OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – It’s been one month since Dina “Latrell” Kirven died at the Oklahoma County Detention Center. His mother, who drove up to Oklahoma City from Atlanta, said she’s not leaving until she gets satisfying answers to how her son died.
She’s sharing her latest conversation with jail administration with KFOR.
“To get that phone call right before Easter that my child died in the facility like this, it’s not right,” said Volarie Scott. “Nobody has answers and that just really, really burnt me up inside.”
Scott told KFOR she’s still seeking justice from the jail. Her son died after being booked into the jail in the early hours of April 8.
The 26-year-old was found unresponsive in a holding cell.
His mother said her son had drugs in his system and the jail staff left him unattended.
“I want to know from the workers, why did you leave my child and any other inmate alone for over 6 hours without checking on them,” she said.
She told us she recently got to sit down with the jail’s Chief of Operations, who told her on-duty officers that night were negligent.
“He told me two of the pod officers were fired and he has taken the case over to the district attorney’s office,” she shared.
Scott said she was also told the jail is hiring more staff and increasing training.
“He is making changes and he wants the workers to know that if they’re not doing the job that they’re supposed to do, that they will be accountable for their actions,” she said. “If it leads to prosecution, that’s what he will push for.”
But she said these words and promises aren’t enough, since three more inmates have died since her son’s passing.
“That’s sad that the inmates just keep going down there and passing away,” she said emotionally. “Because the apologies and the training is good, but they apologies will never bring back Latrell. We all miss him.”
We asked the jail administration for more insight into their meeting with Scott and they said they can’t comment on the case specifically because this is considered an ongoing homicide investigation.
They provided this statement when we asked how they plan to minimize or eliminate inmate deaths:
“We have partnered and are exploring partnerships with numerous agencies that can help provide guidance in dealing with fentanyl and contraband the facility. This includes criminal prosecution of those entering the facility with or providing individuals with contraband, in-person training and education for detainees and staff on the dangers of opioids including fentanyl through a community partnership, numerous interdiction procedures such as the implementation of strip searches for individuals entering or re-entering our facility, and other measures currently in the planning stages to be more proactive in our approach to managing this epidemic. It is vital that the community understand how prevalent this deadly drug is in our community and how little it takes to potentially kill someone. Just 2 mg – the amount that would fit in the tip of a pencil – is enough to be a potentially lethal dose. That makes it extremely difficult to find through otherwise proven contraband detection methods.” – Mark Opgrande, Communications Director, OCDC
They also shared that six inmates have died this year, 16 in 2022, and 16 in 2021.