In New Mexico, a Las Cruces police officer has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death of a man after a traffic stop in February. The officer, Christopher Smelser, remains free on bail. He is accused of killing Antonio Valenzuela by placing him in a neck restraint. Smelser is heard on a newly released lapel video telling Valenzuela, “I’m going to [expletive] choke you out, bro.” Even after Valenzuela lost consciousness, the video shows Smelser made no attempt to help him. Instead he is heard describing his encounter with Valenzuela as a “good little fight.” Antonio Valenzuela was a father of four who worked as a painter. According to The Washington Post, Las Cruces, New Mexico, had the highest rate of police killings of any city in the country between 2015 and 2019.
New Mexico Officer Charged with Killing Man in Neck Restraint During Traffic Stop
HeadlineJun 09, 2020