A father died on February 15 after being pinned on the ground by five Oklahoma police officers.
The deceased father, identified as Luis Rodriguez, was confronted by police after restraining his wife while she was trying to hit their 19-year-old daughter.
Rodriguez’s wife, Nair Rodriguez, recorded much of the incident on her cell phone. The video starts after Luis Rodriguez is already pinned on the ground.
At the :04 second mark of the video, it sounds like Rodriguez tries to say “I can’t breathe.” He struggles under the weight of the officers to say something else at the :07 mark.
An officer quickly approaches Nair Rodriguez and asks her what happened between her and her husband. She explains the situation to the officer while keeping an eye on her restrained husband. When Nair asks if her husband is alright, the officer says medical help is on the way.
After several minutes, Rodriguez is propped up on the ground against an officer’s legs. He doesn’t appear to be moving. When medical crews arrive, Rodriguez’s limp body is lifted onto a stretcher. That’s when Nair started to fear the worst.
“Papa! Is he OK?” she fearfully asked. “He doesn't move. He doesn't move! You kill him! You kill him! You killed my husband! Please somebody tell me that he's alive!”
Police insisted Rodriguez was alive. Despite this claim, Rodriguez was pronounced dead after arriving at a local hospital. Here is video footage of the incident:
Moore, Oklahoma Police Chief Jerry Stillings refused to answer a question this week asking whether Rodriguez was still breathing when he was handcuffed by officers. Stillings said three of the officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has picked up the case.
Rodriguez family attorney Michael Brooks-Jimenez told reporters during a press conference last week that Luis Rodriguez was known as a peaceful member of his community.
“Luis committed no crime,” he said. “He wasn't armed. No gun. No knife. No weapon of any kind. But Luis was the one who lost his life that night.”
Nair Rodriguez described her husband as a “grizzly bear with a teddy bear’s heart.”