Family Of Luis Rodriguez File Civil Suit Over Death Outside Warren Theater
MOORE, Oklahoma - The family of Luis Rodriguez, the man who died while in police custody outside the Warren Theater in Moore last year, is now suing several of the agencies involved.
The civil suit states that the city of Moore, police officers and even the Warren Theater were at fault in the death.
Nair Rodriguez and her daughter are suing The Warren Theater, The City of Moore, Moore Police Department and the Midwest Regional Medical Center.
The suit stems from a Valentine's Day 2014 visit to the Warren Theater when Nair Rodriguez got into a physical fight with her daughter in the parking lot as her husband Luis Rodriguez was nearby.
Nair says in the lawsuit "several officers and private security tackled her husband to the ground and savagely beat him to death."
She recorded the incident on her cell phone and says she was threatened by officers to be arrested if she did not stop recording and give her phone to them.
The suit states Rodriguez was "pummeled with fists, knees and pepper sprayed until he was bloody and lifeless."
The Cleveland County District Attorney cleared all the officers involved in Luis' death.
The suit goes on to state, “District Attorney Mashburn appears to have a history of justifying the legal use of force, including deadly force against civilians.”
The family is suing the involved agencies for negligence, excessive use of force, deprivation of rights, and assault and battery, failure to train, supervise and control, infliction of emotional distress, punitive damages.
To help with cases like this in the future, State Rep. Mike Shelton recently filed a bill that would call for the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office to investigate and prosecute officer-involved civilian fatalities.
"My hopes are that in these questionable cases, such as Luis Rodriguez, that there can be another pair of eyes on these cases, so it can be brought forward and justice can be served," Shelton said.
The Rodriguez family call Luis' death senseless and needless saying, “Luis Rodriguez had not broken any laws or committed any crime. There was no basis to detain. He had no weapon and was not under influence of alcohol or drugs.”
The family describes Luis as an honest, hardworking, taxpaying, God-fearing Oklahoman, who was never in trouble with the law and worked faithfully as an electrician.
Nair says while Luis's body in the hospital, he was taken to State Medical Examiner's office without her knowing. The suit states “Midwest Regional Medical Center, at the time negligently treated Luis Rodriguez, ultimately causing his death.”
The family says the officers “clearly outnumbered Luis Rodriguez and their physical size, strength and combined weaponry to an unarmed Luis Rodriguez did not necessitate the use of force utilized.”
As a result the family seeks recovery for the loss of financial support and companionship.
Next month, the Rodriguez family plans to hold a rally on the anniversary of the night he died at the Warren Theater.
The Moore Police Department said they could not comment on the lawsuit.