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Video: Officers used crisis intervention training before fatal shooting

Updated: 06/06/2014 6:01 PM | Created: 06/06/2014 5:12 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Albuquerque police on Friday released video of the officer-involved shooting of a stabbing suspect near 2nd Street and I-40 on May 22.

A sergeant arriving on the scene caught some of the incident on her lapel camera.

Ralph Chavez begged two cops to shoot him while walking toward two officers with a bloody, six-inch box cutter. It was the same weapon that police said he used to slash the throat of another man.

The sergeant arrived at 2nd Street and I-40 just in time to see the two officers fire seven shots. Three shots strike Ralph Chavez and he lies dying in the street while the officers cuff him and begin efforts to try to save his life.

Deputy Chief William Roseman says one of the officers did switch on his lapel camera, but a rain jacket covered the lens, but you can still hear the audio moments before the shooting.

Chavez: "Shoot me, shoot me!"
Officer: "Hey bro, bro—I don't want to shoot you man. I do not want to shoot you, I do not want to shoot you. Don't do it man, don't do it, please. What's your name? What's your name bro? What's your name? What's your name? Please back up, please back up, please back up!"

The sergeant's camera catches fleeting images of the cops backing up as Chavez keeps on advancing.

"They start trying to deescalate the situation, trying to talk to him using CIT skills, and they're actually retreating from the individual who was armed with the box cutter and he's yelling at them to shoot him," Roseman said. "They back up roughly 24 or 25 feet and the subject approaches them roughly the same distance."

Police were responding to a call that said Chavez was beating his girlfriend and slashed the throat of another man who tried to stop the beating. They suspect Chavez may have been high on drugs at the time.

"She says that earlier in the night, before the altercation occurred, the offender had been given an unknown substance by someone on the streets," Roseman said. "His demeanor changed completely and he became aggressive toward her."

People who knew Chavez said he was mostly homeless, struggling with alcoholism and medical issues.

The other man who Chavez injured, Michael "Boston" Morris, is recovering from his wounds. Police say Morris, Chavez and Chavez's girlfriend were all homeless to some degree and none of them had mental health issues.

This latest police shooting took place six weeks after the Department of Justice ripped APD for using excessive force and having a culture of guns and gunfire.


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