Fatal Mistake: Innocent Man Shot 12 Times in Botched Police Operation

Three police officers in Farmington last year murdered a man after going to the wrong house; the New Mexico Department of Justice has opted not to prosecute them. Around 11:30 p.m. on April 5, 52-year-old Robert Dotson was shot 12 times in his doorway when he opened it while carrying a firearm, according to CBS News. Officers attempted to hit his wife with 19 more rounds, but they were unsuccessful. 

In a statement outlining the decision not to pursue charges, Deputy Attorney General Greer E. Staley said that the cops "did not use excessive force under the circumstances." In response to a report of domestic violence at 5308 Valley View Avenue, the cops murdered Dotson at 5305 Valley View Avenue.

The officers' approach to the residence "was reasonable, proper, and consistent with commonly known police tactics," according to Staley, despite the fact that they were using the incorrect address." According to the Washington Post, the family claimed in a complaint filed last year that the cops did not knock loudly and that their declaration that they were police officers "could not be heard and was not heard upstairs." 

Dotson "had no clue who was in his yard beaming bright lights at him" and was "blinded by police spotlights" when he reached for a revolver for self-defense, according to the lawsuit. According to the complaint, Kimberley Dotson shot at the persons outside after seeing her husband "laying in his blood in the doorway," but she stopped when she realized she was firing at police officers.

Following the incident, all three policemen retained their jobs and went back to work, according to ABC News. According to Staley's letter, "The New Mexico Department of Justice considers this case concluded." But we just looked at possible criminal responsibility; we did not look at any possible disciplinary or civil liability problems. Attorney Mark Curnutt representing the Dotson family tells the Post that his clients are "not especially shocked by the ruling." The family is "devastated." 

He claims that before deciding not to press charges, the AG's office did not speak with the family or conduct its own independent investigation. He claims that "nothing can bring Robert back to his family." "And it seems like there will not be any action taken to hold these policemen responsible."


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