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What started out as a family argument ended in the death of a Moore, Oklahoma man, who was being placed under arrest by police at the time.
Luis Rodriguez and his wife of 22 years, Nair, took their family to Warren Theater on February 15. Nair got into an argument with her 19-year old daughter and slapped her.
Police were called to the scene by a theater patron. They claim Luis was uncooperative and aggressive when they tried to question him.
“He basically would not provide any identifying information, was trying to leave,” saidChief Jerry Stillings told KFOR. “Eventually, when told he could not leave, he took an aggressive stance, clenching his fists. Officers felt threatened at that point.”
Officers attempted to arrest the 44-year old man, but were shrugged off with one arm, according to Billings.
A total of five cops eventually took Luis to the ground, pepper sprayed him and placed 2 pairs of handcuffs on his wrists. Nair took out her cell phone and started filming the incident.
About 5 seconds into the video, Luis sounds like he says "I can't breathe," as he's being held face down on the concrete by the officers.
Nair repeatedly asks him if he is OK, but Luis doesn't respond. She eventually starts to accuse the cops of beating her husband prior to her filming.
"That man doesn't look for trouble at all," she says. "You all, five men, hitting that guy just because our daughter made bad decisions."
By the time police sit Luis up he looks unconscious. An ambulance does arrive at the scene, however it was too late for Luis. He died that night.
Nair's cell phone with the arrest footage was taken by police. When it was given back, she and her lawyer decided to release it on Tuesday (February 25).
Attorney Michael Brooks-Jimenez, left, holds the hand of Nair Rodriguez, right, as he speaks to reporters Tuesday after releasing cellphone video showing Rodriguez’s husband, Luis, being held down by Oklahoma police.
"Luis committed no crime. He wasn't armed. No gun. No knife. No weapon of any kind," Attorney Michael Brooks-Jimenez told reporters Tuesday. "But Luis is the one who lost his life that night."
An autopsy is being performed to determine Luis' exact cause of death.
The Oklahoma State of Investigation has taken over the investigation. Three of the officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the OSA's findings.
The Rodriguez family is still not satisfied and want to make sure Luis did not die in vain.
“My husband died in a very vicious way,” Nair told KCOR. “This cannot be in vain and will not. We’re going to fight. We are more afraid and scared of the police than we are of the criminal because at least with the criminal, we have a chance to prove they were after us. With police, they have the authority and power. They are the Goliath of the system but we are the David. But David at the end, defeat with one stone.“[Officers] beat my husband on the face repeatedly when his body was moveless. He was a man of God. A man that could fight for his life, but decided not to."
Luis' son, Ryan Medina, is also speaking out.
It's uncalled for. It never should have happened. No matter what they say. It doesn't excuse them to do what they did," Ryan said.
The victim had no prior arrests.
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