Family wants surveillance video in jail death

Updated: Apr. 8, 2016 at 10:34 PM CDT
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ANADARKO, OK (KSWO)- The family of a man who died after a run-in with staff at the Caddo County Jail is now demanding the release of surveillance video.

Darius Robinson, 41, had been jailed since April 1 on four child support warrants. On April 4, authorities say Robinson tried to escape his cell, and when jailers attempted to restrain him, he stopped breathing. Robinson was taken to the hospital, where he died.

His family says no matter what happened, they want to see the video for themselves. The family says when Robinson was arrested, they never would have imagined that he would not walk out of the jail alive.

"It doesn't seem real to me to be here. You see it every day. It happens all over but for it to be so close, I haven't absorbed it all the way yet. I don't think," said Robinson's brother Ancio.

He said he last spoke to his brother the day he was arrested, and Robinson told him that he was looking forward to an upcoming court date to set up payments on his child support. He was expected to be released within a week.

"I was under the impression that it was going to be a general easy process and I would be talking to him Wednesday or Thursday to be honest with you, but that didn't happen," said Ancio.

Robinson was pronounced dead at The Physicians Hospital in Anadarko just three days after his arrest. His best friend, Edgar Adams says the family has received very little information and they believe the surveillance video will shed more light.

"We want to make it as transparent as possible. If there was no wrongdoing, then we want to see the tape. We would like Caddo County Sheriff's Department to arrange a meeting with the family so we can view the video. So we can put closure to this," said Adams.

He says a sheriff's deputy told him that on the night in question, Robinson was acting strangely. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says Robinson destroyed several items in his cell, which is why jailers entered in the first place. However, Adams says the timeline of events isn't adding up.

"After they restrained him, there was a gray area. We don't know what happened. They removed him from his cell around 9:46 p.m. And ten minutes later, they were doing CPR on him. So in that 10 minutes, he lost his life. We just want to know. Did he die violently? Was he hit in the head? Put in a chokehold? We want to know," questioned Adams.

While Robinson did have a past, Adams says he was a beloved son and father of eight.

"He was full of life. His kids loved him to death. We love him to death. We just want closure. The family wants closure," said Adams.

Adams and Ancio say they will continue to fight for answers and plan to hire an attorney, but for the time being, they have a much bigger worry on their hands.

"Plan on making funeral arrangements to bury my brother I guess. That's what I'll be doing all day," said Ancio.

The State Medical Examiner's Office is currently working to determine how Robinson died.

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