- Associated Press - Monday, April 14, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Mourners paid their respects Sunday for a homeless camper who was shot and killed by Albuquerque police in a confrontation that sparked protests and renewed calls for reform.

Around 70 people attended the memorial for James Boyd at St. Martin’s Hospitality Center in Albuquerque.

The 38-year-old Boyd, who suffered from schizophrenia, was fatally shot by Albuquerque officers March 16 following a long standoff in the Sandia foothills. A helmet camera video of the shooting showed Boyd gathering his belongings before officers opened fire.

“We can no longer walk by people with mental illness and pretend we don’t see their faces,” the Rev. Rusty Smith, the executive director of St. Martin’s, said during the memorial. “James is the face.”

Last week, a U.S. Justice Department report blasted Albuquerque police over what the agency said was a pattern of excessive force. Federal officials criticized the Albuquerque police department’s policies on use of force against those with mental illnesses.

Boyd had a long history of police encounters and had been in and out of jails and hospitals.

His mother, Barbara Jones, and brother, Andrew Jones, both of Oregon, attended Sunday’s service, but declined to comment to reporters.

Andrew Jones, however, spoke briefly at the service. He said his brother cared about other people.

“He was never forgotten,” Andrew Jones said. “He was always loved.”

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