By Samson Tamijani
TULSA, Oklahoma (KJRH) — On May 29, 2022, motorcyclist Michael Wade McKee was being pursued by Skiatook Police Officer Leianne Richards for suspicion of speeding.
When the chase, which topped speeds of 100 miles per hour, appeared to come to an end, investigators say he was struck at 37 mph by Richards’ squad car.
A medical examiner’s report later found McKee had methamphetamine in his system when he was fatally injured.
McKee’s family’s Tulsa-based attorney Mark Lyons said the entire incident should have been avoided and suggested the officer put others in danger before committing a homicide.
“How’s it possible that someone could run into somebody at 37 miles per hour and hit them and kill them, and that not be a crime?” Lyons said.
Lyons said he and the McKee family seek $10 million dollars in damages from the City of Skiatook and Richards, who was reportedly told not to pursue McKee without backup from Skiatook PD, Tulsa PD, or Tulsa County Sheriff deputies.
According to the accident report filed by Tulsa police, the chase ended more than 20 miles away from Skiatook, at 31st Street and Peoria Avenue, with Richards hitting McKee while he was standing by his motorcycle.
“It was extremely obvious the Honda motorcycle was struck by the Ford explorer while it was still in a vertical upright position,” adding that “the impact caused him to be thrown from the motorcycle…”
It also mentions that Richard’s squad car didn’t have a dash cam, nor was she wearing a body camera at the time.
“Regrettably, what you see is time and time again you have police officers that kill people or that hurt people, and not only do they not get disciplined, they get rewarded. And it’s just unacceptable,” Lyons said.
The civil case has been filed in federal court, but a hearing hasn’t been set. Lyons expects the process to drag out for at least a year.
But the attorney also argues that criminal charges should be filed soon.
“The public needs to know about this because it keeps happening, and repeatedly whether it’s daily or weekly or monthly or whatever,” he said.
“It just goes on and on. It’s got to stop.”
An operator on the phone with the City of Skiatook said no one was available to comment this week.
A spokeswoman from Tulsa County District Attorney’s office told 2 News that DA Steve Kunzweiler is unavailable to comment while he’s in a trial this week.
The spokeswoman added the DA’s office can’t consider pressing charges against the officer until TPD’s full investigation of the incident is done.
Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.