Family of James Boyd speaks to KOB 4

Updated: 04/12/2014 10:44 PM | Created: 04/12/2014 10:13 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Sunday morning, James Boyd, the schizophrenic man killed by Albuquerque police officers in the foothills, will be laid to rest.

Boyd’s death sparked outrage in our community after video showed police officers shoot, taze, beanbag and send a K9 to attack Boyd for illegally camping.

Boyd’s family is in Albuquerque this weekend.

They spoke only to KOB Eyewitness News 4.

“He was just camping, that’s all he was doing,” Boyd’s brother, Andrew Jones said.

It is never easy to say goodbye.

For the first time, James Boyd’s brother, sister-in-law, mother and friend hiked to the place Boyd lost his life.

“Right here is where he was laying,” Jones said.

During this dark time for them, they placed electric candles—hoping that it will shed some light on why he lost his life.

Boyd’s death was caught on APD video.

His family saw the moment when officers shot Boyd with bullets.

Then, already on the ground, they continued to attack him.

After the visit to the foothills, KOB sat down with Jones.

"Do you think the Albuquerque Police Department murdered your brother?" asked KOB.

"I do,” Jones said. “I definitely believe that was murder."

“Tell me why?”

“He was going to cooperate and he was gathering his stuff like they planned on doing and then they threw the flash bang at him and as he turned they shot him,” Jones said.

From his home in Alabama, Jones has seen our community come together, taking a stand for Boyd.

"To all those people who have come out to hold vigils and protests on behalf of your brother---what do you say to them?" asked KOB.

“I want to say thank you very much,” Jones said. “They've given us so much support. A lot of them didn't even know him. But this situation knowing that it had happened to one person, it's going to happen to more. Because of my brother, people are taking a stand and changes will be made."

Jones says his brother always loved nature, favoring the outside versus in.

It is a twist of irony to them that Boyd was killed where he thought he could find peace.

"If you had an opportunity to sit down one on one with the chief of police in Albuquerque, how do think that conversation would go, what would you tell him?

"I don't think the conversation would go very well,” Jones said.  “Obviously the way the department is being run is wrong."

Andrew’s family watched Chief Gorden Eden mutter these words after Boyd’s death:

"Do I think this was a justified shooting, yes,” Eden said. “If you follow case law Garner vs. Tennessee there was a directed threat to an officer."

Jones feels instead of our system helping his brother’s mental health needs, he was sentenced to death. 

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