD there,” Torres said. “There were officers with assault rifles on the roof of our neighbor’s home and by this time Christopher had been dead for hours.”
Christopher’s mother described police activity long after her son’s death.
“They were detonating those flash-bombs in the front yard and the back yard and telling Christopher to come out – and his body isn’t even there anymore!”
Lawyers for the officers and the city began their defense case Thursday afternoon. This is a civil court trial before a judge. There is no jury. The Torres family seeks damages from APD and the city for negligent hiring, training and supervision – charges the city denies.