Oklahoma Cops Shoot a Deaf Man Holding a Walking Stick
Neighbors yelled that he couldn't hear them
Today’s story of murder-by-cop comes to you from the state of Oklahoma, where two police officers killing Magdiel Sanchez.
Sanchez, a 35-year-old mentally disabled and deaf man armed only with his walking stick, couldn’t hear the police when they barked at him to drop his “weapon,” so he was shot with a gun and a Taser.
— Emily Collins (@EmilyTVNews) September 20, 2017
When Sgt. Chris Barnes and Lt. Matthew Lindsey rolled up to Sanchez’s house, they were there to investigate a hit-and-run that his father was involved in. The two officers had spotted the car that had left the scene and stopped to address Sanchez, who was on his porch with his metal walking stick.
The two officers began yelling at Sanchez to drop the stick, despite reports that neighbors were screaming to the cops that he couldn’t hear or understand them.
Jolie Guebara, a neighbor and witness to the shooting, told the Associated Press, “He always had a stick that he would walk around with, because there’s a lot of stray dogs.”
Another witness, Julio Rayos, told The Oklahoman that he and other people alerted the officers.”We were screaming that he can’t hear,” he said. According to Oklahoma City Police Capt. Bo Mathews, the officers didn’t hear those screams.
Rayos also said, “The guy does movements. He don’t speak, he don’t hear, mainly it is hand movements. That’s how he communicates. I believe he was frustrated trying to tell them what was going on.”
Originally police said that Sanchez was armed with a stick, but they letter changed that description to a “metal pipe.” The officer who fired the shots has been placed on leave pending an investigation. Neither of the officers were wearing body cameras.
According to a website that tracks fatal officer involved shootings, Sanchez was the 864th person killed by a police officer in the United States this year, which brings the total number of officer involved shootings to 869.
Meanwhile, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions is trying with all his legal might to tear down community and police relations.