The family of a man who died while he was in police custody outside a Moore theater is responding to the District Attorney's decision to not press charges against the officers involved.
Luis Rodriguez died on February 15 after a confrontation with police outside the Warren Theater in Moore.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner said back in April that Rodriguez died from a cardiac arrhythmia due to physical restraint and that his body had signs of a struggle that would not have been enough to kill him.
Last Friday, the Cleveland County District Attorney said he will not file any charges against the officers, saying they were within their legal right to detain Luis Rodriguez. He said the use of force by the officers against Rodriguez was justified and appropriate under the law. There is no nexus between illegal actions on behalf of the officers and Rodriguez's death.
On Friday, June 27, Rodriguez's family released a statement in response to the DA's decision. In the statement, the family asked the DA to reconsider "the overhasty decision to not press forward with criminal investigation."
Family members also stated they would like an opportunity to meet with officials in order to hear and receive the information used to come to the conclusion that further prosecution would be unnecessary, as no one in the family was ever interviewed or questioned by any representative of Cleveland County.
Read the complete statement below:
"The family and estate for Luis Rodriguez are deeply grieved by the decision of Greg Mashburn and the District Attorney's Office of Cleveland County Oklahoma to not pursue criminal charges against the police officers involved in the incident that ultimately led to the untimely death of the beloved Luis Rodriguez. This mistake adds additional sadness to this senseless tragedy and loss. Luis Rodriguez was a beloved husband, father, brother, and friend. But he was also a hard working, taxpaying citizen of Cleveland County, OK, which entitles him and his family to full rights and justice under the law. Despite the attempts by the Moore Police Department and the Cleveland County District Attorney's office to indicate otherwise, Luis was a kind and gentle soul. He had never gotten into any trouble in his life and those who knew him, loved him. Without a full criminal investigation and trial, the family is left to grieve without justice for their loved one and without closure for themselves.
It is important to remember that the officers who ultimately assaulted Luis and murdered him did so without any reasonable basis. He had not done anything wrong. He had not committed any crime. Instead, the officers injected themselves into a parenting situation that was completely under control and to which Luis was simply a bystander. In Oklahoma, there is no obligation to provide your identification to police. Therefore, the officers' decision to assault and eventually kill Luis for failing to provide his identification is both alarming and criminal.
District Attorney Mashburn's decision to not even charge the individuals responsible not only dishonors the deceased and his family, but also greatly undermines the principles of safety and welfare for the community he has sworn to protect. In a healthy society, everyone must stand accountable to the laws of the land regardless of profession, notoriety, and access to those in power. No one should be allowed to perpetrate harm, violence, or abuse on another individual irrespective of their affiliation with a governmental entity: thus is the very definition of the freedom from tyranny.
While they are deeply grieved by their loss and dumbfounded by the lack of prosecution, the family is not bitter and they will not become jaded. The Rodriguez family stands by their fundamental and heartfelt belief in justice and the law of the land. They absolutely honor and respect law enforcement, government officials, and the laws of the great state of Oklahoma. They well know that law enforcement, and the Moore Police Department in particular, is established and typically effective in the protection of citizens within their jurisdictions. In this case, and many other life situations, the conduct of few can not disgrace or denigrate the whole institution.
It is the sincere hope of the Rodriguez family that the Cleveland County District Attorney's Office reconsiders the overhasty decision to not press forward with criminal investigation. Moreover the family would like an opportunity to meet with officials in order to hear and receive the information used to come to the conclusion that further prosecution would be unnecessary, as no one in the family was ever interviewed or questioned by any representative of Cleveland County. Again the opportunity to meet would be expedient.
Finally, the Rodriguez family wants the same honor and respect that should be afforded to every American citizen; that very principle that makes our country different than any other –equal protection under the law. They want nothing more and will accept nothing less."