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5 Cops Charged With Manslaughter in Teen's Death

DA says officers gave 15-year-old 'varying commands' before opening fire
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2021 4:35 AM CST

(Newser) – After 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez was fatally shot outside an Okie Gas Express in November, police in Oklahoma City said they opened fire after the teen refused to obey commands. The district attorney, however, says the five officers shot the teen after "simultaneously giving him varying commands" after he had already put down his weapon, NBC reports. The Oklahoma County DA filed first-degree manslaughter charges Wednesday against the five officers, who shot Rodriguez a total of 13 times. Police say that after Rodriguez attempted to rob the store at gunpoint, he was locked inside by a clerk who called 911. He was shot after climbing out of a drive-through window.

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Graphic videos released by police show multiple officers yelling commands as Rodriguez climbs out of the window and puts his gun on the ground, the Oklahoman reports. After he reached toward his left rear pocket, Sgt. Sarah Carli fires a "40mm less lethal round," and the other five officers at the scene then "all unnecessarily fire lethal rounds ... striking him numerous times and inflicting mortal wounds," an affidavit from the DA states. Carli has not been charged. Investigators say the pocket Rodriguez reached for contained only his cellphone. The Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police says it is standing by the officers and "maintains they acted within the law." Wyatt Allen Cheatham, a 17-year-old who allegedly planned the robbery, has been charged with first-degree murder because of his accomplice's death. (Read more Oklahoma City stories.)

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