Families Who Lost Loved Ones To Recent Police Shootings Gather For NW OKC Protest


Saturday, December 12th 2020, 10:40 pm
By: Hunter McKee


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Protesters voiced their anger and frustration at the Oklahoma City Police Department on Saturday night. 

A crowd gathered at John Marshall High School to join two families whose loved ones were killed by Oklahoma City police officers in the last three weeks. 

Next door to the high school is OCPD's Hefner briefing station. Protesters told News 9 the officers dispatched in Friday's fatal police shooting came from this station.

According to protesters, they’re here to be voices for 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez and 60-year-old Bennie Edwards.

“And every day I wake up and I have to see my uncle laying on the ground like his life didn’t matter,” said Ameerah Gaines, a niece of Edwards.

“I don’t know when we will get justice,” organizer Jess Eddy said. “But I believe that we will.”

Tensions came to a head Friday after an officer shot and killed Edwards. Cellphone video captured the 60-year-old wielding a knife and lunging toward officers when he was killed.

Gaines said the protesters won’t back down. The protests won’t stop. 

“They were not peaceful when they shot him six times,” Gaines said. “They were not peaceful when they made that report trying to make it seem like he was a threat.”

Gaines along with other protesters are demanding changes be made following the second fatal police shooting in three weeks. 

Stavian Rodriguez was killed in November after police confronted him at a gas station he robbed. Rodriguez was shot after he appeared to drop his gun after numerous commands.

Protesters said local officials aren’t doing enough to prevent the use of lethal force.

“No mayor, no city manager, no chief of police, no deputy chief,” Eddy said. “No one has said we want to do anything differently.”

According to family and friends, Edwards was homeless and suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

“I know my uncle’s heart and I hate he went out like this,” Gaines said.