Incredible video footage has been uploaded to YouTube showing police in New Mexico fatally shooting a homeless man who was illegally camping in the foothills near to Albuquerque.
The video, which was taken from the helmet camera of one of the officers, shows 38-year-old James Boyd turning his back on armed police, after which he is shot and killed by Dominque Perez and Keith Sandy.
According to the Albuquerque Police Department, which released the footage on Friday, Boyd had spent more than three hours arguing with officers before he was downed.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
The video shows Boyd picking up his bags, having agreed to walk down the hill with the armed men. After one of the officers shouts, “do it”, the homeless man is hit with a flash bang. He then appears to turn his back whilst reaching down to his bag for a knife, after which the two officers open fire. Boyd was taken to hospital but was later pronounced dead.
Despite coming in for heavy criticism over the incident, the police department maintained they had acted appropriately. In a press conference, Police Chief Gorden Eden said that Boyd was a paranoid schizophrenic with a history of violence, having attacked officers in the past with knives and box cutters.
However, the US department of Justice is already investigating the police department over reports of use of force, with Albuquerque officers having shot more people than the much larger New York Police department.
Both shooters have been placed on administrative leave.