The Moore American

February 27, 2014

Rodriguez lawyers seeking video from theater, witnesses

By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — On the night Luis Rodriguez died after an altercation with members of the Moore Police Department, at least two videos of the incident were made. Attorneys for the Rodriguez family released one of them Tuesday and now are waiting for the other to be handed over.

The second video is from the security camera at the Warren Theatre where Rodriguez and three members of the MPD and two off-duty Oklahoma game wardens working private security encountered each other.

“At this point, we’ve made a request of the Moore Police Department for a copy of the Warren surveillance video,” attorney Michael Brooks-Jime’nez said, “and they’ve refused to give it to us. What they say is because the investigation has been passed over to OSBI (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation), they don’t want to disclose the video to us because that somehow might interfere with the OSBI investigation. I don’t see how that would happen, but that’s been their response.”

The MPD asked the OSBI to take over the investigation Feb. 21, a week after Rodriguez died.

According to Brooks-Jime’nez, he first asked for the video Sunday and again Tuesday. Both times, his request was declined.

“The video is still at OSBI, and that part of it is still under investigation,” MPD Sgt. Jeremy Lewis said. “Until OSBI finishes with that portion of the investigation, it can’t be released.”

However, Brooks-Jime’nez doesn’t know why the MPD didn’t release the video beforehand if it showed the MPD officers and security had done nothing wrong.

“If it would basically exonerate them to publish it,” Brooks-Jime’nez said, “if that’s what they are representing, I don’t understand why they would fail to disclose it. Our next step, I anticipate next week that we’re going to make a more formal request of the Warren Theatre and of the police department to get the video.

“I have a feeling they’re going to decline our formal request, but that’s kind of the next step in trying to get that.”

Brooks-Jime’nez said he has no idea if the theater still has a copy of the video it handed over to the MPD.

According to Brooks-Jime’nez, the MPD also has declined to hand over other pieces of evidence, including the names of the officers involved in the incident. The only name he has is Officer Ryan Minard, who can be heard on the Rodriguez cell phone video talking to Rodriguez’s wife, Nair.

Brooks-Jime’nez said until the theater video is released, he and the family are in a waiting game. He’s been told the autopsy results won’t be complete for another month or two.

“I think, most likely, there’s been some preliminary examination by (the) medical examiner’s office,” Brooks-Jime’nez said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have access to that, either. We’re in a catch 22. Any time we make a request of Moore, they say the OSBI is the investigating agency, that they won’t disclose anything that might interfere with (the) OSBI investigation.”

The Rodriguez family and their attorneys are asking those who witnessed the Feb. 14 incident at the Warren Theatre to come forward.

“I’m hopeful that if there is anybody else out there,” Brooks-Jime’nez said. “The issue we’re trying to get to the bottom of is exactly what happened that evening. There are a lot of different perspectives and opinions. But any witness that saw, or any type of video, it would really help to tell what happened.”

 

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