New Mexico’s A.G. Wants to Put Cop Who Defended Himself and His Partner from Armed Suspect in Prison

New Mexico’s A.G. Wants to Put Cop Who Defended Himself and His Partner from Armed Suspect in Prison

By Steve Pomper 

New Mexico A.G. Raul Torrez

* The fundraising site for Officer Brad Lunsford’s legal expenses is here

I always like to preface my articles about accusations of lawbreaking by cops. First, I research the incident giving the officer the benefit of the doubt. Then, I wait for that potential “Oh, I can’t help you there” moment, where something makes me unsure the officer did the right thing. If that had happened, I wouldn’t write about it. Not my job. There are plenty of cop-critics happy to do that.

Based on my initial analysis, I support Officer Brad Lunsford’s actions as lawful and necessary. I’m not saying every officer would have done the same thing. I am saying this officer’s actions were reasonable for any officer under similar circumstances.

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So, what happened on August 2nd, 2022, in a gas station parking lot in Las Cruces, New Mexico? According to the reporting at Police Law News (PLN) and watching the video, an employee called police to report that a man, eventually identified as Presley Eze, had come into a Chevron gas station convenience store, allegedly stole a beer, and walked out. Strike one.

The video shows the officer contacting the suspect sitting in the passenger side of a car. The officer returns to his patrol car to run a computer check on the name the suspect gave him. No information returned. Officer Lunsford returned a second time for ID information from Eze. Again, back at his patrol car, no computer information returned. Officers learn early in their careers that the suspect is probably lying because he’s wanted by police. In this case, Eze apparently had a non-extraditable warrant out of El Paso, Texas. Strike two.

The officer returns to the car, this time to remove the suspect from the vehicle, for further investigation, since they don’t know who they’re dealing with. Video shows Eze immediately physically resisting the officers’ lawful attempts to get him out of the car. Strike three.

As the resistance begins, this exchange takes place:

Officer Keegan Arbogast: “I don’t want you reaching for anything, Man.”

Eze: “I’m not reaching for anything.”

Officer Arbogast quickly grabs a knife from the seat between the Eze’s legs.

The video is distorted and blacks out at times, but they all end up on the pavement as Eze resists the officer’s attempts to arrest him. Once on the ground, viewers can see the suspect get control of an officer’s Taser. Holding it and in a position to fire at the officers, Officer Lunsford is forced to shoot him. I’ve read some claims the suspect also attempted to grab an officer’s gun, but I have not confirmed that.

At the time Officer Lunsford was forced to shoot the suspect, Eze was not unarmed. He was armed with an officer’s Taser. I will repeat this part—more than once.

How many times are we going to have to go through this crap? Again, officials second-guessing an officer and, worse, will possibly prosecute him for doing his job. For ten-year veteran Las Cruces, New Mexico Police Officer Brad Lunsford, that job included him and his partner making it home safely to their families that night.

When I asked Officer Lunsford’s wife, Lacy, what most she’d like people to know about this case that they don’t know? She said, “Most LEO families send their loved ones out the door every day, not knowing if they’ll see them alive again. Every single day, (even on days I was mad at him) I would walk him to his unit, kiss him and tell him I love him. Brad is a devoted family man; that day he was forced to do what he did to ensure he and Officer Arbogast made it home to their families.”

As you read about these harrowing events, ask yourself what reasonable alternative the officer had at that moment—not what you wish had happened and not the “superhero stuff” critics think they, themselves, would have done or the officer should have done. Officer Lunsford also wishes something else had happened—like the suspect cooperating.

And don’t imagine an outcome where the suspect, Taser in his hand, resisting the officers, is somehow overpowered (Eze was reportedly a big man. In one article I read, a person who knows him described him as a ‘gentle giant,’) the weapon is recovered, and everything ends up all cupcakes and lollipops. Remember, the suspect had the power to end this incident at any time before Officer Lunsford was compelled to use deadly force.

As it was, Officer Lunsford’s partner, Officer Keegan Arbogast, purportedly suffered a concussion while trying to take Eze into custody, which left him groggy during the scuffle and sent him to the hospital for medical treatment afterward.

This persecution has all the hallmarks that have become so common from the insidious nationwide anti-cop cabal led by people like billionaire Bond villain George Soros. These are people who don’t understand police work and don’t want to. And the biased media help them by making the suspect appear saintly while demonizing the officer.

