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Albuquerque Cop Who Killed Homeless Man Will Retire With Full Benefits

Published: November 25, 2014
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Source: Joshua Krause



Last March, the killing of James Boyd by the Albuquerque Police Department shocked the nation. The public got to see with their very own eyes, how callous and vicious some police officers can be. Boyd, who was widely known as a schizophrenic, had been camping out in the foothills of Albuquerque, New Mexico (doing nothing and bothering nobody) when he was approached by several heavily armed members of the local police department.

What ensued was one of the most despicable displays of police violence in recent history, but has since been overshadowed by the controversial shooting of Michael Brown. After a long standoff with police, during which Boyd was armed with a small camping knife, video showed the police gunning down the homeless man. The footage of the event appeared to show Boyd surrendering before the police shot him in the back.

Six months after the shooting, an audio recording of officer Keith Sandy was released to the public. Sandy, who was one of the shooters responsible for the death of James Boyd, was heard joking about killing the man 2 hours before the event took place. The recording reads “For this fucking lunatic?  I’m going to shoot him in the penis with a shotgun here in a second.” Since then the Albuquerque Police Department has claimed that the public is misinterpreting the audio clip, and that Officer Sandy actually said he was going to shoot him with a taser.

Whatever the case may be, Officer Sandy has decided to retire early from the police force, and will be receiving his pension fully intact.
Now, Sandy is retiring early, getting his pension, and dodging an internal investigation. He will be paid 70% of his normal pay for the rest of his life. Boyd’s life is over.
Officer Keith Sandy is probably used to investigations by now. After all, he was fired by the New Mexico State Police amid fraud allegations, but there were no criminal charges. Seems he left that job just in the nick of time, too. Then he was hired by the Albuquerque Police Department who told the public he wouldn’t have a badge or gun and that he would just be a civilian employee.
That was a lie. Sandy wound up with his finger on the trigger when he was placed on the Repeat Offender Project (ROP), a unit so violent it used a noose as its logo. To be clear, this is the same ROP team that the U.S. Department of Justice shut down because its officers were trigger happy. The Department of Justice put the Albuquerque Police Department in its crosshairs because the department kills more people per capita than any other place in the nation.

Sandy will have to work with internal affairs until his retirement is finalized on December 1st, but after that date he will most likely be in the clear. It’s doubtful that he will be charged with anything between now and next week.

So not only was Officer Sandy fired for fraud during his employ with the state police, but he was immediately rehired by the Albuquerque Police Department. While employed by them, he jokes about, and then finally kills a mentally ill homeless man, and there won’t be so much as an investigation over the whole affair. The details surrounding his pension are equally despicable.
Sandy’s retirement is in the nick of time on two fronts.
News 13 has learned Sandy had accrued just shy of 19 years service credit from his time with both NMSP and APD. Under his pension plan, he’s allowed to buy up to a year of “airtime” that adds to that service time. That allows Sandy to get to a magic number, 20 years of service credit.
After 20 years of service, APD officers can retire and get about 70 percent of their pay in an annual pension. A year less, and Sandy would have to wait until he’s 61 to start collecting that money, likely costing him at least a million dollars.
News 13 has also learned Sandy had recently been ordered to sit down with internal affairs investigators. Retiring allows him to avoid that interview.
Sandy will also get any unused sick and vacation time paid out, although an APD spokesperson did not provide News 13 with that information when asked Tuesday afternoon.
This is what our tax dollars pay for. We get to sit and watch known murderers retire in comfort on our dime.  It’s like we’re living some kind of third world nightmare. A world where the homeless are discarded and authority figures live the high life for their crimes. Real justice and fairness has been eradicated from our society; displaced by gun toting thugs that act with impunity.

What will it take to bring it back?

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