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    US Declines Further Prosecution in Fatal Police Shooting After Mistrial

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    A civil rights investigation of two police officers in the US state of New Mexico who shot and killed a mentally ill homeless man has been dropped for lack of evidence, the US Department of Justice said in a press release on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Justice Department probe was limited to whether the two officers in violated federal civil rights laws in the 2014 shooting of James Boyd. The Justice Department said such violations require a "high legal standard" to prosecute.

    "After a careful and thorough review into the facts surrounding the shooting, federal investigators determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a violation of the federal statute," the release stated. "Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed."

    New Mexico paid $5 million to members of Boyd’s family to settle a lawsuit, but attempts by state officials to prosecute the two officers, Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez, under local laws ended in a mistrial, local media reported.

    Other media reports noted Black Lives Matter activists staged protests over Boyd's shooting, despite the incident lacking the racial overtones of other high-profile police killings of African-Americans. Unlike the victims in those cases, Boyd was white.

    The Justice Department release explained that the decision to close its investigation was not related to other aspects of the shooting, leaving it unclear whether state authorities would retry the officers.


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