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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Former Oklahoma Officers Charged in Death of Unarmed Black Man

The two officers have been charged with first-degree manslaughter.

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Screenshot: City of Lawton

Former Oklahoma police officers are facing manslaughter charges after they fatally shot an unarmed Black man in December 2021, according to NBC News.

Officers Nathan Ronan and Robert Hinkle are the former officers who were working for the Lawton Police Department when they killed 29-year-old Quadry Sanders on December 5, 2021. After initially being placed on paid leave, both of the officers were fired in January,

Over the weekend, the pair pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, but shortly afterward... they were both released on a $25,000 bond, according to NBC News.

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By Oklahoma law, the charge is defined as, “When perpetrated without a design to effect death, and in a heat of passion, but in a cruel and unusual manner, or by means of a dangerous weapon; unless it is committed under such circumstances as constitute excusable or justifiable homicide.”

The Lawton Police Department has released edited body camera footage of the incident with the Oklahoma State Bureau Investigation adding captions to give further context. Originally 48 minutes, the body camera footage has now been cut in half to a video of 23 minutes.

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More from NBC News on what occurred during the incident:

The officers were called to a residence at 8:30 that night based on a report of a man who was inside the building despite a protective order that required him to stay away, police said. A caller said the man was waving a gun, and officers knew that detail when they staged outside and used a loudspeaker to order the man out with his hands raised, according to Lawton police and the released video.

The man, identified as Sanders, went out a back door, according to the video but went back in the home before he came out again, this time in front, on a porch or a carport framed by a pair of appliances, the edited video shows.

His body seemed to jerk and pause in response to commands barked from different directions, but at no time did he charge at officers or appear to have a gun.

The loudest commands were repeated: “Hands!” and “Down!”

Sanders had a baseball cap in his right hand, which he switched to his left as he turned back toward the door, the video shows. As he was turning, his now-free right hand went behind his right hip, and gunfire erupted.

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Officer Hinkle is the only officer who initially fired gunshots. Almost simultaneously, Sanders raised his right hand and went to the ground with his face up. He then flailed, causing his right hand to go behind his back, prompting officers to command to see his hands again, according to NBC News.

As Sanders raised his hands over his head on the ground, more shots were fired from Officers Hinkle and Ronan. Once the gunfire stops, Sanders can be heard saying, “I’m down.” He was taken to the hospital shortly after where he was pronounced dead.

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Gary James, the attorney for both officers, claims that they were both familiar with Sanders and previously heard that he was known to carry a gun. The night before the shooting, Officer Ronan was at the same location on a report that someone with a gun entered the home and that the woman that lived at the home had a protective order against Sanders, according to NBC News.

James argued that police had to shoot Sanders or risk their lives. Although, when Sanders was fatally shot, he did not have a gun, one was found inside the home