Robin Howard Family Protests, Demands Chief's Resignation
OKLAHOMA CITY - Dozens of people protested in front of police headquarters in downtown Oklahoma City Sunday.
Family members and friends of Robin Howard are looking for answers and demanding justice over his death. Some even carried signs demanding the Oklahoma City chief of police resign over the issue.
Howard died in police custody two months ago and his family says the police are covering something up. Family members are suspicious that the police may have played a role in Howard's death, so they took to the streets as their attorney was seeking the help of the ACLU.
"I don't know who dropped the ball," Howard's mother Lonzetta Morrison said. "All of them did."
On Tuesday, police chief William Citty apologized to the family of Robin Howard and even admitted that his department "dropped the ball" in notifying the family in a timely manner.
Police did not notify Howard's family of his death until four days after the fact. Since the death eight weeks ago, the family has been asking for reports of police investigations into the incident. However, the family's attorney says they have had zero luck.
"We've continued to get the runaround from the police department," attorney David Slane said. "They're not giving us the information. We've asked the mayor to intervene…we haven't heard from him."
Howard's mother says police beat her son and called off an ambulance to drive Howard past two hospitals before arriving to one where he was pronounced dead. Morrison can't help but wonder if those precious minutes could have saved her son's life, but she simply doesn't know because the family says it can't even get a complete autopsy report.
"We don't know if it's just one incompetent thing after the other…and then the chief apologizes…or this is a concerted effort to not give the information to the family, to cover something up," Slane said.
In a letter sent to the ACLU Sunday, Slane asked the union to back the family in their attempts to get answers.
Howard had been convicted on drug crimes in the past and had a warrant out for his arrest prior to his death. Slane says the family was denied Howard's crime reports at the same time those reports were released to local news media outlets.
The medical examiner has released a preliminary autopsy report saying Howard died of acute pneumonia caused by blunt force to his chest.