RPD’s attempt at transparency criticized by family of shooting victim

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ROSWELL, N.M. – Some people are concerned with how the Roswell Police Department is handling its apparent attempt at transparency.

While police use of force is often criticized, in this instance, some people are upset that they saw this killing happen while just scrolling on their phone.

On Jan. 6, Roswell police say they responded to a domestic violence call. 

“Back off bro, put the knife down.” 

That’s where they see 20-year-old Nikolas Acosta with a knife.

“Put the knife down!” 

“Put it down. Do not come towards me brother.”

Officers tell Acosta to put the knife down several times before shots were fired.

RPD posted the lapel video from the shooting on their Facebook page, and now there are over 1,000 comments and close to 800 shares of the post.

Acosta’s family released a statement, saying, “Their trauma and grief is compounded by this release that occurred without warning or consent.”

Some commenting say the shooting was uncalled for and that officers should have used a taser, things could’ve been dealt with differently. 

Some of Acosta’s family found out about his death through the video posted online by RPD.

Others showed support for the officers, with comments saying “the police are here to protect the innocent,” and that Acosta was given several chances to comply. 

According to Acosta’s family, “Officers shot Nick approximately 33 seconds after initiating the encounter with him.” 

And his family – who saw the whole thing happen – say officers handcuffed Acosta without trying to treat his injuries. 

Now, they’re demanding RPD release the entire lapel video, including after the shooting.

KOB 4 reached out to the Roswell Police Department about their use of force policies and the decision to release the shooting footage on Facebook. They said it’s still under investigation and would not comment further.