OKC Police Release Jail Surveillance, Body Camera Footage From Saturday’s Hostage Situation


Friday, April 2nd 2021, 5:14 pm
By: Erica Rankin


OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma City Police Department's chief laid out a timeline of events for this past Saturday’s hostage situation during a news conference Friday morning.

During the conference, they released videos from inside of the jail and body camera footage from officers when they went in to save the hostage.

Chief Wade Gourley said from the moment 911 calls started to flood in, it was a dire situation. They went in with one goal: to save the detention officer who was being held hostage and assaulted.

The video showed the moment the inmate, Curtis Williams, escaped from his jail cell and backed the detention officer into the corner where he then put something around his neck and tied his hands up.

“It is obvious at that point, they could not handle the situation and they needed help,” Gourley said.

Workers inside of the jail called their dispatchers for help.

During the hours-long incident, the video also showed, Williams holding a makeshift knife to the throat of the detention officer. At one point, the video showed Williams walking the hostage down the stairs where other inmates assaulted him.

Surveillance showed Williams assaulting another inmate while they were out of their cells.

Around 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oklahoma City police officers and county deputies had made their way into the jail.

“They are moving their way up there and they don’t know what’s going on,” Gourley said.

When officers got there, they saw the suspect, Williams, with the makeshift knife to the throat of the detention officer as he forced him to his knees.

Gourley said that is when his officers had to make a split second decision to rescue the detention officer who was being held hostage.

"If that hostage is under immediate threat, as he was at that point, they have to take action to stop that threat and their primary goal is to get that hostage out safely," Gourley said.

Gourley said they will always help but that something needs to change in the jail.

Gourley said this investigation could take several weeks to complete until they are able to present their findings to the district attorney. But, the investigation will not be complete until the DA makes a ruling.