In New Mexico and throughout the country, there are stringent rules regarding when police may shoot at criminal suspects. Such rules are designed to keep citizens, as well as police officers, safe. A police officer may not use excessive force against a person, which would be a civil rights violation.
However, a recent incident occurred where police department officials determined that one of their officers did just that. The officer and one of his colleagues were pursuing a person whom they believed had been driving a stolen vehicle. When they saw the man leaving a motel lobby and walking toward the vehicle in question, they were on high alert.
One of the officers dislodged his weapon without cause
New Mexico police may shoot at a subject if he or she is posing a death threat or threat of serious injury to the officer or anyone else in the vicinity. In this case, two officers fired their weapons at the man as he was reaching for the driver’s side door of the vehicle. One officer’s bullets struck him twice, and that officer has been cleared of wrongdoing. The other policeman was determined to have used excessive force by discharging his firearm and has been terminated from his position on the force.
Police officer did not have a clear field of vision to determine probable cause
The police officer who was fired for use of excessive force against a man in New Mexico told his superiors that he thought the man had fired a gun against his fellow officer. The shots, however, came from his colleague’s weapon. It was determined that the former officer should not have shot at the man because he could not clearly see what the man held in his hand, which turned out to be a black key fob. Any person who has suffered injury because of excessive use of police force may wish to speak with a civil rights attorney regarding options for seeking justice.