Cameo Holland, the mother of Stavian Rodriguez, and her attorney will file a federal lawsuit against Oklahoma City and the officers who fatally shot her son following an armed robbery.
“That incident, that's not who he was. That's something that he did,” said Holland, who spoke to reporters alongside her attorney Rand Eddy.
Rodriguez, 15, was killed in November after officers shot him 13 times outside of Okie Gas & Express. Rodriguez attempted to rob the store and was ultimately locked inside by the clerk before police arrived.
Five police officers fired the shots at Rodriguez seconds after he climbed out of a store window, dropped his weapon, and reached for his back left pocket. After one officer fired a less-than-lethal round, the other officers shot and fatally wounded Rodriguez.
“I want them to go to jail. I'm confused why they still have a job,” Holland said.
“This was not a man who had completed his growth into adulthood. This was a boy,” Eddy said.
Holland and Eddy said they plan to file a federal lawsuit against the City of Oklahoma City next week alleging the officers violated Rodriguez’ fourth amendment right.
“In an instance when the officers use force that doesn’t justify the circumstances, if they are not in immediate harm of death or serious bodily injury, they don’t have a legal right to do what they did,” Eddy said.
Eddy said they will offer the city a settlement agreement as they file the civil lawsuit in the U.S. Western District Court of Oklahoma. He said they would not disclose the details of that proposed agreement.
A spokesperson for the City of Oklahoma City said it does not comment on pending litigation.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater charged five officers with first-degree manslaughter Wednesday in connection with the shooting. Eddy said they are “very satisfied” with the charges.
Although she admitted Rodriguez committed the armed robbery, Holland said the incident and police footage does not capture who he really was.
“He was gentle, and he was kind, and he was thoughtful, and he was funny, and he was smart, and he had goals, and he was a good big brother, and he was a good son,” she said.
“We are ready, my client is ready to fight for justice no matter what. And never quit,” Eddy said. “This was not a man who had completed his growth into adulthood. This was a boy.”