Biased media reporting came up frequently while chatting with Lacy Lunsford, whom I have had the distinct pleasure of getting to know a little bit. She and Brad are salt-of-the-earth people who exist to serve each other, their children, and their community.

Yes, she’s a favorably biased spouse, but she’s also the one person on the planet who knows her husband best. Put yourself in her place and think about the vicious media reports. And think about a state attorney general prosecuting someone you know so well as a good husband, doting father, and a great cop. An honorable man, so unlike those persecuting him for doing the job they asked him to do that they would never do.

Now, think about people who don’t know Officer Lunsford, spitting poison at him, calling him a racist because he happens to be white and the suspect black. Isn’t that accusation racist in itself?

The mainstream media (MSM) is forcing this incident, during which the officer was compelled to take a life, to fit the radical leftist, BLM, Soros narrative. They describe the cop as a bloodthirsty monster, but they describe the suspect in glowing terms. In reality, they don’t know the cop or the suspect, so their bias favoring the suspect is a conscious choice. Isn’t genuine news reporting supposed to be fair and unbiased?

I asked Lacy, “What has been your greatest frustration during Brad’s persecution?” Yes, persecution. I’m biased, too. But, unlike the MSM, I admit it. It pisses me off to see good cops dragged through the radical leftist muck.

Lacy said, “knowing that what Brad did was right, true, and in accordance with the law. And seeing my husband described as racist and a cold-hearted killer (while the deceased is painted as a Saint).”

I asked Lacy her thoughts on the media reporting, generally.

She answered, “Biased and race-baiting. During the hour-long press conference by the Attorney General, the ACLU and family of the deceased were allowed to paint Brad as a racist, cold-blooded killer.”

So, let’s pause to review the media reporting. It’s amazing how many times the various media used this phrase, as in a KFOX 14 report, “shot in the back of the head at point-blank range.”

This description inevitably conjures images of an execution, which some have accused the officer of and which is the anti-cop media narrative, right? Without proper context, they know how prejudicial it sounds. Would they have been happier if the officer had backed up and shot him from ten feet away?

Here’s the proper context. When Eze attains a position to fire the Taser at the officers, Officer Lunsford draws his sidearm. Then, I assume, in fear of inadvertently shooting his partner, he places the muzzle at the back of the suspect’s head. Then, he pulls the trigger to stop a grave threat to officers. Again, it seems that point-blank range was Officer Lunsford’s best and most responsible option to avoid shooting his partner. I’m sure Officer Arbogast appreciated that tactical decision.

A reporter at KRQE News 13 says the video “shows the officer shooting a man suspected of petty theft in the back of the head during a struggle in a parking lot” . Saying “petty theft” intentionally downplays the crime, and the news anchor doesn’t mention, at the time Officer Lunsford was forced to shoot the suspect, Eze was not unarmed. He was armed with an officer’s Taser.  Isn’t that the crucial issue?

Next, they show a photo of the nicely dressed suspect, Eze, holding a cute baby. Where were the pics of Officer Lunsford and his kids?

An anchor at KOAT mentioned the suspect’s family mourning his loss and said, “But that family may now be getting justice, with the attorney general now taking action.”

“That family…getting justice…?” What about Officer Lunsford getting justice?

Based on the video evidence alone, we know this suspect is not a saint. Even a family member says that to reporters. Here’s another example of biased reporting to create a saintly suspect. A Huffington Post headline declared, “New Mexico Officer Who Shot And Killed Black Nurse Charged With Manslaughter” . I mean, could you imagine the media using this headline? “New Mexico Officer Who Shot And Killed White Carpenter Charged With Manslaughter?

I found more evidence of Eze’s non-saintly history at In one 2016 story, Kate Farrish wrote, “Five years ago, Presley Eze, a licensed practical nurse from West Hartford,  [CT] was arrested outside Trader Joe’s when, police said, he was holding a long sword and appeared to be high on PCP.

“Though he’s been arrested four times since and was found wandering barefoot in the snow in 17-degree weather in 2013, the state Board of Examiners for Nursing concluded that Eze, 29, has maintained his sobriety and is now safe to “practice nursing with reasonable skill and safety.

