New Mexico Attorney General Charges Police Officer in Fatal Shooting of Black Man at Gas Station

This week, New Mexico Attorney General Ral Torrez announced that a police officer had been charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of a Black man at a petrol station last summer.

Brad Lunsford, a Las Cruces Police Department officer, was arrested on Tuesday. Torrez stated this during a press conference in Las Cruces. On August 2, 2022, Lunsford is accused of fatally shooting Presley C. Eze Jr. at a Las Cruces gas station.

According to the attorney general’s office, the officer shot Eze after a petrol station attendant called 911 to report that Eze had left the petrol station with a beer he did not pay for. Torrez claimed that Lunsford caused an unnecessary use of force.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, a second officer, Keegan Arbogast, was also present during the shooting but has not been charged.

“This was a tragedy that should not have occurred.” I want everyone to understand that when (Eze) died on the pavement outside that petrol station, he was not alone. “The initial call was for petty theft,” Torrez said, flanked by members of Eze’s family, family attorneys, and Bobbie Green, Director of the Doa Ana County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People.

Both officers were initially placed on paid administrative leave, according to Luis Robles, an Albuquerque-based attorney representing the city of Las Cruces in the case. However, the officers returned to duty after giving their statements to New Mexico State Police. Who was in charge of the Doa Ana County Officer Involved Task Force, which investigated the shooting? The task force is made up of officers from various county police departments.

According to Robles, Lunsford turned himself in on Tuesday, was processed, and then released. Following the charges announced on Tuesday, he will be placed back on paid administrative leave.

Presley Eze’s death, according to Torrez, is “a tragedy and serves as yet another example of poor police tactics that resulted in an unjustified use of force to subdue an individual resisting arrest for the commission of a minor crime.”

Leave a Comment