Norman PD Releases Body Cam Video Of Man Who Died In Custody
CLEVELAND COUNTY, Oklahoma - Norman Police just released video of their encounter with a man who died after being taken from the hospital to jail last week. The OSBI is now investigating 35-year-old Marconia Kessee's death.
Norman Police say Norman Regional Hospital staff called 911 on Kessee because he was trying to negotiate for narcotics, but his family members maintain he was having a medical episode.
When officers arrived at the hospital around 7:30 on the evening of Jan. 16, they escorted Kessee outside in a wheelchair. Police say he refused to leave the premises, despite their efforts.
“Two Norman police officers attempted to persuade Kessee to seek shelter at the Salvation Army, a shelter located nearby,” said Sarah Jensen from NPD.
A doctor at the hospital signed off on Kessee’s transfer to the Cleveland County Jail instead.
In the 22-minute body camera video, Master Police Officer Kyle Canaan and Officer Daniel Brown reference Kessee's mental state. At one point when Kessee is lying on the ground, one of the officers says, “You can stop with the show,” while the other comments, “It ain’t fooling a single person, I can tell you that.”
Fifteen minutes into the video, the officers drag Kessee away from the hospital entrance because he would not stand up. Both officers are on administrative leave now, with an internal investigation underway.
Chief Keith Humphrey says the comments made by the officers do not reflect the department's community oriented policing standards, but maintains they did not have an impact on the outcome that night.
“There is no indication at this time that the actions of the officers contributed to the death of Mr. Kessee,” the captain said.
Two hours after he was placed under observation at the jail, Kessee became unresponsive. He was transported to back to the hospital, where he died.
Kessee’s family believes if he had received the care he requested from the beginning, he might still be alive today.
His uncle Michael Washington said, “He wasn’t called for trespassing. He was called because somebody at the hospital got tired of him wanting something for his headache that he was never given, and we’re not going to accept that.”
As the OSBI continues to investigate, the Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy on Kessee to determine his exact cause of death.
To view the body camera footage of the incident, click here.