ANADARKO, OK (KSWO) –The family of the man who died after an incident involving employees of the Caddo County jail is filing a federal civil suit against the jail after seeing the video of his death for the first time.
Darius Robinson was arrested in April for failure to pay child support. Jail officials originally said they had to restrain him after he tried to escape his cell. After an investigation, the State Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide by strangulation.
Today, lawyers for the family announced that a grand jury declined to file charges against anyone involved in Robinson's death. After watching the video, the family feels even stronger that there was no reason that Darius Robinson needed to die. The family believes it was gross negligence from the jail and without a grand jury indictment, justice will not be served.
Darius Robinson's brother, Ancio Robinson, spoke out about everything that has happened.
"It looks as if excessive force was used. It could have been avoided and the choke hold and other maneuvers and them entering the cell. It was obvious there was a lack of training and procedure in place, and that it could have been 100 percent avoided," Robinson said.
Surveillance video shows the minutes just before Robinson died. He is seen throwing things around his single cell. He repeatedly told jail officials he could potentially suffer from withdrawals, and that he had a prescription for Xanax that he needed to take.
"When he's transferred to the Caddo County Jail, after having that information disclosed, they failed to take any steps to check his vital signs, take any type of withdrawal assessment, do any monitoring that is standard procedure for individuals who may suffer from withdrawal symptoms," Spencer Bryant, the Robinson family's attorney, said.
In the video, while the jail guards are dealing with Robinson, it appears he makes a move for the door. He is then taken down and put into a choke hold. Two employees wrestle with him, put him in handcuffs and leave him lying face down on the ground.
"Any even minimally law enforcement officer knows that is absolutely what you do not do. Mr. Robinson was given no chance to live by the people in this jail after they put him in that position," said Gregory Lattimer, an attorney for the Robinson family.
Darius was on the ground for 7 minutes before any medical personnel responded. The family and their attorneys say that they just want justice to be served
"Yes, we have hope. We always have hope. Do you want what we believe? No. There aren't going to be criminal charges filed, because if you file criminal charges then you have to indict the system," Lattimer said.
The family is filing a federal civil suit against the Caddo County Jail. They are hoping the suit will make a difference and ensure that something like this never happens in Caddo County again.