Oklahoma father dies in police encounter after wife slaps daughter

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(CNN) – It was supposed to be a fun family outing to the movies, but then Nair Rodriguez’ 19-year-old daughter got under her skin. They fought, she said, and she slapped her daughter.

Moments later, police arrived on a domestic dispute call at the Moore, Oklahoma, theater and confronted — not Nair Rodriguez — but her husband Luis. They took him down, and after the encounter on February 15, he was dead.

Cell phone video taken by his wife and released this week shows the final minutes of the takedown.

Nair Rodriguez accuses officers of brutality. Police say they were following protocol and used no undue force.

Argument, upset

The mother-daughter spat upset the mother so badly that she bolted for the family car. Her husband Luis followed her to calm her down, family attorney Michael Brooks-Jimenez told reporters.

That’s when a group of police and theater security officers turned up, he said.

What happened next is disputed.

His wife has said officers beat Luis Rodriguez, CNN affiliate KFOR reported. But Moore Police Chief Jerry Stillings calls the actions of his officers “reasonable.”

He would not go in to much detail and said an investigation is underway. But he mentioned that police used pepper spray, CNN affiliate KOCO reported.

Luis Rodriguez ended up on the ground with five men pinning him down, and wife Nair pulled out a cell phone.

Her fearful cries fill the recording.

“Luis! Luis!” she calls out frantically. Her husband does not respond, does not appear to move.

She calls to the officers to assure her that he is alright.

“Please somebody tell me that he is alive,” she implores. “He is not moving.”

The officers appear calm. One tells her that he will talk to her, once they are finished securing her husband.

Then one walks over to the camera. He tells her that police have called in a medical unit to check on her husband.

It wasn’t him

The officer says police received a call about domestic violence before confronting her husband.

It wasn’t him, Nair Rodriguez tells him. “I hit my daughter,” she says. She wants to know why they have pinned down her husband.

“He refused to give his ID,” the officer said. “He got combative.”

She notices blood on the officer. “Is he bleeding?” She demands to know.

“I’m bleeding; that’s me,” the officer says.

An ambulance can be seen in the background, and Luis Rodriguez is lifted onto a stretcher.

The video ends shortly afterward.

Cause of death

An autopsy may reveal more about why Luis Rodriguez died, and surveillance camera footage of the encounter in the movie theater parking lot may reveal what happened before his wife pulled out her cell phone camera.

What police describe as normal procedure, lawyer Brooks-Jimenez describes it as something brutal and possibly deadly.

CNN has reached out to Brooks-Jimenez for further comment and has placed calls to the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation.

By Ben Brumfield and Melanie Whitley


  • Mike

    The man is heavy set male who, just speculating, died of a heart attack due to all the commotion and excitement and that’s what killed him

    • Jose

      Yeahhhh no…..I mean im sure he DID die of a heart attack, but it was probably after being attacked my five officers, beaten, and then thrown to the grown. I’m pretty skinny and even something like that would cause me to have a heart attack especially if I had no idea why it was all happening to me. Being heavy-set usually does play a factor in heart attacks but before that anything can cause so much fear in a person that it literally scares them to death. Two officers would have been enough to handle this man NOT five especially considering each officer has a gun and taser. The officers in this incident in Oklahoma are SCREWED there are no if’s and’s of but’s about it. Had the officers done they’re job correctly, they probably would’ve gathered enough information to KNOW that he had nothing to do with the altercation. Even in episodes of cops, they usually separate each person and ask questions.

  • Gunny J

    Police brutality! As usual this will get swept under the rug because it happened in OK and the victim is Latino. GunZ out!

  • gunner F

    Looks like he suffocated. They sprayed him took him down and put there weight on his back. Look at his head it was down towards the ground and not to the side so he could breath. That just my thoughts.

  • Karen A.

    Total Police Brutality. Parents can’t even discipline their kids without getting arrested. This video is sickening to me!!!! Shame on this police department! They took away this woman’s husband.

  • Michelle Warren

    just sad got tears in my eyes cause they lying to that lady they play uh big role in her love one death…

  • ebony

    He clearly suffacted , you can hear him struggling to say “I can’t breathe” in the first 8 seconds. There was weight of 2 different officers around his neck and head area.

  • cm

    I dont understand why she wasn’t placed into cuffs. I like how people see less than half of the situation and come to conclusions about the ending . You people are whats wrong with america today.

    • Tommy Turner

      Clearly she should have been restrained when she got hysterical about her husband being suffocated and killed right there in front of her… and how dare her try to video such a thing…

      What’s wrong with America today is that folks can video proof of poor training and improper restraint by those involved.

      • Brett

        The officers were not doing their job correctly if they were
        He would still be alive. Notice the officers are all badge heavy
        Not using common sense. That is what is wrong with most law inforcent officers they don’t think this guy is like 40 or 50 and does not look to be in the greatest shape. So they need 5 cops to hold him down. Self defense against cops they all should hang for murder !!!!!!

  • cm

    I believe that she is the one that originally committed a crime called domestic assault . At that point she didnt have the right to film anything. And he was clearly obstructing justice and resisting arrest so the police were justified to do whats necessary to place him into custody .

  • l gump

    As a former police officer I can confidently say that several of those officers are gonna be trading blue for blaze orange jumpsuits….corruption

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