Should this Officer Be Charged with Murder? Legal Breakdown

@Cops&Cons legal expert Daniel breaks down the shooting of Ameila Baca in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Ms. Baca was a 75-year-old woman who suffered from dementia and her family called 911 because she was threatening to kill them.

A Las Cruces Police officer arrived on scene to a chaotic situation and fired two shots from his duty weapon. Baca was killed.

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Author: rafael.nieves


20 thoughts on “Should this Officer Be Charged with Murder? Legal Breakdown

  1. Police aren't trained to handle dementia patients. What I mean by that is he went with the book training; he sees a weapon, so he draws his firearm. However, he doesn't shoot right away but tries to gain compliance. Now, you can argue all day weather the tactic of intimidation over de-escalation was the most effective route but since he's dealing with a dementia patient, it's more than likely neither would be effective. So what other options were there? You might say warning shots but those are never authorized. Shot to the extremity may seem like a more viable option but not necessarily safer. Potentially survivable wounds like that were one of the leading causes of death in the early years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Should the officers have just tried to wait her out? Why not? He has her attention, she's at gunpoint, not really capable of fast or sudden movements. On top of that, we can look back to June 2011 when Miami SWAT had a four-hour standoff outside an empty home. Nobody lost their job or was demoted over it.
    The overall lesson: don't call the police for a person with a mental order. If they can't comprehend what's going on, they won't be able to comply, they will get shot.

  2. Of course he should be charged with murder, that is what he did! Psychopaths prefer killing that was his intention when he heard that she had a knife. He rushed to the scene to be sure he was the one that had this kill! He was in no danger she put both knifes in one hand and was fixing to put them down! He did not want that he wanted to kill!!!

  3. This is so sad a person who has no clue to what there doing. Call police and want help. You have to plan for that person to be violent not by choice. And make a plan together as officers see if you can tase or grab the person. But your last option would be to kill a person. Why doesn’t he have his taser. Use some common sense. This was absolutely unnecessary!

  4. Had the family members gotten the F out of the way, officer two could have gone less lethal. Officer one had no method of egress. And based on assumed information, there is still a child in the house. Ugly? Yes. Sad? Yes. Unfortunate? Yes. Complicated? Yes. Justified? Nearest I can tell, yes. I put it in the hands of the family members.

  5. what you see in many of these are officers who handle things in one way, they do not have situation awareness and understanding. while this is how you expect an officer to react to say a violent felon this is a 75-year-old woman with dementia. so many want to call events like this a training issue but truthfully do police really need to be trained in compassion and humanity for those dealing with emotional or mental issues? I would hope they come to the job with those character traits already instilled in them.

  6. Thank you Daniel, I hadn't seen this….
    Honestly I think it was severe use of force.
    If he was so hungry to shoot his weapon that day, shoot her in a leg or arm.
    Why shoot to kill?
    Did he know that there was kids inside the house?
    Did he know that the lady had dementia?
    Even I could of handle this situation way different.
    Believe me, that lady wouldn't be dead today.
    My personal opinion.

  7. Officers and Fire Department needs a training on how to deal with the Dementia or Mental illness…they should be aware right away if they have dementia or mental illness so that they know how to deal with them…but the way cops screaming at her and didn’t even give a chance at all instead of backing up and call for back up officers to help he just shoot her instead of thinking something else solution for the old lady…she was not even combative to the officer and she was talking to the officer but he didn’t listen not cool…Dementia ppl doesn’t remember anything much anymore it’s obvious but they have reason why they get mad and combative..instead they should talk to her nicely and get the knives right away or if not go out and ask neighbor for help not a cop…or let her calm down and go back then they won’t remember anymore…this is just my opinion…I’m a caregiver who works in memory care with dementia and Alzheimer’s residents…this is really hard specially if u don’t understand them…😔

  8. It’s crazy to see my hometown in cop watch. I watch this channel all the time and I always try to shed light and how dangerous it is to live here. We have a lot of cop killings here. Also a lot of corruption and one thing that has nothing to do with this but I like to shed awareness is that we have the most child sex offenders and it’s the worst place for a child to grow up in America. I live here and there’s good people here and I want to bring awareness to the world because people don’t even know New Mexico is a state in the United States. This happened the evening before my birthday too. This is how cops here treat mental illness. Cops here are as crooked as they get.

  9. Yeah, screaming “drop the knife” really de-escalates the situation, makes a demented person respond right away. I’ve got to wonder how these guys would handle an active shooter at an elementary school.

  10. The officer has 3 women shutting him in a funnel and they aren't backing up letting him get distance. Officers don't want to do things like this but when it IS necessary it SAVES LIVES. The family shouldn't get anything but relief that their mother/grandmother won't try to kill them again.

  11. 2 grown trained men cant take on a 75 year old woman with their batons or gas lol na we just shoot people's mothers in front of them karma will get these cops it always does mabe something will happen to there children or mothers

  12. He is an American police officer ofcourse nothing will happen to him your aloud to murder who ever you want in America as long as you have a badge George floyd Breanna Taylor they have been exposed for a long time now but they are the ones with guns and badges so they will never stop killing people's loved ones

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