Family of man killed by APD reacts to DOJ report

Updated: 04/11/2014 9:22 AM | Created: 04/10/2014 10:46 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Several families of people shot by Albuquerque police officers attended Thursday's Department of Justice news conference, including the family of Christopher Torres, a developmentally disabled 27-year-old who was killed in a 2011 police shooting.

Torres' mother and father have been fighting for reform ever since, and for them, the DOJ's report about the APD shootings meant: "You were right."

Renetta and Stephen Torres said all along that their son, Christopher, was wrongfully killed by APD on April 12, 2011.

Torres was unarmed when police came into his backyard to serve a warrant on a road rage incident. During the confrontation, police said Torres tried to punch one of the officers and reach for his gun. The other officer fired three shots into his back.

The officers said they did not know about Torres' mental illness.

The Torres family just concluded their wrongful death trial last month against the police department and the city of Albuquerque.

Renetta and Stephen Torres sat front row during the news conference. It was clear a weight was lifting minute by minute as U.S. Attorney Jocelyn Samuels read, "a majority of (the shootings) were unreasonable and violated the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution."

"To see it on paper affirmed, confirmed, by the Department of Justice was a very emotional moment," Renetta Torres told reporters with tears in her eyes.

The Torres family is seeking $4 million in damages from APD and the city for negligent hiring, training and supervision – charges the city denied. There's no exact time frame for the judge's written decision on the civil suit.

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