The parents of a black teenager who was naked and unarmed when he was shot and killed by suburban Oklahoma City police have asked to meet with the police chief, mayor and other city officials to find out what transpired.
Vicki and Troy Lewis want to know what happened when their son, 17-year-old Isaiah Lewis, was shot and killed late last month in Edmond, attorney Andrew M. Stroth told The Associated Press on Thursday.
“In this situation you have an unarmed, naked black boy who, after an hour pursuit, was shot and killed by police,” Stroth said. “These people — the mayor, the chief of police — know what happened. … All the family wants is the truth.”
According to police, Isaiah Lewis was naked when he broke into an Edmond home and attacked two officers, Sgt. Milo Box and Officer Denton Scherman, who had gone in after him. He was fatally shot him after a stun gun didn’t stop him, police said.
The parents emailed a letter Wednesday to police Chief J.D. Younger, Mayor Dan O’Neil and other officials asking to meet on May 29 or on another date convenient for them.
City spokesman Casey Moore said Thursday that the emails were received, but that he doesn’t know if the officials will meet with the family.
Box and Scherman have been on paid leave since the shooting, as is standard after officer-involved shootings.
Police spokeswoman Jenny Wagnon said the investigation is complete and is being sent to District Attorney David Prater’s office, and she referred all questions to him. Prater didn’t immediately reply to phone messages seeking comment.
Police said neither officer was wearing a body camera but haven’t said whether one or both officers opened fire. The state medical examiner’s office has said only that Lewis died of multiple gunshot wounds.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, Wagnon told the AP that there are no disciplinary reports or investigations involving either officer.
During a 911 call that prompted police to initially respond to the neighborhood, a woman who identified herself as Lewis’ 18-year-old girlfriend tried to take the phone from her neighbor who made the call to tell dispatchers that her “boyfriend just flipped out. I have no idea what’s going on.”
Other 911 callers later reported that Lewis had stripped off his clothes as he ran down the street. Police said they later found drug paraphernalia in yards where Lewis reportedly was seen throwing items, then located and chased him as he jumped fences before breaking into the house where he was shot about an hour after the first call.
When asked if Lewis was using drugs or alcohol, the girlfriend told a 911 dispatcher, “No, not today.”
Police have asked the medical examiner’s office to check Lewis’ body for drugs and alcohol. Such test results typically are not known for eight weeks or more.
Police have not released the race the two officers, citing the ongoing investigation, and now refer questions to the district attorney.
Stroth, the parents’ attorney, said he thinks Isaiah Lewis’ race may have factored into his death.
“Would a 17-year-old white boy, naked and unarmed boy, who is clearly in mental distress be handled differently?” Stroth asked. “My answer is ‘I think so.'”