Press Release From New Mexico Prison & Jail Project
Doña Ana County Detention Center corrections officer fires projectile rounds at a naked, unarmed man while he was showering
Vicente Sanchez was showering in his housing unit at the Doña Ana County jail when a corrections officer entered the unit to pass out shaving razors to inmates. Because he was in the shower, Vicente did not hear the officer’s instructions to return to his cell. In response, corrections officer Brady Kehres blasted Vicente with a “less-lethal” Kel-Tech shotgun, blowing a large hole in his leg.
“This is a textbook case of excessive use of force,” said Mallory Gagan, an attorney at the New Mexico Prison & Jail Project who represents Vicente. “Kehres’ own lapel video shows exactly how unnecessarily aggressive his response was. Other corrections officers on scene confirmed that Vicente didn’t present a threat of any kind to corrections officers or anyone else.”
When Kehres arrived in the housing unit with his shotgun, Vicente and another inmate were showering in separate stalls across from each other. Both were naked. Kehres immediately ran up to the shower stalls and fired a “warning shot” in the direction of both men while screaming at them to exit the shower. While Vicente attempted to cover himself up with a towel and exit the shower, Kehres fired two additional rounds directly at him, one of which resulted in a large wound on his leg that spurted blood on the floor of the housing unit.
The video from Kehres’ lapel camera is available here.
The New Mexico Prison & Jail Project has filed a new lawsuit in federal court (attached) asserting that by using excessive, unjustifiable force Kehres violated Vicente’s rights under the U.S. Constitution.