New Mexico Legal professional Normal Raúl Torrez announced Tuesday that Las Cruces police officer Brad Lunsford was being charged with voluntary manslaughter for capturing and killing a Black nurse, Presley Eze. The capturing occurred in August 2022 in a confrontation outdoors a gasoline station.
“The killing of Presley Eze is a tragedy and serves as one more instance of poor police ways leading to an unjustifiable use of drive to subdue a person resisting arrest for the fee of a minor crime,” mentioned Torrez. “As New Mexico’s chief regulation enforcement officer, I’ve an obligation to carry everybody accountable for violations of the regulation and that features cops who cross the road.”
Police say that Eze exited the gasoline station with an merchandise he didn’t pay for. They questioned Eze and made efforts to detain him, which escalated right into a bodily altercation. Throughout the altercation, Eze touched Lunsford’s taser. JURIST has seen a cellphone video that reveals Lunsford instantly capturing Eze at the back of the pinnacle at point-blank vary. Out of respect to the Eze household, the video has not been included on this story.
Civil rights advocates, like Doña Ana County NAACP President Bobbie Inexperienced, recommended the fees, with Inexperienced saying:
We’re grateful to New Mexico Legal professional Normal, Raul Torrez for looking for accountability. We all know that this won’t carry Presley again, however we hope it should carry some consolation to the Eze household. Our ideas and prayers and our full assist is with the Eze household and a younger baby who’s now compelled to develop up with out his father.
Eze’s killing sparked outrage and controversy in Las Cruces and New Mexico, and advocates have mentioned it’s a part of a broader sample of cops focusing on Black individuals for each enforcement and violence. His household filed suit in opposition to the Metropolis of Las Cruces in Could 2023, saying that the Metropolis was not offering video proof and that they weren’t cooperating with investigations. “This isn’t the primary incident of violence, police shootings, and killings of unarmed individuals of colour,” Inexperienced mentioned in Could. “We’ve been making an attempt for nearly a 12 months to get a police oversight committee to work with the Metropolis of Las Cruces, not in opposition to them however with them, and have had nothing however opposition.”
Police brutality is a significant problem within the US, and Black individuals are disproportionately the victims of such violence. Human rights specialists have beforehand called on worldwide authorities, just like the Worldwide Felony Court docket, to research police violence in opposition to Black individuals within the US. The costs in opposition to Lunsford come months after a Minnesota court docket upheld the conviction of Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed George Floyd and sparked the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.