Nearly a month after the deadly incident where a 75-year-old grandmother from Las Cruces was shot and killed while holding knives, officials have released the body cam footage.
The woman, identified as Amelia Baca, was suffering from dementia and had become agitated at others in the home when they called the police for help on April 16.
Officer Told Baca to Drop the Knife But She Did Not Speak English
When an officer arrived at the scene, he found Baca holding two large kitchen knives. The officer told the elderly woman repeatedly to drop the knives and then discharged his firearm twice when she took a step towards him, killing her. However, Baca spoke only Spanish, her granddaughter later told investigators. The officer who shot Baca spoke to her in English.
The City of Las Cruces released the 11-minute body camera footage on Tuesday as part of a public records request. The city had produced a narrative video that included portions of a 911 call and still images from the body camera. The full video is blurred at certain parts by LCPD as part of the redaction of a public record. The city said that it was redacted because the officer is accused but not charged with a crime.
'Please Be Very Careful with Her'
The body camera footage starts off with the officer driving his unit, parking and then approaching the house. As he nears the front door, the officer motions for two women â Baca's daughter and grandmother â to leave the house. The granddaughter, Albitar Inoh, tells the officer, "please be very careful with her," as she passes by him.
According to a police-produced narrative video, another one of Baca's daughters was inside the home and called 911. The narrative includes portions of the 911 call. "I really need an officer or an ambulance or someone because my mother is getting really aggressive," the daughter who was inside the home said. "I'm hiding in a room because she's threatening to kill me."
The daughter advised the dispatcher that her 75-year-old mom suffers from dementia. Later in the call, the daughter said her mom has a knife. When the dispatcher asked what Baca was doing with the knife, the daughter said Baca was "stabbing the floor."
In the narrative, police said the daughter said she was hiding in a bedroom with her husband and a child and that another daughter was in the home.
'Drop the Knives'
As soon as Inoh and her mother pass the officer, he pulls out his gun and points it at Baca, who is seen standing inside the doorwayof the home. She is also seen holding a large kitchen knife in each hand.
Inoh and her mother are heard trying to communicate with Baca and the officer about her mental illness. The officer tells the women to his side repeatedly to "back up." His gun remains pointed at Baca, who responds to the officer in Spanish.
The officer yells, "set it down" twice, then "drop the knives" nine times, then "put them on the ground" twice and "put it down" three times. Baca moves both knives to her right hand at one point and then takes a step back. She takes at least one step forward before the officer pulls the trigger twice, killing Baca.
'Did You Shoot my Mom?'
After Baca drops to the ground, a second officer drags her out of the home onto the patio. The first officer is then approached by Baca who confronts him for shooting her grandmother.
"Did you shoot my mom? Did you shoot my mom? Did you shoot my grandma?" Inoh asks the officer, who does not acknowledge Inoh and returns to his unit.
The police-produced narrative video states that the officer who killed Baca has been on the force for nine years. The voiceover said that the officer has 70 hours of crisis intervention training. The officer's identity has not been revealed. Watch the bodycam footage below: