Moore Oklahoma Police Accuse Widow of Inciting Violence

The widow of a man who died during an altercation with police outside the Warren Theatre in Moore is being accused of attempting to incite violence against police officers.

Nair Rodriguez has filed a lawsuit against Warren Theatres; Sgt. Brian Clarkston, officer Ryan Minard and officer Joseph Bradley of the Moore Police Department; the City of Moore; game wardens Tyler Howser and Chad Strang; Midwest Regional Medical Center and its ambulance service; and emergency medical workers Guy Rodolph and Jason Smith following the incident that led to her husband's death.

Luis Rodriguez's death occurred at a Moore hospital shortly after an altercation with police outside the Warren Theatre. A witness told police about a "domestic violence" situation in the parking lot after Nair Rodriguez slapped the couple's 19-year-old daughter. When Moore police officers, who were at the theater on a call about intoxicated patrons, and off-duty game wardens working as theater security asked Luis Rodriguez for identification, he refused. Police reports say he took "an aggressive stance," and officers subdued and handcuffed the 300-pound man.

During the altercation, Rodriguez told officers that he could not breathe. Reports say he stopped breathing at the scene but was revived, and later died at a hospital following a CT scan.

The officers involved were cleared of wrongdoing, and no criminal charges were filed. The District Attorney found that the men used lawful and reasonable maneuvers in subduing a man who refused to comply with orders, and Rodriguez's death was attributed to cardiac arrhythmia exacerbated by the exertion in the scuffle.

Nair Rodriguez has filed a lawsuit claiming deprivation of rights, excessive force, assault and battery, negligence, infliction of emotional distress and failure to train, supervise and control.

Just before Christmas, after apparently becoming distressed at being denied entry into a deposition of one of the officers involved in a lawsuit, Nair took to Facebook Live to vent her frustration. In the 18 minute video, the woman pleads for justice for her "husband killers." She said in the video, "[H]ere on the 13th floor is where they are conducting the depo of Joseph Bradley, the killer, the one who asphyxiated Luis and he is still free of responsibility. This is the system. Please, if you can help me, I know it would not be in vain.”

Moore police, the City of Moore, and Warren Theatres say that the woman is attempting to incite violence against the officer, and they have asked a federal judge to punish her. An attorney representing several defendants in the lawsuit said of the video, "She made comments about her 'husband killers' and 'won't somebody please help me' — in this day and age this could mean a number of things. . . . A number of people involved in the lawsuit thought that was tremendously inappropriate and we felt the need to act." They say that the woman's decision to disclose the location of the law office in the video indicates her desire for violence against the officers involved.

As punishment for posting the video, the lawsuit defendants are asking the judge to order Nair Rodriguez to pay legal fees and travel and lodging costs for a former Moore officer who now lives out of state--an estimated $4,000.

Image credit: Christine und Hagen Graf