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November 19 – Los Lunas, New Mexico – a young man is driving home for Thanksgiving. He is shot dead by New Mexico State Police. There is hardly any press coverage, and it seems the family still don’t know what happened.
According to Searchlight New Mexico, Rodney Applewhite, 25, was driving through New Mexico late last week on his way to Arizona to spend Thanksgiving with his mother and other family members.
Just outside of Los Lunas, on the last leg of a trip that started in South Bend, Indiana, a New Mexico State Police officer attempted to pull Applewhite over for what was described as a traffic stop. It was 8:32 a.m., a NMSP press release said. About 10 minutes later, two state troopers tried to arrest Applewhite. When an altercation occurred with the first officer, the second officer shot Applewhite, firing “at least one round,” the NMSP said. Applewhite, unarmed, died that day in the hospital.
“I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. I’m heartbroken,” Applewhite’s mother, Katrina Cox, said by phone. “Why is it always shoot to kill? Because he’s tall and he’s a black man?”
Cox said she did not find out about her son’s death until nine hours after the Nov. 19 incident.
At that point, Applewhite was overdue to arrive in Phoenix, and they were worried that he hadn’t answered their calls. When his aunt saw an online news report about a shooting on a New Mexico highway, she sent it to his sister and his mom.
Leader Publications quote the police as saying Applewhite left a traffic stop (they don’t say why he was stopped). ““’During the altercation, the male suspect grabbed one of the officer’s firearm,” according to New Mexico State Police. “At that point, the other State Police officer fired at least one round from his department issued sidearm, striking the male suspect.’”
We would like One Pulse for America members to contact New Mexico State Police and demand that the bodycam footage is released in its entirety. Ask them why he was stopped in the first place.
Please contact New Mexico State Police through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:
I want to find out what happened to Rodney Applewhite, who was shot dead after a traffic stop on 19 November. Why was he stopped in the first place? I understand he was unarmed; I read your claim that he grabbed a gun off of a state police officer: are your officers readily disarmed? Why was the weapon out of its holster? The many questions Mr Applewhite’s family and friends have – and that the public have – are not being answered. The bodycam footage must be released in its entirety now.
I hope to see this death the subject of a full, independent investigation. I have to wonder whether race played a place in this killing, and without the footage, it is impossible to know how this man lost his life. I expect the footage released and I expect your reply.
Phone: (505) 841-9256
Email (form): https://sharenm.org/new-mexico-state-police/new-mexico-state-police-dispatch
Suggested tweet: @NMStatePolice What happened to Rodney Applewhite? Why did you stop him? Why did you shoot him? Where is the bodycam footage supporting claim he was ‘resisting’ and had to be executed? Why haven’t you told the family everything? What is going on? @FBI cd this be another 4 u?
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