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Protests stay peaceful following James Boyd case

Protests didn’t get out of hand Tuesday afternoon as a judge declared a mistrial in the James Boyd murder case.

For the past few weeks, former Albuquerque Police Officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez have been on trial for second-degree murder after they were accused of having shot and killed homeless camper James Boyd in the foothills of Albuquerque in 2014.

The case has become widely reported nationwide due to the entire incident being recorded by police body cameras.

On Tuesday, the jury in the case came back from deliberations deadlocked, which resulted in a mistrial.

The state can seek a new trial, but that decision will likely be up to the new district attorney for Bernalillo County, who takes over in January 2017.

After the mistrial was declared, a small group of protesters gathered outside the courthouse. No more than 30 were there at one time.

Many were frustrated with the mistrial, saying James Boyd didn’t deserve to die and that Sandy and Perez got off easy.

“We have these law enforcement officers literally cowboying it up, and murdering people left and right,” Shakir Farid Abdullah said.

Father Frank Quintana, of the Blessed Oscar Romero Catholic Community, said that the jury didn’t hand down guilty verdicts because they were afraid of retaliation from police.

“I came here to speak out against the preemptive fear that the police are trying to instill into the people,” Quintana said.

The protest was vastly different compared to the last one surrounding James Boyd. After Boyd was killed in 2014, protests in downtown Albuquerque turned violent, while thousands of dollars in damage was done to city property.

Police officers monitored Tuesday’s protests from elevated positions to make sure a similar situation didn’t unfold again.

APD says it will do the same thing with any other protests that may come as the week goes on.

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