ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico is deeply saddened by yet another fatal officer involved shooting. This time, a Farmington man lost his life at the hands of local police late Wednesday night. The organization is calling for a transparent and thorough investigation of the incident and for the officers involved to be held accountable.
Multiple New Mexico news sources reported yesterday that in response to a domestic violence call, officers from the Farmington Police Department went to the wrong house and fatally shot homeowner Robert Dotson, 52,who answered the door while holding a gun. According to The New York Times, the police did not respond to the actual domestic violence call until hours later.
The following can be attributed to ACLU-NM Senior Policy Strategist Barron Jones.
“New Mexicans deserve to trust that calling a police officer will help make a situation safer – not cause it to end in tragedy. It is deplorable that the Farmington Police Department not only failed to show up to the right house when someone called for help, but also fatally shot an innocent man in the process. While we don’t know the full details of this incident, we do know that police in New Mexico kill too many of our neighbors. There needs to be an independent and thorough investigation of the incident, and the Farmington Police Department and the officers involved must be held accountable.
“This tragic death and others like it make clear the urgent need for statewide police reform. We know that commonsense policies like requiring de-escalation and a high standard for when to use force keep all of us safer. Despite New Mexico having one of the highest, if not the highest, per capita rate of killings by police in the nation, robust legislation addressing police use of force did not pass this year. It doesn’t have to be this way. The ACLU and our partners will keep fighting to fix our broken policing system until police interactions across the state are safer for everyone, including police officers.”