Allan Grubb, the district attorney for Pottawatomie and Lincoln Counties said he plans to request the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation take a second look into the 2019 death of Ronald Given.
Given was booked into the Pottawatomie County jail less than 12 hours before he was hospitalized in critical condition. His death was ruled as a homicide by the state medical examiner.
After their initial investigation in 2019, Grubb said the OSBI did not recommend any criminal charges related to Given’s death.
“I’ve sent (the case) to the FBI because I believed there were some violations the FBI could look into,” Grubb said. “That was over a year ago. I have not seen anything from that.”
“My next step will be to ask the OSBI to take a look at their last investigation to look into potential other charges.”
The OSBI said Friday it has not yet received a request from Grubb.
Given’s aunt, Eva Kopaddy, filed a civil lawsuit against the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center in December alleging staff used excessive force and denied medical care to him.
Shawnee police officers took Given into custody on January 8, 2019, after he experienced a mental health crisis, according to police reports. The officers, however, had to wait with Given in a hospital for hours because all of the behavioral health facilities in the state were full.
The next day police arrested Given after he pushed an officer during an attempt to leave the hospital, according to arrest reports.
Grubb allowed Kopaddy’s attorney, Ronald Kelly, to watch the security footage while Given was inside the jail.
Kelly told News 9 the footage showed one jail staffer kneel on Given’s neck until he was unconscious.
“It’s something that was unnecessary no matter how it happened. It was unnecessary,” Kelly said.
The jail has not released the security footage to the public.
The Frontier, a nonprofit news organization, filed a lawsuit against the jail to have the footage released.
Friends and family of Given have protested outside of Grubb’s office several times since his death in support of criminal charges.
“My brother Ronnie Given was murdered. And somebody needs to be held accountable for that,” said Michael Deer, a longtime friend of Given. “Those people are still possibly working in that jail today. They’re alive, they’re well. And our brother’s not, he’s in a grave.”
Grubb said without an affidavit from a law enforcement officer, he can’t file criminal charges. He said his chief investigator in 2019, Patrick Vance, recused himself from investigating Given’s death at the time because he was a member of the jail trust.
As a result of the 2019 recusal, Grubb said his office can’t investigate the death.
“In a perfect world, I would hope that we could get an investigator with the OSBI or the federal government and do something with it,” Grubb said.
Editor's Note: This article has been corrected to identify Eva Kopaddy as Ronald Given's aunt. The article previously misidentified Kopaddy as Given's mother.