Shootings renew call for New Mexico health changes
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.