Bodycam footage shows the moment a police officer shot and killed a grandmother with dementia inside her home

·2-min read
A police officer points a gun at Amelia Baca
Bodycam footage shows a police officer pointing a gun at Amelia Baca, 75, before shooting her.Las Cruces Police Department
  • Amelia Baca, 75, was fatally shot by a New Mexico police officer on April 16.

  • Bodycam footage shows the moment Baca, who was holding kitchen knives, was shot and killed.

  • Baca suffered from dementia, according to her family members.

A New Mexico police officer shot and killed a 75-year-old woman with dementia in the doorway of her home on April 16.

Almost a month later, the police department released disturbing bodycam footage showing the moment Amelia Baca was killed.

In the 11-minute bodycam footage from the Las Cruces Police Department (LCPD), which Las Cruces Sun-News published, Baca can be seen holding two large kitchen knives. A police officer can be heard yelling at Baca, who only spoke Spanish, to drop them.

In the footage, she appeared to move both knives into one hand before taking a step forward. The officer then shot at her twice, the partially blurred video shows.

The officer's identity has not been made public.

The officer was dispatched after one of Baca's daughters called 911, saying that her mother had become aggressive and was threatening to kill her, the Las Cruces Sun News reported.

The daughter had advised the dispatcher that her mother had dementia, the local media outlet said.

Family members have since confirmed that Baca lived with dementia — a general term for a group of symptoms that include problems with memory, thinking or language, and changes in mood and behavior.

Shortly after the killing, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico called for an investigation into the LCPD over the shooting.

The incident is now being investigated by Doña Ana County Officer-Involved Incident Task Force, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News. The task force includes the New Mexico State Police, the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office, the New Mexico State University Police Department, and the Las Cruces Police Department, the local media outlet reported.

Baca's family demanded during a news conference on Thursday that the district attorney should charge the police officer involved with her murder.

The family also announced that it plans on filing two civil lawsuits against the City of Las Cruces and its police department, according to the Las-Cruces Sun News.

"Let me be blunt. Amelia Baca was executed by the Las Cruces Police Department," the family's attorney, Sam Bregman, told reporters at the conference.

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