OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After an inmate death at the Oklahoma County Jail Thursday, the mother of a nearby inmate is concerned he didn’t get the help he needed.
The deceased inmate has been identified as 53-year-old Gregory Davis.
Amber Jackson says her son was a few cells down from him.
“I’m heartbroken, because it’s something that could’ve been avoided,” she said.
Jackson says her son called her, telling her what happened over the phone.
“He was hysterical, he was crying non-stop. He said there was an inmate that was three cells down from his that had been beating at the door for four days, crying, begging, basically with COVID symptoms,” she said. “Nobody came to assist him or give him help, or send him to medical or anything like that.”
Mark Opgrande, communications director at the jail, says they will talk to all the staff members and inmates around Davis as part of their investigation.
“Two hours before at 7 o’clock there was staff interaction with this individual, two staff members actually went to the door and had a verbal exchange with the individual inside the cell. What they talked about, I’m not privy to that, that’ll be part of the investigation,” Opgrande said.
He says after that, another staff member went to check on him but found him unresponsive. They called for paramedics, and Davis was declared deceased at the hospital.
However, Jackson claims that wasn’t how it happened.
“They pulled him out into the pod, they left him there for about an hour, his eyes were wide open, all the other inmates were allowed to see this on go for about an hour. After about an hour, they went out and tried to resuscitate him and put papers over all the inmate’s glass on their cell doors,” she said.
This is the second death at the jail in one week.
“These are all part of our reviews too. We will look at every aspect of this. That’s part of the investigation to find out did something go wrong, was something not done, is there a check not made… if somebody did something wrong, then did that lead to charges, or does that lead to a change of policy,” Opgrande said.
“[I feel] concerned, disgusted. I was disgusted from the point where the inmates are literally acting out because they can’t shower, they’re taking money from their commissary and not bringing the items,” Jackson said.
“Our goal is to better this place, make it better each day than it was the day before. There are lots of challenges involved in that. Facility, staffing levels, too,” Opgrande said.
“They need to have some type of accountability for what happened because I know they’re saying, ‘we went and did a welfare check,’ he was already dead, as if they didn’t know he was in there banging, screaming, crying for four days,” Jackson said.
It will be up to the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death.
Jackson also says she has concerns about COVID-19 in the jail.
Opgrande says they offer COVID testing, vaccines, and masks, and they try to keep movement down to prevent the virus from spreading.