Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Las Cruces Mayor, Attorney of shooting victim react to multi-million dollar settlement

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — The City of Las Cruces has agreed to pay the family of Amelia Baca 2.75 million dollars.

It’s part of a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit at the state level.

Back in April, 75-year-old Baca was shot and killed by a Las Cruces police officer.

The Baca family called the police after she was threatening family members. Body-camera footage that was released by the City of Las Cruces showed the moment the officer arrived at the home. In that video, you can also hear one of the granddaughters telling officers she was mentally ill, and moments later, Baca is seen holding two knives in her hands.

The officer shot Baca multiple times after not complying with the officer’s commands.

As a result, the family south of the city. The family’s attorney, Sam Bregman, says the legal fight is not over. While Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima says, the settlement doesn’t mean the city acknowledges any wrongdoing.

“The entire family is grieving, nothing is going to bring back their mother, their grandmother – but I think is a good first step for the city of Las Cruces to recognize that they have to clean up their police department when it comes to excessive force ,” said Bregman.

“This is obviously when someone loses life in this case, Ms. Baca, that is always a tough issue to deal with. Their attorneys came up with this number, that’s what they needed to get, and we felt we needed to do that. And I needed to mention that by no means this show any negligence on half of the city,” said Mayor Miyagishima

Bregman says he has filed a separate lawsuit at the federal level and says he hopes it will lead to a jury trial.

Previously – Bregman reached a separate $6.5 million settlement after a former LCPD officer used a controversial choke hold technique on Antonio Valenzuela in 2020.

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