Shocking Bodycam Footage Reveals Fatal Encounter: New Mexico Police Officer Charged with Murder

A routine traffic stop in Las Cruces, New Mexico, took a deadly turn as bodycam footage revealed a police officer’s fatal encounter with a grandmother. Officer Felipe Hernandez now faces charges of second-degree murder with a firearm enhancement in the tragic death of Teresa Gomez.

The incident, which occurred on October 3, unfolded in the early hours of the morning. Hernandez pulled over Gomez, accompanied by her passenger, Jesus Garcia, whom the officer recognized as a frequent trespasser. The encounter quickly escalated as Hernandez questioned Gomez about trespassing allegations, which she vehemently denied.

The nine-minute-long bodycam video captured the tense exchange between Hernandez and Gomez. The officer’s aggressive demeanor and use of profanity were evident from the start. As tensions rose, Hernandez threatened to make Gomez’s life a living hell, displaying a complete lack of professionalism and disregard for protocol.

Despite Gomez complying with Hernandez’s demands, the situation took a tragic turn when she attempted to drive away with the car door still open. In response, Hernandez fired at least three rounds, yelling for her to stop. The car came to a halt a few feet away, leaving Gomez screaming in agony.

District Attorney Gerald Byers stated that there was no necessity for Hernandez to use deadly force, emphasizing that the officer was never in the “zone of danger.” The video evidence clearly showed that Gomez did not pose a threat to Hernandez or anyone else. Byers also highlighted the officer’s subpar interactions and failure to meet the standards expected of Las Cruces Police Department officers.

Hernandez had been involved in previous use-of-force incidents, but this was the first time he had taken a life. The tragic encounter has prompted Gomez’s family to file a federal wrongful-death lawsuit against the city and police, alleging excessive force and violation of her civil rights.

The Las Cruces Police Department’s lack of internal oversight and supervision has come under scrutiny, with accusations of fostering a culture of aggression and promoting the unlawful use of deadly force. The department’s interim police chief, Jeremy Story, acknowledged the concerns and pledged to critically evaluate training, policy, and equipment following the incident.

For Gomez’s family, the loss of their loved one has been devastating. The video footage, capturing the officer’s disrespectful treatment of Gomez, has only added to their pain. They struggle to comprehend how a routine traffic stop escalated to such a tragic outcome.

As the case unfolds, the community awaits justice for Teresa Gomez, hoping that this incident will serve as a catalyst for change within the Las Cruces Police Department. The shocking bodycam footage has shed light on the need for accountability and reform, ensuring that no other lives are needlessly lost at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve.

Author: CrimeDoor

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