- May 11, 2002
The woman, Amelia Baca, had become agitated at family members in the Las Cruces home when her daughter called the police for help on April 16. According to family members, Baca was having a mental health crisis.
In body camera video released Tuesday by the city of Las Cruces in response to a public records request, an officer can be seen pointing a gun at Baca through the doorway of the home moments after arriving on the scene.
Baca, who family members said did not speak English, is holding two kitchen knives and shouting in Spanish.
The officer repeatedly shouts at her in English to “drop the knife,” “drop the fucking knife,” “do it now.” After 38 seconds, he tells her to “put the fucking knife down” and fires two shots at her.
She died at the scene.
Not sure how I feel about this. Too many times the excuse they had a gun is used to justify police shootings. This time it was just 2 knives and she didn't lunge at him from what I saw.
The cop could handled it better for sure.. but at the end of the day.. dementia destroys people and they're not who they were anymore.
Definitely more training is needed when dealing with knives vs guns especially in mental health situations!