Mother of naked teen killed by Oklahoma police seeks answers

Ken Miller and Adam Kealoha Causey
Associated Press
This May 1, 2019 photo shows the Edmond, Okla. home where police say a naked 17-year-old high school student, Isaiah Mark Lewis, was fatally shot Monday, after forcing his way inside.

Edmond, Okla. – The mother of an unarmed teenager who was naked when police in Oklahoma fatally shot him said she wants more answers about the death of her son, who was weeks away from graduating high school.

Vicki Lewis said Wednesday that the only time she has heard from police in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond was when they told her that 17-year-old Isaiah Mark Lewis was dead.

The teen died Monday from an unknown number of gunshot wounds.

“They don’t get to assassinate my son’s character,” the mother said during a press conference broadcast on the Oklahoma City Black Lives Matter Facebook page . “I think that everybody’s been clouded by what they heard, and people take information like that and run with it. And it’s not the gospel.”

Edmond police spokeswoman Jenny Wagnon said investigators have yet to interview the two officers who followed the teenager when he forced his way into a house. Wagnon says Lewis fought the officers, who deployed a stun gun to subdue him. When that failed, at least one officer fired a handgun multiple times.

Police initially said Lewis was an adult after a woman called 911 to report a domestic disturbance at her neighbor’s house. Officers had been searching for Lewis for about an hour before the confrontation.

Wagnon said Thursday that the department has communicated with the teen’s family.

“We understand that the Lewis family is grieving the death of their son,” Wagnon said, “but we’re at the point in this investigation where we have to let the facts play out.”

Edmond police identified the officers involved as Sgt. Milo Box and Officer Denton Scherman. Box has worked at the department for 17 years, and Scherman was hired in September.

Box and Scherman have not spoken with investigators, Wagon said Thursday. Investigators are working with the officers’ attorneys to arrange interviews.

Neither was wearing a body camera during the shooting , Wagnon said. An officer who responded after shots were fired had a camera on his dashboard.

During a recording of a 911 call that prompted the police response Monday, a woman who identifies herself as Lewis’ 18-year-old girlfriend tried to take the phone from a neighbor to tell dispatchers that her “boyfriend just flipped out. I have no idea what’s going on.”

Other 911 callers later reported Lewis stripped naked as he ran down the street. Police later said they chased him as he jumped fences before breaking into the house where he was shot.

Kamri Pollock, who said Lewis was her boyfriend, later told KFOR-TV she saw no reason for police to be involved and that she wanted to know “what he was on.” Police said they would have to await a toxicology report to determine if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

During the 911 call, a dispatcher asked if the teenager was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and the girlfriend responded, “No, not today.”

Vicki Lewis said Wednesday that she did not know Pollock. She said her son was liked by teachers and that he hugged her every day when she dropped him off at school.

Edmond Public Schools spokeswoman Susan Parks-Schlepp said Lewis attended an alternative school for students who were behind in their graduation requirements. His commencement ceremony was set for May 18.