Oklahoma Police Killing of a Deaf Man

Following the events that occured on Tuesday night, an Oklahoma Officer Sgt. Christopher Barnes has been placed on an administrative leave impending an investigation for killing a deaf man.

What Happened On Sight?

On Tuesday night, Officer Lt. Matthew Lindsey arrived at the location to investigate a reported hit and run case. Identifying the truck owned by Madgiel Sanchez’s father, Lindsey saw Mr. Sanchez on the porch with a two-feet metal pipe in his hand. Thinking it was a weapon, he called for backup.

On arrival, Sgt. Christopher Barnes and Lt. Matthew Lindsey gave verbal commands to Sanchez for dropping the weapon (pipe) he was holding and lay on the ground. In the background the neighbors sensed some tension and started yelling while approaching the officers that “he’s deaf and can’t process their commands.”

The officers thought he was disobeying their commands when he started approaching them. When he was 15 ft away, the officer who first arrived pulled out his taser and Sgt. Barnes pulled out his firearm and opened fire shooting Mr. Sanchez six times. He was declared dead on the spot.

“Don’t kill him, he’s deaf… Don’t do it!”, A neighbor of Mr. Sanchez

Julio Rayos, a neighbor of Mr. Sanchez who witnessed the whole incident told the associated press how he, along with his wife and daughter tried to communicate to the officers that Mr. Sanchez was deaf and couldn’t hear them.

However, in just a few seconds they had shot him six times and the poor man was shot dead only because he was deaf.

“They seemed like they just came to shoot him. It happened so quickly.” – Julio Rayos

He also mentioned that Mr. Sanchez moved around the neighborhood with his pipe to ward off the stray dogs and communicate with the people.

“The officers didn’t hear the witness”- Capt. Bo Mathews, Oklahoma Police Spokesperson

In a news conference, Capt. Bo Mathews narrated the whole incident and told how Sgt. Barnes has been placed on an administrative leave impending the investigation of this homicide event. Both the officers were not wearing the body cameras during the incident. He also told that the officers might not have heard the witness due to “tunnel vision” situation.

“In those situations, very volatile situations, you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision, or you can really lock into just the person that has the weapon that’d be the threat against you. I don’t know exactly what the officers were thinking at that point.”, said Mathews on the happenings.

All this while, Mr. Sanchez father was sitting in the truck parked in his driveway oblivious of the mishappening. He told the Associated press that he had hit something (and not a person). Also, he confirmed that his son couldn’t hear the officers since he was deaf.

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