FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – The Farmington Police Department officers involved in a shooting that killed a man earlier this month have put out a statement defending their actions. Robert Dotson’s family held a press conference Thursday, calling out the department for what they claim was an unjustified shooting. The family is demanding that the officers be charged with 2nd-degree murder, Farmington Police Department Chief Steve Hebbe resign, and city council investigate the number of excessive complaints against the department.
In a statement released through the officers’ law firm Friday, attorney Luis Robles defended the actions of officers Waylon Wasson, Daniel Estrada, and Dylan Goodluck. While Robles, in part, acknowledges the officers responded to the wrong address, he says the officers “walked up to a house” “that they believe to be” the correct address they were dispatched to. Robles wrote, “The porch light was on” and that “anyone inside of the home could have used the doorbell camera to find out that there were police officers outside.”
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In the two page statement, Robles also said that officers became increasingly concerned when no one answered the door. As the officers were verifying the address with dispatch, Robles says the officers “heard the distinctive sound of someone inside the house rack a firearm.”
According to Robles, that’s when the officers backed away, saying Dotson pointed a gun at one of the officers. Robles says the officers had no choice but to fire at Dotson who died from his injuries. He also claims that when Dotson’s wife shot at one of the officers, the officers “had no choice but to return fire.” In all, Robles says he believes the officers were justified in the shooting because they did not pose a threat.
In the news conference Thursday, the Dotson family attorney said that they were not aware of the police outside. “He’s blinded by the lights, and what you don’t hear is law enforcement, police, drop your weapon, there’s nothing,” Shon Northam, the attorney said.
New Mexico State Police are investigating the shooting.
The San Juan District Attorney’s Office released this statement Thursday on possible criminal charges:
“The Office of the District Attorney will wait until the New Mexico State Police completes the investigation into the incident so we can properly evaluate all of the facts.”
The Attorney General’s Office released this statement Thursday on possible criminal charges:
“We anticipate the case being sent to us when the local DA completes their investigation.”