The Murder of James Boyd

As you can see in the above video, police officers in Albuquerque, New Mexico murdered a man by the name of James Boyd.

There was so much wrong with this situation that it is hard to know where to begin.

Wrong 1: The officers who shot and killed the man have not been charged with murder despite proof in the form of clear video evidence of said murder.

That is how untouchable the police have become in the United States; they can kill someone who was not a direct threat to them, video-tape it, voluntarily release that tape and not face any punishment for it.

Wrong 2: The police were there in the first place.

As this report by KOAT the local ABC affiliate for Albuquerque shows, someone called the police station and reported “some homeless” had been living in the hills behind his property for a month. (Apparently living or sleeping or camping on what I presume is public land is illegal in New Mexico. Wrong 2b: Illegal camping is a thing.) I could understand that if Boyd had been threatening hikers in the area or something to that affect, which I concede is definitely within the realm of possibility given his apparent background, then sending officers to check it out was the proper thing to do. Nowhere, however, in any of the news reports I’ve read does it state that he was causing any trouble in those hills, so yeah, “illegal” camping and fear of property-value depreciation were the reasons for the police being there and eventually killing a man.

Wrong 3: James Boyd was not receiving care in a mental health facility.

Why was a man who clearly needs help and potentially posed a threat to the public not being helped? Because America’s you-can’t-tax-me attitude means that the United States has probably the worst social welfare network in the western world.

Wrong 4: There was at least one military veteran involved.

Weapons manufacturers and security consultants are constantly trying to sell their wares and tactical plans to police departments around the US and they have been quite successful in doing so. This is why some police departments now own APCs, use flash-bangs, wear body armor and carry assault rifles. So, what better men for these police departments to hire than those who are already trained in the use of those weapons? Having that always-protect-never-betray-your-brothers mindset that the police love already drilled into them plus experience in killing people makes them good candidates, too. At the very least, these ex-military bros and wannabe green berets seem to be the type of people who don’t mind using violence against others as evidenced by the “booyah” in the video.

Wrong 5: There was a K9 unit on the scene.

Dogs should work with the police for one reason and one reason only: to find some thing or some one. If your goal is to have someone calmly submit to being handcuffed then bringing a large, vicious-looking dog to the scene and then having that dog jumping and barking aggressively right in front of the person you are trying to talk to is the dumbest thing you could do. This will automatically escalate the situation. Especially if the person you are trying to apprehend is mentally ill. In this case the dog seemed to be involved specifically to ratchet up the intimidation and general threat of violence. I don’t know at what point the dog was introduced to the scene (apparently this standoff lasted some 3 hours) but doing so at any point was a mistake.


Well, let’s stop there. I’m not going to get into the numerous other horrible, inhumane and stupid things these adrenaline-junkie-asshole-paramilitary-cops did because they all produce the same headache-inducing, soul-crushing why?

As for offering alternative strategies or ways of resolving the situation that would have prevented the death of Boyd, I’m sure there are a hundred ways that could have happened. I’m sure that even children know enough about tasers and riot shields that they could come up with a smart solution. So, why then, could several grown men who we trust with our safety and protection not devise a single, non-fatal, solution?

Beyond the shock and rage felt over a sick man being murdered by police officers, there is the continuing tragedy that none of the root problems that led to this situation are going to disappear anytime soon. The mental health care network is not getting better, homelessness (and the criminalization thereof) is an ongoing, serious issue and the militarization of policing steadily marches on. I’m certain, sadly, that James Boyd’s life will not be the last one taken by this idiocy.

3 thoughts on “The Murder of James Boyd

  1. olsonwrites

    Mr. Lackey, while I had no desire to watch your video, owing to a combination of expensive internet and vague awareness of the situation, I nonetheless watched…about 10 seconds of it. That ‘yeehaw, I can kill ya boy’ attitude sickens me greatly. I’m sure what follows would approach more and more that of a snuff film. Granted, I liked Surviving the Game, but a man has his limit.

    I would be remiss however if I didn’t offer something you didn’t mention. While this may not explain what happened, it’s a talking point that should be brought up whenever someone says either ‘usa’ or ‘american’.

    The following quote was pulled off wikipedia, because all detectives use wikipedia: [page on indefinite detention]

    On December 26, 2013, president Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014.[26][27] The troubling NDAA provision first signed into law in 2012, which permits the military to detain individuals indefinitely without trial, remains on the books for 2014. Efforts to quash or reform the provision (especially with regard to the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens) have failed and have been fiercely fought by the administration.

    So the US has made it legal to detain anyone and everyone for whatever reason for as long as they want. If that didn’t scare me, which it does, the tanks that local police are getting en masse sure as shit does.

    The tinfoil tinkerer in me would say that they are paving the way to deal with any and all unruly people within their borders. Good luck staging a Ukraine-level protest, yankees.

    It’s time to move, but…uh…Canada’s full.


  2. thelackey Post author

    Meanwhile, the US continues to tsk tsk the actions of other countries from its self appointed place at the top of Mt. Hypocritical Moral Indignation. The US system is just as tyrannical as the rest of them; it’s just more subtle about it.

  3. kmr

    Watching this video and hearing the heavy breathing of these police officers tells me that they are complete baby cowards and should not be in the profession! They should not be police officers and are so cowardly that it is stupidity for our police departments to employ such fearful cowards.


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