Opinion: The Attorney General's Office Will Review the Fatal Chaves County Shooting

Daniella Cressman

Some time ago, an unarmed man by the name of David Aguilera, who worked in the oil field and had several children with his longtime girlfriend, was shot and killed by the police.

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Scott Rodgerson

"David Aguilera, who worked in the oil fields and had several children with his longtime girlfriend, was shot a couple blocks from his home outside Lake Arthur, south of Roswell, on March 27. The 34-year-old died at the scene." —Elise Kaplan

He may very well have been innocent, even though he was acting erratically, although this was arguably in self-defense.

Now, the state Attorney General's Office will review the case.

"The state Attorney General’s Office announced Friday it will review the case where two Chaves County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed an unarmed man who had gotten into the driver’s seat of a cruiser and was behaving erratically." —Elise Kaplan

No one is above the law, according to District Attorney Dianna Luce.

“Nobody is above the law and we are confident that this will be fully evaluated at the Attorney General’s office,” Dianna Luce

Unfortunately, quite a few law enforcement officers have been prosecuted for their behavior.

"Jerri Mares, a spokeswoman for the AG, said since 2015 the office has prosecuted six law enforcement officers — including correctional officers — for homicide, assault and other criminal acts. Two of those officers were convicted and have been sentenced and four others are pending trial. The office is still in the process of reviewing the case of a woman who was shot by Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputies in July 2019 and has provided assistance in eight other cases." —Elise Kaplan

Jerri Mares, a spokeswoman for the AG, said the following:

"The AG’s office is the smallest prosecutorial office in the state, with only nine prosecutors conducting over 700 prosecutions annually, and the Legislature has not provided primary or concurrent jurisdiction and no specific funding for our office to prosecute such complex, costly, and expert-intensive cases...However, we have always sought to assist the local district attorneys by offering numerous resources in the form of victim advocacy, funds for expert witnesses, and general prosecutorial assistance, including our own office caseload of officer misconduct cases." —Jerri Mares

It seems to me that there is a strong chance this man was innocent: he did not deserve to die.

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