SEPTEMBER 22, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS CONTACT: JESSIE ROSSON, LEGAL ASSISTANT
Riggs Abney Law
Magdiel Sanchez Family’s Initial Press Statement
The family of Magdiel Sanchez, through their attorneys Melvin C. Hall and Damario Solomon- Simmons of Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis, PC., issues the following statement:
“We are devastated by Magdiel’s death and the fact it occurred at the hands of OKCPD even though he was not a suspect for any crime, was not breaking any laws, and was standing in his own front yard with his trusted walking stick. Magdiel, a friendly and kind young man, was widely loved by his family, friends, and the community in which he lived. Despite being totally deaf, non-verbal, and developmentally impaired, Magdiel was a familiar and welcomed member of his neighborhood. It is truly unconscionable that a man in Magdiel’s condition and circumstances would be killed by the very people who the community looks to for protection. Magdiel’s younger and only sister, Esmeralda, said, ‘I am totally devastated to lose my sweet brother in such a heartless and totally unnecessary fashion.’
If the pain caused by OKCPD taking the life of Magdiel was not enough, our family is appalled by OKC Police Chief Bill Citty’s rush to taint the investigation in his officer’s favor by making unfounded assertions not supported by facts. Citty’s public lack of respect for our family and the investigatory process, is proof that OKCPD cannot be trusted to investigate the killing of Magdiel.
This is why we are calling for the immediate arrest of Officer Sgt. Christopher Barnes and for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations and the Department of Justice to open independent investigations. In the meantime, we believe Bill Citty should spend less time making unfounded allegations, and more time figuring out what OKCPD’s policies and trainings causes a completely deaf and developmentally disabled man to get shot to death by his officers.
“To be clear, Magdiel was not suspected of having committed a crime, he did not have a criminal record, and there is absolutely no justification for his death. This is why we are committed to utilizing all resources to find answers to the family’s questions:
1. Why didn’t the officers take time to properly assess the situation?
2. Why didn’t the officers listen to the numerous neighbors repeatedly yelling that
Magdiel was deaf and could not hear them?
3. Why was Sgt. Barnes so quick to pull out a gun on innocent man in his own front
4. Why was Magdiel shot multiple times?
5. What kind of training would authorize a police officer to shoot an unarmed disabled
individual in his own front yard, who had not committed a crime and did not poses a threat to the officers?” stated Attorney Melvin C. Hall.
The family will participate in a press conference in the near future, but right now they need time to grieve the loss of Magdiel. We will inform you when it will occur. Please respect the family’s privacy at this difficult time, and direct any inquiries to the above contact information.