Justice Rally for Magdiel Sanchez
A protester holds a sign that reads “Hold Killer Cops Accountable!” at the Justice for Magdiel Sanchez Rally at Oklahoma City Hall on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. (Dylan Brown/ The Vista).
City Hall held a rally Sunday afternoon in protest of the recent police-involved shooting of 35-year-old deaf man, Magdiel Sanchez.
There were more than 200 people in attendance and multiple speakers, including the Executive Director of Black Lives Matter Oklahoma, Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson; Debra Mendoza, prime minister of the Carnalismo National Brown Berrets of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Oklahoma and Kansas; and guest speaker, Ashley Nicole (Wicahpi Wetu Win) of the Absentee Tribe of Shawnee.
“This rally is not the end-all and be-all of our support,” said Nicole. “You cannot come to a rally, feel better and then go home thinking the problem has been solved; justice begins in the streets.”
The Sanchez family recently released a statement saying, “We are devastated by Magdiel’s death and the fact it occurred by 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 lawn with his walking stick.”
“This is state and colonial violence being enacted towards our people,” said Nicole. “Police have always been violent; they’ve always been violent. The police are remnants of slavery, that’s what they are here for. They are not here to protect and serve.”
Many protestors attending the rally held signs in support saying ‘End Institutional Violence,’ ‘Hold Killer Cops Accountable’ and ‘Justice for Magdiel Sanchez.’
“How is it that you’ve got a lieutenant and a sergeant doing this? They’re supposed to be the most trained people in the department,” said Dickerson. “And they end up shooting a man 15-feet away because he had a stick in his hand? Come on now.”
Lt. Matthew Lindsey of the OKCPD was one of the first officers to witness Sanchez on his porch holding what he described as a two-foot length pipe. Sgt. Christopher Barnes arrived shortly after.
“Neighbors told them that he can’t hear,” said Dickerson. “And the police chief of the city says that when they have to search for specific citizens, they sometimes don’t know what’s going on. What kind of police are you that you don’t know what’s going on?”
The Sanchez family asks within the statement for the arrest of the officer involved, Sgt. Christopher Barnes. They also ask “why Barnes was so quick to pull out a gun on an innocent man in his own front yard,” “why the officers didn’t take the time to properly assess the situation,” and “why didn’t the officers listen to the neighbors telling them that Magdiel was deaf and couldn’t hear them.”