Video shows APD officer firing bean bag gun at homeless man
June 24, 2019 10:12 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Albuquerque police responded to a call about a homeless man Saturday who was threatening people with a knife and chain.
Police responded to the 400 block of Central Ave., formed a V-formation and used a bean bag gun to take the man into custody.
Video from the scene shows an officer launching a projectile.
However, police say the homeless man wasn’t hit.
“It was very over the top,” said Amy Brown, who witnessed the encounter. “I was like, are you guys trying to show off to all of us, you know."
Brown said the homeless man was on the ground when the officer fired the bean bag.
In the video, the officer can be heard yelling, “stop reaching!”
Police said the homeless man was going for his knife which was recovered from the scene.
But Brown believes police went too far.
"I was really mad because our mayor is talking about helping the homeless, have more initiatives, keep them off the streets – harassing them, shooting them with a bean bag is not the way to do it," she said.
Albuquerque Police Department spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos told KOB 4 that the incident is under investigation.
“This incident, like all uses of force, will be investigated by our Force Division, which is trained to conduct these types of investigations,” he said.
Gallegos added, “Without commenting on this specific incident until it is reviewed, I can say that officers are trained to use a force array, which gives officers different options when confronting an individual. It protects officers by allowing time for the use of deescalation techniques to reduce or eliminate the need to use force."
A bean bag is a lesser force option that is sometimes used to prevent a lethal force option.
Also, if bystanders are distracting officers or the person they are dealing with, that distraction can have an impact on the encounter.”
Based on comments made to officers, the man was taken to the hospital.\
Brown told KOB 4 she would have liked to see the situation handled differently.
“You know – have mental health training to deal with people with schizophrenia because it’s a hard mental illness. Especially for the person who has it to deal with,” she said.
“You can’t come at them like their criminals just because their brain chemistry is different than ours,” she added.
Created: June 24, 2019 10:12 PM
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