Anonymous has followed through with a threat to disable the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) website in retaliation for the fatal shooting of mentally ill man James Boyd earlier this month.
An APD spokesperson said there was “unusual activity” on their website and an officer confirmed it was from a cyber-attack.
Anonymous often uses distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to shut down websites in protest. A DDoS attack is a flood of exponentially more requests to a targeted website than that sites server can handle, sometimes by using bots and other tools. That overloads the server and makes the website unavailable.
The incident in question involves the fatal shooting of Boyd, a 38-year-old homeless and possibly schizophrenic man, after a three-hour encounter in the “foothills” outside Albuquerque. Boyd had a history of violent crimes and often said he was on secret missions under the direction of former President Gerald Ford.
Some of Boyd's violent arrests involved attacks against police officers. He served time in jail and in at least one mental health facility.
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In a rare move, the APD released the full video of the incident, which shows officers shooting Boyd with beanbags and bullets after Boyd threatened them with a knife multiple times and refused to follow their directives.
You can watch the APD briefing on the incident here. Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden says the shooting was justified.
The Anon Press released this video on March 25 outlining their disapproval of the APD and planned attack:
“On March 30th we are asking the citizens of Albuquerque to occupy the APD HQ and occupy the sites of the Albuquerque Police Department. Let them know that your city is not a place for war games against the homeless and the less fortunate. Anonymous grab your cannons and aim them at Albuquerque police websites.”
They also accuse the APD of murdering James Boyd “in cold blood.” The APD says they took measures to defend themselves against the attack but they were not effective. The main APD site that Anonymous targeted is back up as of 6 p.m. on March 30. Another which appears to be a recruitment page, remains unavailable.
Federal investigators are now looking into the James Boyd incident, APD Chief Gordon welcomes the probe.