Parents of slain Oklahoma teen suing city, police officers
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The parents of a black teenager who was naked and unarmed when he was fatally shot by police in suburban Oklahoma City have filed a lawsuit against the city and the two officers involved.
Police say 17-year-old Isaiah Lewis died April 29 after two Edmond officers shot him after he broke into a house. Sgt. Milo Box and Officer Denton Scherman had been following the teen before he was shot.
Lewis attacked the officers, according to authorities. Investigators allege the officers initially used a stun gun to subdue the teen, but then shot him when that didn’t work.
Andrew Stroth, an attorney representing Lewis’ parents, said Lewis was experiencing a mental breakdown when the officers “unjustifiably” shot him.
“At every level, the Edmond Police Department failed,” Stroth said. “At that moment in time, instead of helping him and assisting him and bringing him safely into custody, he was shot and killed.”
Jenny Wagnon, a spokeswoman for the Edmond Police Department, declined to comment. Box and Scherman have been put on administrative duty, pending the results of an investigation into the shooting.
The lawsuit, which was announced Wednesday, alleges the officers’ actions violated Lewis’ constitutional rights.
The case was given to Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater last week. Prater noted he was waiting for the medical examiner’s report and the toxicology report.
Police haven’t indicated how many times Lewis was shot or whether one or both officers shot him. Police also have not revealed the race of the two officers.
On May 4, protesters marched in Edmond in reaction to the fatal shooting. The rally gave people an opportunity to be heard, said Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, leader of Black Lives Matter OKC.
“We want this to stop happening, and we’re pushing for transparency, answers,” Dickerson said.
Isaiah’s mother, Vicki Lewis, said she still has not accepted losing her soft-spoken son.
“Attending his graduation and looking at that empty chair, that’s something that I haven’t gotten past yet,” she said. “And every time I close my eyes and try to sleep, all I can think about is my child crying out for help. That’s something I’ll never get over.”