Robin Howard's Family Reacts To Situation In Ferguson
OKLAHOMA CITY - For one Oklahoma family, watching the coverage in Ferguson is a reminder of their own brother's death.
Robin Howard died two years ago after a traffic stop with Oklahoma City Police led to what his family says was an unnecessary deadly beating.
Howard's family said what happened in Ferguson is not an isolated event. They say their brother's death was the result of the same mistrust between the black community and law enforcement.
“Hurt. You know? To know that this unarmed young boy is dead and for what? Why is he dead? You know if he did something wrong then he should have been able to be put in jail and go before a court,” said Robin Howard's sister, Kimberly Turner.
On July 19, 2012 Oklahoma City Police attempted to pull Robin Howard over for a traffic stop. Police said Howard refused to stop, leading them on a short chase, which ended with Howard resisting arrest, forcing Officers Jeff Coffee and Doug Grand to use excessive force.
That force caused several serious injuries, including broken ribs, which punctured Howard's lung and led to his death days later in the hospital.
“There are things that are done to people by officer and there's no accountability,” said Turner.
In Howard's case, much like Michael Brown's, there was not enough evidence to find the two cops guilty of any wrongdoing.
“It's the same reoccurring theme over and over and over. Unarmed. Black man. Dead. White officer. Investigation. No charges. No accountability. We have to change that,” said defense attorney David Slane.
Turner believes it's lack of trust that leads to these deadly situations.
“Every cop is not upstanding and doing the right thing and we're not saying that all cops are bad. That's not what we are saying. We want to be able to trust them,” said Turner.
The family hopes the national attention on the death of Michael Brown will keep a spotlight on this issue and hopefully bring about change.
Howard was a seven-time convicted felon for multiple drug charges. At the time of the incident he had a warrant out for his arrest.