Local Defense Attorneys Offer Insight On Possible Defense For Charged OKC Police Officers

Thursday, March 11th 2021, 5:36 pm
By: Erica Rankin


On Wednesday, five Oklahoma City police officers were charged with first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez.

Two local defense attorneys said there is a lot to this case, and if it makes it in front of a jury, they will have a tough decision.

“I don’t know anything that parallels this in history where five officers are charged in a shooting,” said Irven Box.

Box who has been an attorney for nearly 40 years.

Defense attorney Ed Blau said there are two sides to this case. He said he can see why the district attorney filed the charges.

“Given some of the actions of the officers,” Blau said. “Given the fact the young man had laid the gun down and it could be argued he was turning himself over.”

But, he can also understand what the officers might have been thinking in the moment.

“They had a suspect who had just participated in an armed robbery and laid one gun down, but he was reaching into his back pocket and could’ve been going for another gun or something else,” said Blau.

Box, who was also an officer for seven years, said he doesn’t have all the information in the case. Box said he wouldn’t file charges against the officers and said they were in a position where they had to make a split-second decision.

“He doesn’t have time to wait and see what he does,” said Box. “You don’t let the person fire the first shot, because one of your fellow officers there could get killed or you could get killed.”

Both Box and Blau agree there is one thing that could be in the officers' favor. The fact that all five of them fired at the same time.

“Which probably means they all felt the same thing,” said Blau.

“They all reached the same conclusion that this person was a threat,” said Box.

All officers who were involved in the incident are on paid administrative leave.