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A Prisoner at Cleveland County Jail in Oklahoma Dies Hours After Arrest: A Related Video is Released

Post Office Norman OK scaled
Post Office in Norman, Oklahoma (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

Hours after being arrested and booked in Cleveland County Jail in Norman, Oklahoma, on January 16, 2018, 34-year-old Marconia Kessee, an African American, was found unresponsive in a cell and later died at a nearby hospital. The circumstances leading to his arrest involved his refusal to leave Norman Regional Hospital after being treated for a headache. Police officers with the Norman Police Department attempted to talk Kessee into leaving and going to the Salvation Army. Although a 9-1-1 call indicated that Kessee had “wigged out” in the hospital waiting room and needed to be removed, he was ultimately arrested. Kessee’s uncle said that his nephew should have been taken to some kind of crisis center, not a jail.

The video below has been released in connection with the police interaction with Kessee. There is no indication on the video that anything officers did contributed to his death. Police Chief Keith Humphrey said, however, that disparaging comments were made by officers, which caused him concern.

After being booked into Cleveland County Jail, Kessee allegedly attempted to cause himself harm. He was placed in a padded cell and later found unresponsive. Paramedics were quickly contacted, and Kessee was transported to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The officers involved with the arrest are now on administrative leave while an internal investigation is conducted of the custodial death. One of the officers has been with the Norman Police Department since 2009 and the other since 2013.

A law was enacted in 2017 in Texas to address this common issue of mentally ill people being booked into jail when what they may need is help for their mental condition, not incarceration. The law is referred to as the Sandra Bland Act, in reference to Sandra Bland, who died in Waller County Jail in Hempstead, Texas, on July 13, 2015. Bland was arrested for an alleged altercation with a police officer after being pulled over for an alleged minor traffic violation. The 28-year-old committed suicide in the jail three days later. A dash cam video of her interaction with the officer who pulled her over went viral on social media, causing huge controversy and sparking demonstrations alleging police brutality and racial discrimination against African Americans.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Written By: author image smchugh
author image smchugh