Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Officer Won't Be Charged in Death

Wednesday, March 21, 2007
By T.J. Wilham
Journal Staff Writer

A 12-member grand jury decided this week not to indict an Albuquerque police officer whose speeding patrol car struck and killed a grandmother in May.
Family members of 73-year-old Flora Aragon said Tuesday they are angry at the justice system and feel that officer Zachariah Floyd should be charged with something.
"We don't think it is right. We don't think it is fair," said Aragon's granddaughter Denise Baker. "Police officers can do whatever they want. They pretty much own our streets. If it was you or I, we would be sitting in front of a judge right now being sentenced."
On May 21, officer Floyd, 23, was responding to a domestic violence call in which a man was trying to remove a child from a home just after midnight near 53rd and Central. On the way, his car hit a block wall and went into a yard where Aragon was outside chatting with family members. The car pinned Aragon against a picnic table, killing her.
Floyd was trying to pass a truck on a two-lane street when the vehicle turned in front of him, causing the officer to swerve and lose control.
During a six-month internal affairs investigation, police determined that Floyd was driving his cruiser 43 mph in a 25-mph zone.
In January, police Chief Ray Schultz suspended Floyd for three weeks without pay for speeding and making a dangerous pass.
Deputy District Attorney Gary Cade said his office presented to the grand jury witnesses who saw what happened, and who were not police officers.
He also noted that a multi-jurisdictional team investigated the crash and rendered its findings to the grand jury.
"We presented information about what happened, and we did not attempt to shade it one way or the other," Cade said. "We presented information from almost all of the witnesses, and the grand jury made its decision and we respect that."

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