“The board made that decision on March 23 when it imposed a four-year probation on Eze’s nursing license with many conditions. He must have periodic drug and alcohol tests and visit support groups at least eight times a month.”

In a further search of, I found several other entries regarding Eze’s criminal past (quoted material in italics).


March 3, 2010

OPERATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE — Presley Eze, 23, of 17 Brownleigh Road, was charged Feb. 28 with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and having no insurance.

WEST HARTFORD ARRESTS: May 9 to May 15, 2011

May 18, 2011

On May 11, 2011, [Presley] Eze [24] was charged at the West Hartford grocery store with breach of peace, risk of injury to a minor and possession of weapons in a motor vehicle, the board’s memorandum of decision said.

In August of 2011, he was charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the memo said. Three months later, he was convicted of criminal trespass in connection with the sword incident and received a suspended sentence of one year and probation for two years, the memo said.

In April of 2012, Eze was charged with disorderly conduct after his parents told police he was behaving aggressively, the memo said. A month later, he was convicted of DUI and received a six-month suspended sentence and was placed on probation for 18 months. [Bold added]

On Jan. 2, 2013, West Hartford police found Eze in the snow in his pajamas and sent him to a local hospital for evaluation for substance abuse, the memo said. Three months later, he was charged with DUI again, the memo said.

Five times in 2013, Eze tested positive for PCP and opiates, the memo said. His attorney, Richard Brown of Hartford, said Eze has maintained his sobriety for a long time and was never accused of harming a patient.

State board orders probation for arrested LPN

April 6, 2016 | Kate Farrish

Health I-Team Writer Five years ago, Presley Eze, a licensed practical nurse from West Hartford, was arrested outside Trader Joe’s when, police said, he was holding a long sword and appeared to be high on PCP. …

Connecticut nursing board urges disciplining nurse following baby’s death

October 27, 2016 | Kate Farrish Conn. Health I-Team Writer

It suspended the nursing license of Presley Eze, an LPN from West Hartford, for testing positive for cocaine this summer while on a four-year probation, records show. In 2011, Eze was high on PCP when he …

State disciplines three nurses, two for substance abuse violations

September 21, 2018

On Wednesday, the board came to the same conclusion about Presley Eze, a West Hartford licensed practical nurse, and suspended his license. Eze has a long history of disciplinary action before the board, and …

Nursing board disciplines APRNs from Wallingford, Hamden

May 16, 2018 | Kate Farrish Connecticut Health I-Team Writer

The board placed the licensed practical nursing license of Presley Eze of West Hartford on probation for four years and ordered him to undergo random drug tests. Given the evidence from a hearing, the board …

Connecticut nursing licenses revoked for alcohol, drug abuse

July 18, 2019 | Bonnie Phillips

The licensed practical nurse (LPN) license of Presley Eze of West Hartford, who has a long history of disciplinary actions, was also revoked. State records show that Eze was high on PCP in 2011 when he …

The HuffPost also wrote, “Lunsford and another officer confronted Eze and ‘forcibly removed’ the unarmed, shirtless man from his vehicle after they could not verify his identity….”

This portrays the suspect as the victim and the cops as brutes who “forcibly removed the unarmed, shirtless [who cares?] man…” from the car. At that point, how did the reporter know Eze was unarmed? The officers hadn’t searched or even frisked him, yet.

At the time Officer Lunsford was forced to shoot the suspect, Eze was not unarmed. He was armed with an officer’s Taser. 

Did the suspect deserve to die? Well, whether someone deserves to die is in God’s lane. But, staying in our cop lane, we can focus on whether lethal force was warranted by the suspect’s alleged violent actions, which were seen on video.

Case law and police policies and training show the threatened use of a Taser against a cop warrants a lethal force response. A Georgia prosecutor found this when he declined to prosecute Officer Garrett Rolfe in the Rayshard Brooks shooting in Atlanta. If a suspect is successful in using the Taser (or pepper spray) against an officer, he could steal the officer’s firearm and use it to murder the officer.

Here is one of the few fair reports I came across, from KVIA ABC-7, “The man refuses to cooperate, and a struggle begins.” That is a refreshingly objective and accurate, albeit brief, description of a portion of the events seen in the video.

