Oklahoma authorities released video footage on Monday that seemed to show a corrections officer strangling an inmate, though criminal charges have reportedly not yet been filed.
Darius Robinson’s death was ruled a homicide by a state medical examiner, who said he was killed by “manual compression of the neck,” the Daily Beast reported. The April 4 incident occurred at the Caddo County Jail in Anadarko, Oklahoma.
The office of county prosecutor Jason Hicks has said it won’t discuss grand-jury deliberations, according to the Daily Beast.
The video appears to show Robinson, 41, darting toward officer Michael Allen Smith before being taken down to the floor. The officer then wraps his arms around Robinson in a chokehold before another officer eventually puts Robinson in handcuffs while he lies on the floor.
The autopsy determined that Robinson suffered a crushed windpipe, a fracture in the bone supporting his tongue, and hemorrhaging in the surrounding muscles.
Robinson’s family has since said it will file a federal civil lawsuit against the jail and feels that the jail was grossly negligent in its treatment of Robinson, the local ABC affiliate KSWO reported.
Robinson’s brother Ancio said the incident appeared to be one in which excessive force was used.
“It could have been avoided, and the chokehold and other maneuvers and them entering the cell,” he told KSWO. “It was obvious there was a lack of training and procedure in place, and that it could have been 100% avoided.”
Undersheriff Spencer Davis told Ancio Robinson that Darius had “charged” the jailers, according to The Daily Beast.
Robinson had been arrested April 1 after allegedly failing to pay child support. One of the family’s attorneys, Spencer Bryant, told the news media that Robinson had repeatedly warned jail officials he could experience withdrawals unless he took his prescribed Xanax but that the jail paid no attention.
“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,” Bryant said.