Former Las Cruces police officer Christopher Smelser is facing manslaughter charges for choking the life out of Antonio Valenzuela back in February. The case is getting more attention due to the similarities between it and the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police last month. This week police finally released Smelser's picture and news outlets are airing video of the incident (see embedded video). Smelser can be heard on video saying "I'm going to fucking choke you out, bro." Smelser then applied a choke hold and it worked, but it also killed Valenzuela and the officers didn't even bother to think about checking on him for five minutes.
When they checked his pulse there was none, so former officer Smelser was charged with manslaughter. His photo was only recently released.
Public records contain the following information about Smelser:
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LAS CRUCES, NM *****
2012 - Now