Family Seeks Justice After Jail Found Not At Fault For Man's Death

“Then for the jury to say they’re not responsible… how could they not be?” Dwight Clinton, Daryl’s brother, said. “If I’m a guardian of somebody and they’re in my custody, then they die because I wasn’t paying attention, I would be charged.”

Monday, October 2nd 2023, 5:12 pm

By: News 9


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The family of a man who died in the custody of the Oklahoma County jail wants justice, even though a federal jury said the jail wasn't at fault. 

"Something went down that wasn't right,” Dwight Clinton said. “It wasn't right, bottom line." 

Dwight’s brother, Daryl Clinton, died in August of 2019 at the Oklahoma County Detention Center. 

"We're just trying to find justice for Daryl," Clinton said. "Someone needs to be held accountable for what happened.” 

Related: Oklahoma County Not At Fault For 2019 Inmate Death

Clinton was arrested August 5th of 2019 after backing his car into a light pole. Court documents say he was checked out at a nearby hospital, released to jail and booked. 

Five days later, Clinton was rushed to the hospital where he died after county officials say he suffered a heart attack. 

"They specifically said if he starts to deteriorate, bring him back in,” Equlla Brothers, Clinton’s sister, explained. “That was not done."  

She says she believes Clinton was neglected.  

"He was laying in the same position for like seven or eight hours at a time. He couldn't move," Brothers said.  

The family shared Clinton's death certificate with News 9, it cites a 'cervical spine injury' sustained in the car crash as his immediate cause of death. 

"He had defecated on himself, he was laying in his own feces,” Brothers said. “He couldn't urinate for at least 24 hours."  

The medical examiner ruled Clinton's death an accident, according to court records. 

His brothers and sisters disagree. 

"Don't give me that accident line,” Dwight said. “There are experts that said there is a good chance he would have lived if they had got him back up there."  

Their journey to find justice for Clinton began with a civil suit filed against the Oklahoma County Sheriff.  

"I think it would take a cold-hearted person to watch somebody die like that,” Clinton said.  

Current Sheriff Tommie Johnson was named in the lawsuit, Johnson did not hold the office at the time when Clinton died. A federal jury ruled the jail was not at fault. 

"No, we were not satisfied with the verdict because we don't feel like it was a jury of our peers," said Brothers. 

As they continue to grieve, the family is petitioning for better conditions and training for employees working inside the jail. 

The Oklahoma County jail trust took over the detention center in 2020. A spokesperson said all employees undergo four weeks of training with experts before working inside the jail. In November, that training will be expanded to 10 weeks. 

We also reached out to the Sheriff's Office, and a spokesperson said they had no comment. 

For more on the family’s petition for better conditions and training, click here.

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