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Two police officers to face murder charges over homeless man's murder

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File photo: James Boyd, 38, left, is shown during a standoff with officers in the Sandia foothills in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before police fatally shot him. (AP Photo/Albuquerque Police Department, File )

File photo: James Boyd, 38, left, is shown during a standoff with officers in the Sandia foothills in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before police fatally shot him. (AP Photo/Albuquerque Police Department, File )

AP

File Photo: Photo from an Albuquerque Police Department lapel camera still shows a standoff with James Boyd, 38, before firing six shots at the man. (AP Photo/Albuquerque Police Department, File)

File Photo: Photo from an Albuquerque Police Department lapel camera still shows a standoff with James Boyd, 38, before firing six shots at the man. (AP Photo/Albuquerque Police Department, File)

AP

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File photo: James Boyd, 38, left, is shown during a standoff with officers in the Sandia foothills in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before police fatally shot him. (AP Photo/Albuquerque Police Department, File )

Two police officers will face murder charges over the killing of a homeless camper in New Mexico, prosecutors said.

The shooting in March generated sometimes violent protests around Albuquerque and sparked a federal investigation.

Police officer Dominique Perez and former detective Keith Sandy will each face a single count of open murder over the death of 38-year-old James Boyd, second district attorney Kari Brandenburg announced.

It allows prosecutors to pursue either first-degree or second-degree murder charges.

Police said Perez and Sandy fatally shot Mr Boyd, who was holding a knife, during an hours-long standoff. Helmet video appeared to show Mr Boyd surrendering when officers opened fire.

The officers' lawyers said they look forward to clearing their clients' names.

Albuquerque police recently signed an agreement with the US department of justice to overhaul the force.

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