Moore Police Hold News Conference Concerning In-Custody Death
MOORE, Oklahoma - The Moore Police Department held a news conference Tuesday afternoon concerning the death of a man who was killed while in police custody.
The Police Department held a news conference at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Moore Community Center. Three Moore police officers were put on administrative leave while detectives investigate the in-custody death of Luis Rodriguez.
Rodriguez's family said police beat him badly in the parking lot of the Warren Movie Theatre, and they recorded it with a cell phone camera.
The Moore Police Department released a statement Monday saying the phone was placed into a secured property room and wrapped in tin foil so it can't be altered by an external source. Moore police also told News 9 that detectives obtained a search warrant for the phone and have reviewed video of the incident. Police said they attempted to return the phone to Rodriguez's wife Tuesday afternoon.
Rodriguez's wife Nair said her husband was only trying to defuse the fight she was having with her daughter. She said when police asked her about it she told them what happened.
During the news conference on Tuesday, Moore Police Chief Jerry Stillings said the incident involved three private security officers, one of whom is a Moore police officer, and two on-duty Moore Police officers. The two on-duty Moore police officers were already at the theatre responding to an unrelated call.
Chief Stillings said several customers notified the officers of a physical fight in the parking lot of the theatre. Officers approached the three involved in the fight and separated them. That's when police said Luis Rodriguez made statements that led officers to believe that the fight was a case of domestic violence.
"Domestic violence is a serious matter, and officers are obligated to investigate all matters of suspected domestic violence," Chief Stillings said.
Police said the altercation between the members of the Rodriguez family, which was reported by witnesses, made the situation a criminal matter. Officers tried to explain the criminal nature of the situation to Rodriguez, but he was uncooperative. He tried to leave and was being aggressive, according to Chief Stillings.
According to Chief Stillings, additional officers assisted in an attempt to detain Rodriguez, but he continued to be uncooperative. At some point, officers used pepper spray. Chief Stillings said there is no indication that batons or any other weapons were used.
Officers were able to handcuff Rodriguez. Once handcuffed, he was transported by EMS to a nearby hospital.
"It was his actions of taking aggressive, physical stands and his refusal to be cooperative with investigation that led officers to believe he needed to be detained," Chief Stillings said.
Chief Stillings said the investigation is on-going.
Watch the video above to see the complete news conference.