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Las Cruces police officer pleads not guilty to voluntary manslaughter

Update (December 18, 2023): Lunsford plead not guilty at a hearing today.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- Las Cruces Police Officer Brad Lunsford is accused of voluntary manslaughter with a firearm in the August 2022 death of Presley Eze.

According to court officials, Officer Lunsford forcibly removed Eze from a car in order to detain him. They started struggling and at some point Eze got hold of another officer's taser, according to officials. Eze never deployed the taser, court officials say. Officer Lunsford is accused of grabbing his gun and shooting Eze in the back, the side of his head, and another time at point blank range.

"It is our duty to ensure that law enforcement officers are held to the highest standards, that their actions are transparently examined, and that any misconduct is addressed with the utmost seriousness," New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez stated in a news release sent out Thursday. "This is not only an essential step in maintaining public trust but also a fundamental part of promoting safety, fairness, and the well-being of our community. We will continue to work tirelessly to foster a society where the rule of law is applied equally and without prejudice."

Torrez charged Officer Lunsford with voluntary manslaughter with a firearm in October.

ABC-7 reported on Eze's death when it happened, and continued to report on the investigation into his death, including when LCPD release body camera footage of the shooting.

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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