A Caddo County, Okla., jail inmate died after being strangled when jailers put him in a neck hold, The Frontier reports.
Darius Randell Robinson, 41, died April 5, just a few days after being arrested on warrants for unpaid child support, the site notes.
Jailers initially said that Robinson had tried to escape his cell while they were cleaning up items he had destroyed, The Frontier notes. According to an autopsy report, Robinson began "acting violently and agitated in his cell." Also from the autopsy, which was released Wednesday:
When the jail staff opened his cell door to check on him, the decedent reportedly charged the staff. He was subdued, handcuffed, and pepper spray was reportedly used. In addition, it was reported that a neck hold was also used to restrain the deceased. While lying handcuffed and prone on the jail floor, the deceased became unresponsive. There was a report of white foam coming from his mouth.
According to the autopsy, Robinson suffered a broken neck, several hemorrhages and abrasions from his handcuffs. The probable cause of death is listed as asphyxiation due to "manual compression of neck."
According to KSWO, his death was ruled a homicide.
In response to the new details regarding Robinson's death, attorneys for Robinson's family are standing firm in the belief that he died because of the application of excessive force.
"Tragically, the autopsy confirms what the family suspected; Darius Robinson died as the result of excessive force. Specifically, the medical examiner concluded that Darius died from injuries consistent with manual strangulation. Darius’ injuries were directly caused by jailers at the Caddo County Jail," the attorneys said in a statement Wednesday after the release of the autopsy. "This conduct is outrageous, and inconsistent with jail standards throughout the United States. We trust that the District Attorney will follow the law and file the appropriate criminal charges immediately against those jailers responsible for the strangulation and homicide of Darius Robinson.”
Family members told The Frontier that Robinson was arrested for child support cases dating back to the late ’90s and relating to children who are now 18 and 19 years old. Those children, they said, lived with him at the time of his arrest.
Robinson's family also claims that jail staff initially said Robinson had died as a result of a heart attack and that staff failed to mention that he was pepper-sprayed and put in a neck hold while handcuffed.
According to The Frontier, the family is demanding the release of video from inside the jail. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is reportedly looking into the death.