Former Albuquerque officer, accused of excessive force, to stand trial


A former Albuquerque Police Officer is expected to stand trial this week after he’s accused of using force against a man with disabilities.  

Kenneth Skeens, 29, was one of three officers who approached a man trying to buy a bike at a self-checkout counter at an Albuquerque Target on Coors. The man seemed to be struggling at the counter when things escalated. 

In the video, Skeens can be heard saying: “Hi sir, Albuquerque Police. Go ahead and grab all your money. Let’s walk out, ok?” 

The incident happened back in August 2022. The man with disabilities was trying to buy a bike but was taking some time pulling cash out of a pouch when officers approached. 

Skeens tells the man: “Take your money out. You’re coming with us now, ok?”

That’s when the man tries explaining he’s struggling, saying: “It just took me a little while.”

However, Skeens tells the man: “Took too long. Go ahead and pick your money up.” 

A few moments later Skeens tells the individual they’ll be charged with criminal trespassing. That’s when things escalate, and officers escort the man out of the store. 

The incident led to New Mexico’s Attorney General filing criminal charges against the former officer, accusing Skeens of restraining the individual against their will. Paperwork submitted to the district court, the AG’s office accused Skeens of knowing he did not have the authority to legally detain the individual. 

“I think it’s just outrageous that a police officer who should be in a position to try and help someone who is clearly struggling and is clearly dealing with some challenges, you know, as a customer in that store, would end up in a position really abusing their power, and using, you know, just really excessive force,” said Raul Torrez, New Mexico Attorney General.  Last August, Skeens went before a judge and pleaded not guilty in the case. Skeens is facing charges of false imprisonment, battery, perjury, and making a false report about the incident. He was fired from APD. 

Skeens was also involved in the deadly shooting of Keshawn Thomas at a Westside gas station also in August of 2022. His family has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against APD. 


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