The Moore American

February 19, 2014

Moore Police Chief in full support of officers

By Michael Kinney
The Moore American

MOORE — During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Moore Police Department Chief Jerry Stillings said that he is in full support of the three MPD officers that are on administrative leave following the death of Luis Rodriguez after an incident that took place at the Warren Theater in Moore Friday night.

“I know these officers and I know their hearts,” Stillings said. “I don’t feel they would approach any situation with ill intentions. It is my intention and my duty to thoroughly investigate this incident. Collect all evidence, conduct all interviews and turn over a full and thorough investigation the Cleveland County District Attorney’s office.”

Luis Rodriguez was at the theater Friday when an argument broke out between Rodriguez’s wife, Nair Rodriguez, and his daughter, Lunahi Rodriguez, reports indicate.

Nair told media outlets she stormed to the parking lot and her husband chased after her to try and calm her down. That is when the theater security personnel and the MPD interceded and tried to stop Luis, according to Nair.

“He was just trying to reach me,” Nair said in a television news report. “He wasn’t involved and the camera at Warren should be recording that. He was trying to calm me down because I was the one furious with my daughter.”

A scuffle ensued and Luis Rodriguez was handcuffed and later taken to the hospital where he died. According to MPD’s Sgt. Jeremy Lewis, a cause of death has not been established.

According to the Lunahi, the incident was recorded on Nair’s cell phone, which was taken into custody by the police.

“(The video) will show that five police killed my husband... beating him brutally,” Nair said Tuesday. “The only injury I can remember and stick in my mind was the one that hit my husband in the face repeatedly when his body was moveless.”

Lewis admitted that officers took the phone.

“They did not want us to have it. But they showed one of our detectives there was video of the incident on it. So that’s why it was taken. Once they showed there was evidence on it, we have to take it to process the evidence. And she will get it back as soon as the DA gives it back to her. We’re finished with it. But the DA kept it for some reason,” Lewis said.

According to Lewis, this is normal procedure.

“There is no reason to use the cell phone if they don’t take it right then,” Lewis said. “There is no way to know if the evidence is pure. If we allow the evidence to leave the scene, then it’s no longer evidence. What we do is take, it’s logged into property. It’s not looked at until we get a warrant.”

Detectives are reviewing video evidence from the incident and will conduct interviews with all parties involved in the coming days. All of the findings will be sent to the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office.

Lewis said he doesn’t know if the security officers are still on duty at the theater.

“That’s between them and their agency,” Lewis said. “Our agency is investigating the whole thing as far as criminal activity. But as far as personnel issues, that’s on their department. But our detectives will investigate it criminally on them also.”