Shootings renew call for New Mexico health changes

  • Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014 10:27 p.m.
AP Photo/Russell Contreras 
Riot police stand guard in front of protesters in downtown Albuquerque, N.M.  Hundreds of protesters marched past riot police in Albuquerque on Sunday, days after a YouTube video emerged threatening retaliation for a recent deadly police shooting. The video, which bore the logo of the computer hacking collective Anonymous, warned of a cyberattack on city websites and called for the protest march.
AP Photo/Russell Contreras Riot police stand guard in front of protesters in downtown Albuquerque, N.M. Hundreds of protesters marched past riot police in Albuquerque on Sunday, days after a YouTube video emerged threatening retaliation for a recent deadly police shooting. The video, which bore the logo of the computer hacking collective Anonymous, warned of a cyberattack on city websites and called for the protest march.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The recent fatal police shooting of a homeless camper who spent years in and out of jail and New Mexico’s only psychiatric hospital has sparked a push for more mental health resources in the state and a law requiring people with severe mental illnesses to take medications or face involuntary hospitalization.

New Mexico is one of only five states without a “Kendra’s Law,” and advocates say without it, police will increasingly find themselves in situations like the fatal March standoff with James Boyd, the 38–year–old transient was shot and killed by police.

That shooting launched a violent protest in the city on Sunday and convinced Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry to ask the U.S. Justice Department to monitor the troubled police department.

New Mexico state lawmakers have tried unsuccessfully to get a Kendra’s law passed.

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