MOORE, Okla. – Cell phone video of the arrest of Luis Rodriguez at the Warren Theatre in Moore is raising questions about citizens’ rights.
Rodriguez was arrested a week and a half ago at the movie theater after police were called out to investigate a domestic situation.
Witnesses reported that his wife, Nair Rodriguez, had slapped their teenage daughter.
In the video, shot on Nair Rodriguez’s cell phone, Moore officer Ryan Minard tells Rodriguez’s wife that they took him into custody because he wouldn’t show his ID and because he became combative.
However, if a police officer asks for your ID, do you have to show it?
Oklahoma has no law that requires citizens to show police their ID if they’re not behind the wheel.
But legal experts agree, if police request that information as part of a criminal investigation, you’d better comply or expect to be detained.
In all, 24 states have stop and identify laws, which allow officers to detain someone, to request identification and to arrest that person if they do not comply.
Oklahoma is not one of those states.
Brady Henderson is the legal director for the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Henderson said, “In Oklahoma, the only time that you can really, it can be argued, okay, you have to show a driver’s license, for instance, is if you’re behind the wheel.”
Henderson warns residents that doesn’t give you the right to defy officers if they’re conducting an investigation.
Attorney Scott Adams is representing Officer Minard.
Adams said, “If an officer in an investigation has reasonable suspicion to believe that you’re involved in some sort of a crime, they absolutely have the right to ask for your ID and it is mandatory that you comply with it.”
Adams says officers didn’t initially know who was involved in the domestic situation when they were called out.
He also says he’s viewed surveillance video from the Warren Theatre that shows the encounter from start to finish.
He claims it shows nothing inappropriate from officers, but does show Luis Rodriguez acting combative.
Adams said, “I can assure you this, no one of any law enforcement that was out there that night did anything that I think is criminally wrong or even ethically wrong.”
Henderson says probably the most important issue is what led to this.
He hopes the investigation will help clarify situations like this for both citizens and law enforcement officers.