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However, if you watch the off-kilter reporting on other news stations like KFOX, the reporter describes the same portion of the incident as “a contentious back and forth quickly escalates and becomes physical.”

The KFOX report treats the incident as if both parties are equal. Saying “contentious back and forth…” asserts both parties may be equally “at fault” when, according to the law, the suspect is breaking it while the cops are following it.

Beyond biased media, there’s New Mexico’s gem of an attorney general, the George Soros-funded Raul Torrez. Like the biased media, Torrez also adorns the suspect in angelic garb but puts horns on the officer’s head and a pitchfork in his hand. If it weren’t for Torrez, Officer Lunsford would not be charged because the local DA properly declined to press charges. Torrez seeks to prosecute Officer Lunsford for voluntary manslaughter.

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As for his Soros connection, according to Capital Research, “Raul Torrez, the [then-] district attorney in Albuquerque, received $107,000 in Soros funding, according to Thayer. Torrez is now running to be New Mexico’s Attorney General [he won], a race in which Thayer said he believes Soros money is likely to come into play” [it did].

In his statement, AG Torrez described the suspect gaining control of the officer’s Taser as, “‘plac[ing] his hand on the second officer’s taser’—though it was not deployed or pointed at anyone….”

Torrez describing an armed suspect’s actions in such a tepid way betrays the AG’s anti-police bias and malevolent motivation. And, he said, “It [the Taser] was not deployed [fired] … or pointed at anyone….” Allow me to finish that thought: Yet! It takes a fraction of a second to point and pull a trigger.

Watch the video carefully. You’ll see the suspect gets control of the Taser. What do you think the suspect is likely to do next? Incredibly, Torrez seems to believe an officer is obligated to wait to see if the suspect points and shoots before acting to protect himself or his partner. That would be stupid.

Worse, according to the Huffington Post, Torrez also spewed this garbage, “The killing of Presley Eze is a tragedy and serves as yet another example of poor police tactics resulting in an unjustifiable use of force to subdue an individual resisting arrest for… a minor crime,’ Torrez said in a release. ‘As New Mexico’s chief law enforcement officer, I have a duty to hold everyone accountable for violations of the law and that includes police officers who cross the line.’” And, apparently, police officers who “don’t cross the line.”

In Torrez’s fantasy world, it seems, that as long as a suspect has committed a “minor crime” he can use whatever force against the officers who are not allowed to respond appropriately.

Torrez has manufactured his “square case,” and he’ll find a way to fit it into his “round hole” prosecution.

Once again, for those in the back not paying attention, At the time Officer Lunsford was forced to shoot the suspect, Eze was not unarmed. He was armed with an officer’s Taser.


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So, according to Torrez’s new standard, officers must now wait until a suspect points a gun or Taser at them and pulls the trigger before they’re justified in using lethal force to stop the threat. That’s felony stupid.

Police Law News had similar observations:

“During a press conference AG Torrez made some odd comments:

  1. Torrez stated that Mr. Eze “made contact with” the Taser.
  2. To clarify – Mr. Eze grabbed the Taser. The term “made contact with” makes it seem as though his hand merely touched the weapon – maybe “unintentionally.
  3. When in reality Mr. Eze grabbed the Taser and held then gripped the handle – as if to fire.
  4. Torrez stated, “During the ongoing struggle Eze placed his hand on the second officer’s taser though it was not cycled or deployed against either officer”
  5. I guess, from the comfortable and safe Office of the Attorney General – that means Mr. Eze wasn’t a threat.
  6. The idea that an officer would be required to wait until a Taser is pointed at them – in order to be able to respond is laughable and dishonest.
  7. The trigger of a Taser can be pulled in 1/4 of a second. Perhaps, Mr. Torrez can react that quickly, but I promise, no human police officer can.”

Torrez proactively took over efforts to prosecute Officer Lunsford when, as reported in the Huffington Post, The AG “accused the Dona Ana County district attorney of obstructing the state’s investigation….” How? Apparently, not agreeing with Torrez and following the law amounts to obstructing.

According to NBC News, Torrez said he wants “to honor the family and to honor the pursuit of justice….” How is prosecuting an officer who shot an armed suspect, “honoring” justice?

This isn’t the usual case of a criminal suspect accused of killing an innocent victim. This is a case of a police officer, while performing his duty, acting in self-defense of himself and another officer, shooting a resisting, armed suspect.

