Watch above: The controversial shooting of a homeless man by Albuquerque police sparked a massive protest Wednesday that drew hundreds calling for change.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The police department in the New Mexico city of Albuquerque came under new scrutiny Wednesday after officers shot and killed a man outside a public housing complex in the second deadly encounter in the last 10 days.
Police said the man was shot Tuesday night after he opened fire on officers responding to a frantic call from a woman who said the suspect had pointed a gun at two girls. Children can be heard crying in the background.
The family of the man, identified as Alfred Redwine, however, insisted he was not armed and only had a cellphone in his hand.
But Police Chief Gorden Eden released video from an officer’s helmet indicating shots had been fired from somewhere before police opened fire. One officer is seen ducking in response to loud pops, which came after officers repeatedly yelled for the man to drop his weapon.
Eden also showed pictures of the suspect’s gun with three spent casings.
Still, it’s too soon to know if the shooting was justified, he said.
The shooting came just hours after hundreds of people took to the streets to protest Albuquerque police fatally shooting a homeless camper on March 16, the 36th shooting involving police since 2010.
BELOW: Video of 38-year-old James Boyd being shot and killed by Albuquerque police. Please be advised this is graphic content and is not suitable for all viewers.
An international Internet activist group, Anonymous, also posted threats of a cyberattack against the city, calling officers militarized thugs. City attorney Rob Perry said officials were taking the threat very seriously.
In the shooting of the camper, authorities said James Boyd, 38, died after officers fired stun guns, bean bags and six live rounds. Police said Boyd had threatened to kill officers and held onto knives as an unarmed K-9 officer approached him.
But a helmet camera video showed Boyd gathering his belongings then turning away right before officers fired. The shooting followed a long standoff during which Boyd claimed he was a federal government agent.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King announced Wednesday his office has launched an investigation into both of the fatal shootings this month to provide “an objective unbiased external assessment.”
The U.S. Department of Justice has also been investigating the embattled department for more than a year, and Mayor Richard Berry asked Justice Department officials to add the Boyd shooting to its ongoing probe.
© The Canadian Press, 2014