For most Comanche County residents, being stopped by the police for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs triggers a series of events — a breathalyzer test, arrest, and transportation to the Comanche County Detention Center. An individual sobers up, and either posts bond or is released, pending a potential arraignment and/or upcoming court date. The process itself is all-too-familiar for many. A mug shot is taken. A file is created. Due process begins. But, for CCDC Captain Isaiah Daniel Orr, the process was dramatically different.
CLEVELAND COUNTY, Okla. — The deputy chief who oversees the Cleveland County Detention Center has resigned, according to the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office. Deputy Chief Scott Sedbrook submitted his resignation letter Wednesday morning, and Maj. Dennis Hansen submitted his on Monday. Cleveland County Sheriff's Office officials said Sheriff Chris Amason accepted their resignation, which will take effect immediately. Undersheriff Marcus Williams will be in charge of jail operations until a new chief is appointed. The news comes after the deaths of two Cleveland County inmates in less than a month. Shannon Hanchett, who was also known as Norman's ``Cookie Queen,`` died on Dec. 8, and Kathryn Milano died on Dec. 20 while in the detention center's custody.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — The Chief Executive of the Oklahoma County Detention Center (OCDC) has resigned after a little over two years on the job. Greg Williams has stepped down from his position after he served as the Chief Executive of the OCDC for a little over two years. There was a lot of opinions given as to why Williams should leave his position, with the list of problems in the jail being long. Last year there was a hostage situation, more than a dozen deaths in 2022, bed bugs, and several failed health inspections, to name a few of the issues within OCDC.
A federal jury awarded $10.25 million this week to the family of an Army veteran who spent his final days immobilized in an Oklahoma jail as guards and medical providers doubted his claims that his neck was broken. The man, Elliott Williams, had in fact broken his neck five days before his death, and video of his final 51 hours in October 2011 shows him unable to reach food or water that guards had placed nearby on the cell floor in the Tulsa County Jail. In the video, his naked body remains almost totally motionless from when the guards dragged him into the cell on a blanket until paramedics tried and failed to revive him. The jury ruled on Monday that his civil rights had been violated. Jail workers had moved the Army veteran to the video-monitored room from a medical unit, where he had been for three days, complaining of a broken neck, according to a 2012 police investigation. They suspected he was faking and thought the video would prove whether he was lying.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced its launch of an investigation into how people with behavioral health issues are treated in Oklahoma. The investigation will look into Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Police Department, and the State of Oklahoma as a whole for potential civil rights violations. Those violations stem from the lack of mental health resources in Oklahoma as the crux of the investigations aims to evaluate ``whether the state of Oklahoma's failure to provide community-based services for people with behavioral health disabilities in Oklahoma County resulted in unnecessary institutionalizations and police encounters.``
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A coalition of local activists and faith leaders joined together Friday at a northeast Oklahoma City church to call for change in Oklahoma County jail leadership. They originally met earlier this week where they said they have waited for change, but they claim the issues have gotten worse and not better. “We waited to see the death decline. We waited to see horror stories of the jail dissipate. We waited to see the direction change. But we see right now that it is not happening,” said local pastor, the Rev. Dr. John Reed Jr. on Friday. “Mr. Williams is incapable of righting the ship.”
NEWKIRK — A court date is scheduled for Sidney Bolton Powers, 25, Ponca City, in Kay County District Court. Powers is facing charges in two cases. In the first case filed on Dec. 21, he is charged with a felony count of domestic assault, battery and or assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and three misdemeanor offenses including domestic abuse and drug charges.
A man died Tuesday night while in the custody of the Colorado Springs police. According to the CSPD, a crisis response team went to a home north of downtown Colorado Springs just before 5 p.m. after a 9-1-1 caller described a man as having a mental health episode. When the team arrived, they reportedly found the man in the roadway. There was a ``struggle,`` according to police records, and the man was placed in handcuffs. Police said he then became unresponsive. CSPD said the team called for medical help. The man was then taken to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Both an officer and a paramedic have been placed on paid administrative leave, per policy.
DENVER – As COVID-19 raged throughout Colorado jails and prisons, and more than 800 detainees at the El Paso County Jail tested positive for the virus, jail staff told incarcerated people begging for help: “we’re just going to let the virus run its course.” On Sunday, ACLU of Colorado and three private attorneys filed a class action lawsuit against the sheriff in federal court. The lawsuit, based on hundreds of letters and dozens of interviews, seeks an expedited hearing and a court order to require Sheriff Elder to comply with COVID-19 public health guidelines, provide adequate protection from the virus and implement proper monitoring and treatment for persons who test positive.
A lawsuit brought by the father of an Alabama woman who died from pneumonia in jail will finally get its day in court, alleging jail nurses never treated his daughter, even as her condition worsened, AL.com reports. Autumn Harris, 34, died in the Walker County Jail on Dec. 5, 2018 after being incarcerated for three weeks for failing to appear at a hearing in a misdemeanor theft case. Michael Harris, Autumn’s father, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in 2020 against the company that provided health care services in Jail. The suit alleges Harris received no treatment for her pneumonia from health care workers inside the jail, despite disclosing the diagnosis at the time of her arrest.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Sunday evening, a group gathered outside the El Paso County Jail to protest the death of 24-year-old Savannah Poppell. Poppell died in the jail Dec. 11, just four days after entering. Her family is calling for reform and more rehabilitation resources for patients, as Savannah's death marks the ninth inmate death this year. ``She was not innocent, but she didn't deserve to go through that pain and like, I just don't get it,`` said Savannah's mother Nicole Poppell. Court records show Poppell was booked into the jail after failing to appear in court on a misdemeanor drug charge. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office says Poppell likely died of internal bleeding due to vomiting from substance withdrawal.