Family of Robin Howard calls for OKCPD investigation
OKLAHOMA CITY —
Two in-custody deaths in less than two-years have a family calling for an investigation.
The first in 2012 when Robin Howard died from pneumonia after officers used force to take him into custody. Fast forward to this past weekend when officers shot and killed an armed suicidal man.
Howard's family says one of the officers, Sgt. Jeff Coffey, is connected to both incidents and now they want the Oklahoma City Police Department to hire an outside agency to investigate the officer.
Howard's sister Kimberly Turner says the Sunday shooting, which killed Gail Fairless, deserves a second look.
"Why is he still on the force. Why is he not beinginvestigated. What's going on that things keep happening with him in particularand nothing is getting done about it?" Turner said.
The Howard family attorney, David Slane, says Sgt. Coffey is a danger to citizens and needs to be taken off the streets.
"Sgt. Coffey has been involved now in three separateincidents in Oklahoma City in the last 18 months where someone was being takeninto custody that either resulted in someone's death or in injury," Slane said.
Back in June 2012 the family struggled to understand the death of Howard. Howard's family says he died in police custody after officers beat him following a brief chase.
The medical examiner's office say he suffered blunt force trauma to the chest and died days later of acute pneumonia.
The officers involved where not charged due to lack of evidence in Howard's death but now the family wants another investigation by an outside agency into Coffey's actions.
The Oklahoma City Police Department put all four officers, including Coffey, on paid leave pending the outcome of Sunday's shooting and tell us protocol is being followed.
"It's notunusual at all for an officer to be involved in incidents like this...multipleincidents that could result in death," said Cpt. Dexter Nelson.
The family's attorney says if an outside agency is not called in to investigate they plan on pursuing other avenues of justice. We also checked in with the Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office who says the case has not yet been presented to them.