The first incident that led to manslaughter charges against an Oklahoma City police officer shows three cops surrounding a homeless man who had a knife in his hand.
Oklahoma City Police Sergeant Clifford Holman was the third officer to arrive on the scene on December 11 and tells the man to drop the knife before shooting him with a taser which had no effect on him because of his heavy clothing, according to police body camera footage.
The 60-year-old man with the knife, Bennie Edwards, then charges at Oklahoma City Police Sergeant Keith Duroy who fires several times before Edwards turns and runs away from the officers.
Holman, who had replaced the taser in his hand with a gun, then fires several times at the fleeing homeless man, striking him in the back.
An autopsy determined Edwards died as a result of the gunshots to his back which is what led to the second-degree manslaughter charge against Holman last month, a charge that carries a minimum sentence of two years.
Duroy, who fired several shots as Edwards was charging towards him, was not charged with any crime because that shooting was determined to have been justified.
In the second incident, several Oklahoma City police officers are engaged in a standoff outside a gas station convenience store on November 23 when the armed suspect climbs out of the window.
Stevian Rodriguez lifts up his shirt, then pulls a pistol by the barrel from his waistband and drops it on the ground, according to surveillance video.
He then reaches into his back pocket, which was when he was shot multiple times by five officers before he even had a chance to pull anything out of the pocket.
Turns out, he had been reaching for a phone which is why five cops this week have been charged with first-degree manslaughter which carries a minimum sentence of four years.
The officers charged are Bethany Sears, Jared Barton, Corey Adams, John Skuta and Brad Pemberton. A sixth officer who was at the scene, Sarah Carli, was not charged because she was using a “less lethal” weapon.
However, the most serious charge in this incident was filed against Rodriguez’ friend and accomplice in the armed robbery, Wyatt Cheatham, who was with Rodriguez when he robbed the store at gunpoint but fled the scene after cops arrived.
Cheatham, 17, was charged with felony murder in the first-degree for the shooting death of his friend even though he did not pull the trigger under a state law that allows murder charges to be filed against accomplices in the event of a death during the commission of an armed robbery. He faces life in prison, if convicted.
The last Oklahoma City cop to face charges over an on-duty shooting death was Keith Sweeney, who is serving a 10-year sentence for shooting and killing a suicidal man named Dustin Pigeon in 2017 who was holding lighter fluid over his head.
Sweeney, who was convicted and sentenced in 2019 on a charge of second-degree murder, filed an appeal last year for a new trial which is still pending.
Watch the video above which contains footage from all three shootings mentioned in this story.