Family of inmate killed by police in hostage situation speaks out

Local

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The family of the inmate the shot and killed by police Saturday is speaking out after police say he held a detention officer hostage.

The inmate has been identified as 34-year-old Curtis Williams.

Family members say the deplorable conditions inside the jail led him to do this.

“I know for sure that he would not just go out and kidnap anyone unless he was led to do it,” his mother Rhonda Lambert said. “Conditions in the jail caused my son and so many others like him to lose self control.”

Williams has been locked up for the past two years. Records show a long list of charges, including rape.

Police say when he took the detention officer hostage, he was holding a makeshift weapon to the officer’s throat. That officer had to be treated at a hospital after being beaten and stabbed.

“Even though he was in the wrong, I’m not saying he was right, he was in the wrong, but they did not have to kill that boy,” Williams’ aunt said.

Family members are also frustrated with the lack of communication from the jail.

“[The jail] said, ‘yes he is here and this whole time he was dead,'” Alyssa Weslely, the mother of his children, said.

The Oklahoma Coalition Against People Abuse held a protest about the conditions, and called for the resignation of police Chief Wade Gourley.

“It’s almost like we’re in a third world country man,” activist Michael Washington said.

The Police Department says they’re not commenting on the protestors’ demands.

The Jail Administrator could not be reached Monday. On Saturday, he responded to the conditions at the jail.

“If we come across issues, if we come across physical plant problems, we have contractors come in and help us resolve that so that’s a continual kind of thing,” Greg Williams said.

One note involving the issues at the jail: Monday morning, Oklahoma County Sheriff Tommie Johnson scheduled an “invitation only” press conference to discuss his thoughts on the matter. 

It was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday evening but only reporters hand-picked by the Sheriff would be allowed to attend.  

While a KFOR News 4 reporter was invited to the event, we’ve decided against participating.  

It is our belief that elected officials should *not* be allowed to decide which members of the press or the public they answer to.

We hope to bring you coverage of the Sheriff’s press conferences in the future as long as they are open and transparent in a manner that Oklahoma County voters and our viewers have come to expect.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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