” Two hours before Albuquerque Police Officer Keith Sandy shot and killed homeless camper James Boyd, he was recorded telling another officer that he would shoot Boyd in the penis with a shotgun.
Sandy responded to the scene on March 16th where Boyd refused to come down from a makeshift campsite in the foothills near Tramway and Copper. At the scene, Sandy saw former colleague State Police Officer Chris Ware. Sandy didn’t realize it, but Ware’s dash cam was rolling and picked up their conversation.
Sandy: What do they have you guys doing here?
Ware: I don’t know. The guy asked for state police.
Sandy: Who asked?
Ware: I don’t know.
Sandy: For this f***ing lunatic? I’m going to shoot him in the penis with a shotgun here in a second.
Ware: You got uh less-lethal?
Sandy: I got…
Ware: The Taser shotgun?
Ware: Oh, I thought you guys got rid of those?
Sandy: ROP’s got one…here’s what we’re thinking, because I don’t know what’s going on, nobody has briefed me…
Civil rights attorney Shannon Kennedy represents Boyd’s family in a wrongful death suit against APD. Kennedy believes Sandy spelled out his intentions, then carried them out.
“ Two hours later he’s escalating the situation so he can do just that,” Kennedy said in an exclusive interview with 4 Investigates. “It’s chilling evidence and stunning that he has not been criminally indicted. He says to a state police officer ‘that f’ing lunatic, I’m going to shoot him in the penis. It’s crystal clear and he says it with contempt in his voice.’”
In April, APD internal investigators asked Sandy about what he meant by the “shooting in the penis” comment. In an internal investigation transcript, sandy is quoted saying,
” Jokingly, just kind of locker room banter, just told him, you know, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll shoot him in the pecker with this and call it good.’”
But a few minutes later, the transcript shows that Sandy recanted his statement. The investigator asked, “Did you say anything to Chris Ware about shooting him in the pecker?”
Sandy responded, “I don’t…no, I don’t think I did.”
In the transcript, Sandy gave the internal investigators a lengthy explanation how the officers working in the Albuquerque Police Repeat Offenders Program (ROP) often make cruel and crude jokes. In fact, Sandy described the hostility among his peers getting so bad that the officers adopted a “safe word.” When officer use the safe word, CHINA, all jokes must stop. Sandy told investigators he was merely making a crude joke when he said he wanted to shoot Boyd in the penis.
“ Of course it’s not a joke because he went forward and actually shot him,” Kennedy said. “Clearly he has complete disregard for people suffering from mental disabilities. He calls him an expletive lunatic and then in the next breath says I’m going to shoot him in the penis. What is so mortifying about this shooting, and thank goodness we have a tape to show exactly what he did– which is instead of shooting him in the penis, he shoots him in the lower back. So had James Boyd not turned around at that moment to set down his bags, he would have been shot in the penis.”
Sandy, according to an APD spokeswoman, is on administrative leave, but may still carry his gun and badge.”