Master Police Officer Kyle Canaan and Officer Daniel Brown were caught on their own body cams mocking a mentally ill black man who later died in jail in Norman, Oklahoma.
The cops accused Marconia Kessee of faking his illness outside the Norman Regional Hospital:
Hey Mr. Kessee… Listen to me, OK? You can stop with the show.
Yeah, it ain’t fooling a single person. IO can tell you that [laughs].
Here in about 15 seconds, I’m going to drag your [expletive] to the curb to get you off this property and then you can find your own way to the Salvation army. Ok? Put your shoe on. I’m losing patience.
I’m too cold to stand here and watch you play this game. Can you just put your show on, walk away? Thank you.
Canaan and Brown arrested Kessee for trespassing, notes KFOR, but now the cops have been placed on paid administrative leave while the police department investigates the incident.
The police claimed that Kessee refused to leave the hospital after he was treated, but their own police body cams showed that Kessee was physically unable to leave.
The officers were called by the hospital to take Kessee to the Salvation Army across the street, but instead arrested Kessee and took him to the Cleveland County jail where he stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest.
Norman Police Chief Keith Humphrey claimed the newly- released body camera video shows the officers did not contribute to Kessee’s death, but did make “disparaging comments.”
Kessee’s uncle, Michael Washington, said on Jan. 23:
We believe that there was no actual mental evaluation, we believe that the doctors, hospitals, did not review or take the physical assessment of my nephew and that they are partly responsible and they will be held accountable.
Washington said Kessee should have been sent to a crisis center, not the jail.
A spokesperson for Norman Regional Hospital said officials can’t discuss a dead patient’s medical information due to privacy laws that supposedly protect dead patients.
The Treatment Advocacy Center noted in a 2014 study that “prisons and jails have become America’s ‘new asylums’” because there are ten times more mentally ill people in jails and prisons than in state psychiatric hospitals.
The study found about 356,268 inmates with severe mental illness were in jail in 2012 while only 35,000 severely mentally ill patients were in psychiatric hospitals.