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Man Arrested After Refusing to Leave Hospital Dies Hours Later in Jail

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An Oklahoma man’s death has been called into question following the release of police bodycam footage last Tuesday. Marconia Kessee died in police custody after being discharged from Norman Regional Hospital on Jan. 16 in Norman, Oklahoma. He was arrested for trespassing after he was discharged from the hospital and refused to leave.

Kessee went to the emergency room for a headache, his uncle, Michael Washington, told Oklahoma’s News 4. “I wasn’t there, but I believe it in my heart that he refused to leave because he wasn’t treated and he felt that he needed more medication because his headache was still hurting him,” Washington said.

According to police body camera footage, the responding officers told Kessee he could seek shelter at the local Salvation Army. Kessee laid on the ground near the hospital entrance and was arrested.

“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,” an officer says in the video. The footage later shows the officers dragging Kessee over to a police car.

While at Cleveland County Jail, police said Kessee tried to hurt himself, and was moved to a padded cell where he was checked on routinely. During one of these checks, Kessee was unresponsive and brought back to the same hospital, several hours after he was previously discharged.

Kessee’s cause of death has not been released. Both the hospital and police department are launching their own investigations into his death.

“Norman Regional Health System is saddened by this loss of life. We are internally reviewing this case,” a representative for the hospital told The Mighty.

An administrative review of the officers’ actions is also underway. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Washington told News 4 his nephew was diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder as a child, and that his nephew should have been taken to a crisis center if he was “wigged out,” which is what the hospital security officer requested when calling 911 to have Kessee removed from the hospital.

“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 told News 4.

Photo via Norman Regional Health System Facebook page.

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Originally published: January 29, 2018
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