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Five Police Officers Charged First-Degree Manslaughter in 15-Year-Old’s Death

by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
Published: Last Updated on

Five Oklahoma City police officers have been charged in the November 2020 shooting of 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez. OKC officers Bethany Sears, Jared Barton, Corey Adams, John Skuta, and Brad Pemberton have all been charged with first-degree manslaughter by Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.

On the evening of November 23rd, 2020, officers were called to an Okie Gas Express for reports of an armed robbery. The police report states that when officers arrived, Stavian Rodriguez, 15, was locked inside by the clerk who had fled the store.

Officers called over a loudspeaker multiple times for Rodriguez to come to the door with his hands raised. Since the doors were locked, Rodriguez exited the store through the drive-thru window while holding a pistol.

 

Video of shooting released

In reviewing bodycam footage, which was first released to NonDoc and other local media, Rodriguez then dropped the pistol on the ground in front of him while over 15 OKC officers were yelling commands at him. He then reached towards his back pocket and a fury of gunfire rained out. Rodriguez was hit 13 times and court documents show he had no other weapons on him. 

Rodriguez was shot once in the head, three times in the chest, three times in the abdomen, once in his right hip, once in his left leg, once in his left arm, once in both of his hands, and once in his right foot.

In officer Bethany Sears’ body cam footage, when she arrives at the scene, you can clearly hear the store clerk tell her that the suspect only had one weapon. Officer Brad Pemberton can be heard on his body cam saying that “he’s got his hands out” once Rodriguez exits the store. Immediately after the statement, officers shoot him 13 times.

 

In Oklahoma, first-degree manslaughter is a homicide. The law defines it as when death occurs without intent to kill or “malice aforethought.” It’s also defined as occurring without the “depraved mind” that are the elements of murder under Oklahoma Law.

OKC police say Rodriguez did not follow officers’ commands and was shot. However, the bodycam footage paints a different picture. He was then transported to OU Medical Center, where he later died. All officers charged remain on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues. NonDoc’s full report: click here.

2 comments

gregbreakpointgmailcom March 11, 2021 - 7:38 pm

Why do they always lie? “He resisted and did not follow orders”. Why can’t one lead be giving orders instead of a dozen officers all yelling different things at the same time? Who would know what to do?

Autopsy report reveals Lawton police shot Zonterius in the chest, foot April 6, 2021 - 5:05 pm

[…] As the District Attorney’s Office weighs criminal charges, it’s worth noting that Oklahoma has begun to see more officers charged for police brutality and murder in recent months. Oklahoma City District Attorney David Prater recently charged five police officers in the death of Stavian Rodriquez. […]

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