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N.M. Judge Says Police Owe Family $6M After Shooting

 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --

A judge ruled that Albuquerque police must pay the family of the man killed in a fatal officer-shooting $6 million.

The shooting happened in February 2009. Even though a grand jury ruled Andrew Lopez’s shooting justified by police, Tuesday’s civil ruling from Judge Therese Baca said the death should have never happened.

Baca said that Officer Justin Montgomery’s actions were excessive and unreasonable, and called his account of the night filled with holes and inconsistencies.

“He was unarmed, and he was shot laying down when the officer fired the shot that killed him,” family attorney Mark Fine said.

Fine said that he drove home the point that shooting Lopez four times was excessive. Baca agreed, saying that Albuquerque police training isn’t reasonable enough.

“I do believe there is a trend too much in the way of deadly force,” Fine said.

The city issued statement that read, “We are disappointed and could not disagree more with the judge’s statements regarding the nature and intent of our training.”

Albuquerque police said they’re working to better train officer when it’s OK to use deadly force.

The decision said Lopez’s conduct played some role in his own death. Because settlements like this are capped, the most the Lopez family will receive is $400,000.

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