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Judge decides against fining widow who called police ‘pigs’

MOORE, Okla. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a request to impose a stiff fine against a widow who called police “pigs” on Facebook as she vented her frustrations over the death of her husband in a scuffle.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy DeGiusti declined to sanction Nair Rodriguez for the 18-minute Facebook Live video she made in December, pleading for justice for her husband, Luis Rodriguez.

Nair Rodriguez is suing the city of Moore, its police department and the theater in whose parking lot her husband died after officers intervened in a family argument. She claims authorities violated her husband’s civil rights by using excessive force during the altercation in the Oklahoma City suburb.

The defendants asked the judge to sanction Rodriguez for disrupting the case by live-streaming her frustrations from outside a room where an officer was being deposed. They accused her of inciting violence against police with the “pigs” label, and sought a penalty of about $4,000 to recoup legal fees and other expenses.

But DeGiusti called the request “not appropriate” in a six-page ruling, The Oklahoman reported (http://bit.ly/2mi3fGT ).

Rodriguez, 51, called the ruling “fair.”

“They were trying to discredit me and my case,” she told the newspaper. “It’s good that at least one thing has finally happened in my favor.”

Nair Rodriguez has accused officers and theater security guards of used excessive force that caused her husband’s death. In a cellphone video she recorded that night in 2014, Luis Rodriguez can be heard saying, “I can’t breathe” while police held him down.

The police said Luis Rodriguez didn’t cooperate and took a “fighting stance,” appearing as if he was going to hit an officer.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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