Family demands murder charge for officer in fatal shooting

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Posted at 5:29 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 18:29:19-04

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A Las Cruces family is demanding that the police officer who fatally shot a 75-year-old family member be charged with murder and plans to sue the city, the family’s lawyer said Thursday.

Police body camera video showed the officer shot Amelia Baca as she stepped forward after not responding to multiple commands made in English to drop two kitchen knives when the officer responded to a 911 call from a family member about threatening behavior by Baca.

The family says Amelia Baca spoke only Spanish, and the video shows family members telling the officer entering the home April 16 that Baca was mentally ill and experienced a form of dementia, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

“Let me be blunt. Amelia Baca was executed by the Las Cruces Police Department,” family attorney Sam Bregman said during a Thursday news conference.

City Manager Ifo Pili said in a statement released after the news conference that a law enforcement task force’s investigation of the incident was ongoing.

The officer, whose identity has not been released, remains on administrative leave, Pili said.