Media Contact

January 31, 2024

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico says the killing of Robert Dotson, 52, in April of 2023 by Farmington police – and the many other deaths at the hands of the police – demonstrate the need for statewide police reform. Multiple news sources reported today that the New Mexico Department of Justice has declined to press charges against Farmington Police officers for shooting and killing Dotson. 

In response to a domestic violence call on April 5, 2023, officers from the Farmington Police Department went to the wrong house and fatally shot homeowner Dotson 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 of New Mexico Investigation and Research Manager Barron Jones.  

“New Mexicans should be able to trust that New Mexico law enforcement officials will do all they can to ensure their interactions with members of the public don’t end in a tragedy. Mr. Dotson is not the first case of senseless death at the hands of police officers in our state. We hope law enforcement officials use this tragic event as a teaching moment and exercise due diligence when responding to calls and require de-escalation and rigorous use force standards. New Mexico has one of the highest per capita rate of killings by police in the nation. 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.