Former Lawton, Oklahoma police officers Nathan Ronan and Robert Hinkle were arraigned Friday morning on charges of first-degree manslaughter for the killing of Quady Sanders who was unarmed. Body camera footage posted on YouTube by the Lawton Police Department (LPD) was released on the same day. A word of caution, the video (linked below) is disturbing.
Sanders was killed on December 5, 2021, after being shot 12 times by Ronan and Hinkle after they responded to a report of a protective order violation. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) was called in to investigate the deadly shooting. Both officers were fired on January 7, 2022, after an administrative investigation by the LPD’s Internal Affairs division.
“After review of the entire case file presented by the OSBI, including the Medical Examiner’s Autopsy Report, the Comanche County District Attorney’s Office has made the determination that the shooting of Quadry Sanders was not justified,” said Comanche County District Attorney Kyle Cabelka via a statement. “Officers Robert Hinkle and Nathan Ronan have been charged with First Degree Manslaughter and are presumed innocent of the charges until proven guilty.”
While I don’t recommend watching the video, if you do, you’ll see a murder. At around the 22:00 minute mark, you hear an officer say, “did you see it?” referring to a weapon. When the other officer responds by saying he didn’t see anything, you hear one officer quiet the other by saying, “don’t talk,” because they knew the body cameras were recording them.
At that moment they were already exercising their right to remain silent.
Silence is something police unions push hard among cops. Now, it appears they’re using that to get around wearing body cameras that record their every move. Not only have some cops been caught shutting them off during critical interactions, but by being silent they can cast doubt about what happens on camera.
In other words, for cops, all they need is to cast a shadow of mistrust and they walk free.
Charging police on cases like Sanders’ is crucial. However, first-degree manslaughter charges are a little weak. The charges should be murder based on video evidence alone. How they treated Sanders after they shot him is crucial in this case. They showed no remorse and moved him while shouting at Sanders to “stop reaching” as he fought for his life.
The inhumanity and cruelty are the point. The idea is to strike fear in certain populations as they have their way with non-white communities. Police shootings happen every day. Even more happen where the victim survives or where police brutally beat people. But you rarely hear about them. In the US, legacy media only focuses on cases that can generate ratings for them.
US society is all but desensitized to state-sanctioned killings.
Ronan and Hinkle’s bonds were set at $25,000. Both men posted bail.
The Antagonist Magazine is a project made up of journalists, activists, and writers focused on amplifying the stories of marginalized communities. The goal is to educate the public by sharing narratives focused on independent voices. Born of an online community in 2019, our platform operates independently; free of corporate influence. Please consider supporting the work of dozens of writers from various communities.