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Thursday, December 7, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Thursday, December 7, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Facebook Page Complicates Problems for Cop

ALBUQUERQUE (CN) - An Albuquerque police officer who killed a man by shooting him in the back listed his occupation on his Facebook page as "human waste disposal," the dead man's estate claims in Federal Court.

Officer Byron "Trey" Economidy III, a member of the police gang unit, shot Jacob Mitschelen to death in a shopping center parking lot at about 8 p.m. on Feb. 9, "with a .45 caliber handgun that defendant Economidy was not qualified to use," according to the complaint.

Krystal Bell sued Economidy and the City of Albuquerque, as personal representative of the late Mitschelen.

Bell says Economidy stopped a car in the shopping center parking lot, and that "Mr. Mitschelen exited the vehicle, traveled a short distance, then fell to the ground.

"After Mr. Mitschelen's fall, defendant Economidy shot him in the back with a .45 caliber handgun that defendant Economidy was not qualified to use."

Mitschelen died "a short time later" and "Economidy was not injured during the incident," according to the complaint.

The complaint adds: "At the time of the shooting, defendant Economidy listed his occupation on his Facebook page as 'human waste disposal.'"

Bell says Economidy's use of lethal force was "excessive, objectively unreasonable and unnecessary to effect the seizure of Mr. Mitschelen, and ... did not serve any legitimate law-enforcement objective under the circumstances."

She adds: "Defendant Economidy's actions were intentional, willful, wanton, obdurate, and in gross and reckless disregard of Mr. Mitschelen's rights, as evinced by defendant Economidy's statement describing his occupation as 'human waste disposal.'"

Bell seeks damages for wrongful death, excessive force, and civil rights and constitutional violations.

She is represented by Paul Kennedy with Kennedy & Han.

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