Crisis Negotiator Testifies In APD Officers’ Trial

Former Albuquerque Police Detectives Keith Sandy, left, and Officer Dominique Perez speak with attorneys during a preliminary hearing Russell Contreras / Associated Press

Former Albuquerque Police Detectives Keith Sandy, left, and Officer Dominique Perez speak with attorneys during a preliminary hearing
Russell Contreras / Associated Press

  • Marisa Demarco
  • Friday, September 29, 2016

Most of the testimony on Tuesday, Sept. 27, during the trial of the former Albuquerque police officers who shot James Boyd came from an APD officer who was trained to talk to people with mental illnesses.

Officer Mikal Monette spent a lot of time talking to Boyd, who had a mental illness, before things went south on that day in 2014. Monette had a reputation for being the go-to officer for crisis intervention, he said, and he’d de-escalated hundreds of situations. He told the court he’d never encountered a person he couldn’t talk down.

“While I was talking with him, it would kind of go up and down,” Monette testified. “There would be times where I’d be able to get him to calm down, have a conversation, talk about things. And then other times he would get up and get a little more agitated, just angry for really no apparent reason.”

Monette said he made some headway with Boyd, and managed to talk him out of putting his hands in his pockets. That had put officers on high alert.

After more than an hour, Monette was pulled off the hill and out of his conversation with Boyd. Tactical officers, including defendants Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez, moved in. From a distance, Monette heard the flash-bang that was lobbed at Boyd and then the shots that killed him.

Sandy and Perez are facing second-degree murder charges.

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