Listen to this article Man Killed By New Mexico police After They Mistakenly Responded To The Wrong House During A Domestic Violence Call
Police authorities are investigating the fatal shooting of Robert Dotson, 52, by police officers in Farmington, New Mexico. The officers arrived at the wrong address while responding to a domestic violence call, resulting in the tragic incident. The incident occurred on Wednesday night at around 11:30 p.m.
Farmington Police Department officers received a call reporting a domestic violence incident and went to Dotson’s house on Valley View Avenue instead of the one across the street. Upon arriving, the officers mistakenly approached 5305 Valley View Avenue instead of 5308 Valley View Avenue.
Dotson was not the subject of the call and Police Chief Steve Hebbe expressed his condolences in a video statement on Facebook, saying, “I am just heartbroken. This ending is just unbelievably tragic. I’m extremely sorry that we’re in this position.”
After no one answered their knocks on the door, police officers asked the dispatch to call the person who reported the incident and ask them to come to the front door. At some point, Dotson opened the door of his home while armed with a handgun and at least one officer shot at least one round from their gun, striking and killing Dotson at the scene.
Dotson’s wife also exchanged gunfire with the officers, but she was not injured, authorities said. Once she realized that the individuals outside the residence were officers, she put the gun down and complied with the officer’s commands.
It’s unclear how many officers were at the scene at the time of the shooting or how many fired their guns. It’s also unclear whether Dotson fired at the officers at all before police shot and killed him. CNN has filed a public records request with the New Mexico State Police for the body camera footage. The video of the shooting is expected to be released within a week, according to Hebbe.
The shooting is currently under investigation by the New Mexico State Police. State police said that they have requested the agency’s Investigations Bureau to investigate the incident.
The killing of Dotson and other recent cases highlight the dangerous consequences that can result when police activity at the wrong address causes an armed innocent individual to confront authorities whom they may suspect to be criminals posing a threat.
Law enforcement officers receive training on the importance of verifying both the information leading them to a particular location and ensuring they are in the proper location when responding to calls for service or executing a planned arrest. They are expected to exercise due diligence in this regard.
Second Case of Wrong Location This Week
The incident occurred a day after a similar case of authorities targeting the wrong location. FBI and US Army tactical personnel conducting training exercises in Boston on Tuesday raided the wrong hotel room, detaining an innocent Delta Air Lines employee based on what authorities described as “inaccurate information.”
“The only way to replicate those challenges to operational security is to practice in real urban environments,” said CNN law enforcement analyst John Miller.
In addition to being embarrassing for departments and potentially deadly for police and innocent bystanders, targeting incorrect addresses has proven exceedingly expensive for taxpayers. In December 2021, the city council of Chicago approved a settlement of nearly $3 million for a nurse whose home was the target of a botched raid due to bad information from an informant.Police body camera video showed a naked and distraught Anjanette Young handcuffed and questioned by authorities as she tried to explain officers had the wrong address.Read more: Police Fatally Shoot Man In New Mexico After Responding To Wrong Address For Domestic Violence Call