Two former police officers in Lawton, Oklahoma, were charged Friday with first degree manslaughter in the shooting of a black man in December. In video footage released by the city on Friday, the man, Quadry Sanders, appeared to be complying with orders to raise his hands after being initially shot, when he was shot repeatedly.
The body-camera graphic video of the confrontation shows Agents Nathan Ronan and Robert Hinkle responding to a 911 call on December 5, 2021, just after 8:30 p.m. about a man who entered the home of the person named in the protective order under protective order. order.
Lee Merritt, the family’s attorney, said in a statement that Mr Sanders was in a dispute with a woman when police were called.
Mr Sanders, 29, was the person who violated the protection order, according to a statement released in December by Lawton Police Chief James T. Smith. The statement added that the caller reported that Mr Sanders was brandishing a gun in the house. Officers learned that Mr Sanders refused to let any of the residents leave, according to a statement from the prosecutor reported by local news channel KSWO.
The footage shows officers using a loudspeaker to alert Mr. Sanders to their presence. A woman leaves the house. mr. Sanders then comes out a back door, according to the caption in the video. According to the district attorney’s office, Mr. Sanders obeyed an officer’s order to show his hands before rushing back inside.
When Mr. Sanders leaves the house again, the officer carrying the body camera comes up to him and instructs him to raise his hands and lie on the floor. (It was not immediately known whether the images released by the city came from Agent Ronan’s body camera or Agent Hinkle’s.) The only object visible in his hands is a baseball cap, according to the officer’s statement. of justice. Mr. Sanders appears to be trying to move behind a refrigerator that is outside. Just as he raises his hands above his head, one of the officers shoots Mr. Sanders four times.
Then Mr. Sanders falls to the ground, whereupon an officer says again, “Hands! Hands! Hands!”
The footage shows Mr Sanders sitting up straight with his hands above his head, after which he is shot repeatedly. According to the statement from the district attorney’s office, a total of 15 shots were fired at Mr. Sanders — 11 shots by Officer Hinkle and four shots by Officer Ronan.
Officers yell at Mr. Sanders to “stay down” and “lie on your stomach.” Mr. Sanders appears to be writhing to say, “I’m down” and “I can’t breathe.”
The officers are then seen dragging Mr. Sanders’ limp body out of the doorway, leaving a trail of blood in the driveway. They don’t begin treating his wounds until more than two minutes after the final shots were fired.
Mr Sanders was taken to a hospital, where he died, according to the statement from the police chief.
“I cannot find any redeemable factor to soften any aspect of this shooting,” wrote Mr. Merritt on Instagram. “It was just murder. There was no justification. These men should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Ronan and Hinkle were fired from the department on Jan. 7 after an internal investigation found that the officers’ actions “did not comply with established training protocols, policies, practices, customs or procedures,” a statement from the city manager said. Michael Cleghorn in January A separate criminal investigation was conducted by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, prompting Comanche County District Attorney Kyle Cabelka to press charges Friday.
The former officers paid $25,000 bail each Friday. A hearing is scheduled for August 1. Under the Oklahoma State Sentencing Guidelines, penalties for first-degree manslaughter include a minimum sentence of four years in prison.
Ronan was previously under investigation for the fatal shooting of another black man, Zonterious Johnson, 24, in January 2021. That shooting took place just three miles from where Mr. Sanders was shot in Lawton, a town of 90,000 people, slightly over an hour southwest of Oklahoma City.
The district attorney’s office acquitted Attorney General Ronan of any wrongdoing in April 2021 after a report by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation found that Mr. Johnson had raised his gun despite Officer Ronan’s order to drop the gun. Agent Ronan had Mr. Johnson was chased after hearing shots fired outside a local restaurant and Mr. Johnson standing in the street with his arm outstretched, and another person on Mr. Johnson had been seen shooting, according to a statement from the police chief.
Lawton Police Department, District Attorney Cabelka and Mr Hinkle could not be reached for comment. Mr Ronan declined to comment.
“While this decision and the release of information that followed may shed some light on this tragic incident, it is not without consequences for one’s stages of grief and mourning for a lost loved one,” Lawton Mayor Stan Booker said in a statement. a statement. † “I believe that Lawton Police maintains the highest possible standards, and I know they will continue to do so in the future.”
Jack Begg research contributed.