NORMAN, Okla. – Two arresting officers have been placed on administrative leave following the death of an inmate.
Last week, Master Police Officer Kyle Canaan and Officer Daniel Brown arrested 34-year-old Marconia Kessee for trespassing at Norman Regional Hospital. According to police, he refused to leave after he was treated.
According to Kessee’s uncle, Michael Washington, he was there for a headache. The officers tried to get Kessee to go to the local Salvation Army after he was released.
“We believe that there was no actual mental evaluation, we believe that the doctors, hospitals, did not review or take the physical assessment of my nephew and that they are partly responsible and they will be held accountable,” Washington said Tuesday.
Kessee was taken to the Cleveland County jail. In a past interview with News 4, Cleveland County Sheriff Todd Gibson said he was placed in a padded cell after he allegedly tried to hurt himself.
He was found unresponsive and and rushed to the hospital where he later died.
At a press conference Tuesday, Norman Police Chief Keith Humphrey said newly released body camera video indicates the officers’ interaction with Kessee did not contribute to his death.
However, Chief Humphrey said he was concerned over “disparaging comments” caught on video.
Part of the video shows one of the officers telling Kessee “Here in about 15 seconds, I’m going to drag your [expletive] to the curb to get you off this property and then you can find your own way to the Salvation army. Ok? Put your shoe on. I’m losing patience.”
Outside the hospital, the officers repeatedly asked Kessee to put his shoes on.
“I’m too cold to stand here and watch you play this game. Can you just put your shoe on walk away? Thank you,” said one of the officers.
Police also released three 911 calls made that night. Two were from the hospital prior to Kessee’s arrest and one was at the detention center where Kessee was taken.
“I just got a message from my supervisor that we’ve got a patient out in our waiting room that’s wigged out and they need some assistance,” the caller from the hospital said.
Washington said Kessee should have been sent to a crisis center, not jail.
“Wigging out means to me that someone who’s not quite capable or understanding his immediate environment or situation,” he said.
According to a spokesperson for Norman Regional Hospital, officials can’t discuss a patient’s specific medical information due to privacy laws.
News 4 asked the hospital for its policies and procedures for having someone removed from hospital property after that patient is released from care.
We did not get a response to that question.
Instead we were given a short statement: “Norman Regional Health System is saddened by this loss of life. We are internally reviewing this case.”
By policy, the officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the internal investigation. Master Police Officer Canaan has been with with the Norman Police Department since October 9, 2009 and Officer Daniel Brown has been with the department since October 4, 2013.
The internal investigation is ongoing.