It seems a bit muddled as to whether the Taser fell out of its holster or Eze pulled it out. It doesn’t matter. Eze had control of the weapon and could deploy it against the officers. Still resisting, an officer would be irresponsible not to defend, even with lethal force, against a suspect armed with a Taser.

On the officer’s initial arrival, based on his preliminary actions it appeared, if Eze’s ID had checked out, he might have simply issued Eze a summons (written him a criminal citation), as he did not initially take Eze into custody. Also, since the warrant was non-extraditable, the officers could not have arrested Eze for that. So, if that’s why Eze fought the officers, the incident is even more tragic.

It was Eze who did everything that escalated this incident. He went from (all alleged) shoplifter to lying to police, to resisting arrest, to threatening police with a Taser. He (allegedly) did those things; the cops just reacted.

Officer Lunsford followed the Use of Force Continuum:

He began with verbal commands.

He attempted an escort hold (grasped wrist).

He attempted more aggressive empty hand holds to control the suspect.

He only used lethal force once the suspect gained control of a weapon.

After recontacting, the second time, Eze after the information he gave didn’t check out, you can hear Officer Lunsford politely say, “Step out for me, please.” The suspect immediately refuses to obey the officer’s lawful commands and resists his compliance hold on the thug’s wrist.

More from PLN, “The frustrating thing is that police officers are trained by [the] state to classify the use of a Taser against them as a deadly threat. Then when an officer follows that training – that same state prosecutes them.” This corrupt approach has become routine with anti-cop government officials and the MSM.

PLN also wrote, “I honestly believe that Officer Lunsford was faced with a deadly threat and that he responded appropriately with deadly force. The charges should be immediately dropped.” PLN is right.

I’ve also seen some outlets reporting on Officer Lunsford’s alleged “internal investigation history.” Then they only mention a few non-specific items over a ten-year career. If you are a good, proactive cop, people will accuse you of misconduct or sue you at one time or another. Guaranteed—especially these days.

Without getting too specific, another undisclosed element reveals the radicals’ bias against cops and disregard for their families’ safety as officials in this case make decisions that put cop families at extreme risk. Think about that. They fabricate fake accusations against good cops doing their jobs and then act in ways that make them and their families even more vulnerable to potential violence by anti-cop radicals.

As I mentioned, Lacy was kind enough to answer some questions about the torment opportunistic politicians and biased media have and are putting their family through.

I know this is from the officer’s spouse, but she’s also the lone human being on the planet who knows her husband best. Rather than thinking cynically, think about public officials lying about someone you love and know so well, for non-criminal justice reasons.

People who don’t know your loved one are hurling all sorts of nastiness his way, even calling him a racist and a murderer. They don’t know anything about her husband but for the incident he was involved in that forced him to take a life, which they made fit their radical leftist, BLM, Soros narrative too perfectly not to exploit.

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Officer Brad Lunsford is a devoted husband, father, and a ten-year veteran police officer. He also served two combat tours in Iraq with the U.S. Army. He has lived a quintessentially traditional American life of service to others. And that’s precisely the kind of people snakes like AG Torrez despise and want to destroy.

I asked Lacy how Officer Lunsford and their kids are handling this garbage.

Lacy told me, “Brad has handled this amazingly well, knowing he might face prison time for doing his job can be devastating but we are taking it one day at a time. He has an amazing support system surrounding him.”

About their kids, Lacy said, “Our eldest son (age 9) worries from time to time, we told him as much of the situation as I thought he could handle. We haven’t told him that Brad could possibly be going away for a long time. Our youngest son (age 5) doesn’t really understand.”

I asked Lacy one more thing because I’m always amazed that police families going through such ordeals, that they know they don’t deserve, often have remarkably positive outlooks. Are they still able to have fun as a family?

“Having Brad home,” Lacy began, “has been a blessing, and knowing we could have him taken away has really helped us focus on making some awesome memories with our boys.”

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Remember, nothing I’ve said is intended to deny Eze’s family’s emotions. Of course, Eze’s family feels outrage and grief as any of us would, when losing a loved one. But when you have public officials and media reporters endorsing and enflaming their emotional (but incorrect) view of events, it makes things much worse and harder to achieve true justice.