The panic in Nair Rodriguez’s voice peaks as emergency workers load her husband onto a stretcher in the Warren Theatre parking lot.
Her hands are shaking, blurring the cellphone video she’s shooting, and she’s now screaming to her husband of 22 years, calling him “Papa.”
“Papa! Is he OK? He doesn’t move!”
“They’ve got him and they’re going to take care of him,” an officer responds.
“He doesn’t move! You killed him! You killed him!”
Five law enforcement officers pinned Luis Rodriguez, 44, to the ground and handcuffed him during the incident, which occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 15. He died shortly after the encounter.
On Tuesday, the family’s attorney, Michael Brooks-Jimenez, made public the six-minute video shot by Nair Rodriguez. In it, Luis Rodriguez doesn’t appear to struggle or move while the officers detain him.
Moore Police Chief Jerry Stillings has defended the officers, three of whom are Moore police officers, and said the use of force shown on the video was appropriate.
Though Nair Rodriguez says her husband appeared dead as he was placed into the ambulance, and she begs the officers to tell her he’s alive, a spokeswoman for Midwest Regional Emergency Medical Service said he was alive during the transport to Moore Medical Center.
When the video begins, Luis Rodriguez is already on the ground being handcuffed, so viewers don’t see how the officers treated him up to that point. The officers used pepper spray on Rodriguez but it’s not shown in the video.
Nair Rodriguez can be heard asking her husband if he’s OK while officers attempt to calm her down and repeatedly ask for her and her daughter’s ID.
Officers appear to prop him up into a seated position partway through the video. “I’m recording because this is too much,” Nair Rodriguez tells them.
On Valentine’s Day evening, Luis and Nair Rodriguez were at the movies with their daughter, 19-year-old Luinahi. She and her mother argued, and Nair Rodriguez slapped her daughter. A bystander reported the incident, and officers approached the family.
During a news conference Tuesday outside Northwest Free Will Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Nair Rodriguez squeezed the hand of Brooks-Jimenez, her attorney, while he read a statement about Luis Rodriguez, who he said was a devout Christian and regular member of the church who volunteered so frequently he was nicknamed “Pastor.”
“His family has had to confront an event that no family should: the violent loss of a loved one before his time,” Brooks-Jimenez said.
Pastor Uriel Canales said his congregation was saddened by the death of Rodriguez. He once asked him to be an assistant pastor.
“He had a sweet spirit. He was not a troublemaker,” Canales said.
Last week, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation took over an investigation into the incident at the request of Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn. The agency said their inquiry will be lengthy and time-consuming and rely heavily on results of an autopsy, which is pending toxicology reports.
The officers involved have not been named. The three Moore officers are on paid administrative leave. Two off-duty game wardens, who along with one of the Moore officers were working security at the theater, were allowed to continue working while the investigation is conducted.
A memorial service is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Iglesia Linaje de Dios, 2845 SW 39.