Civil suit filed in death of man in custody of Oklahoma City police

The estate of a man who died in Oklahoma City police custody following a police chase in June 2012 has filed a civil suit against the city, police chief and two officers.
by Matt Dinger Modified: January 8, 2014 at 4:00 pm •  Published: January 7, 2014
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The family of a man who died in Oklahoma City police custody after a police chase in June 2012 has filed a civil suit against the city, the police chief and two officers.

The suit, filed by Robin Leander Howard's mother and sister in Oklahoma County District Court, alleges officers Jeff Coffey and Douglas Grady acted in reckless disregard for the welfare of Howard when they used force to attempt to subdue him after a police chase and foot pursuit June 19, 2012.

Howard was struck in the chest, ribs and left arm and medical personnel who were summoned were turned away from the scene in the 1400 block of Monticello Court even though Howard's ribs were broken and his diaphragm lacerated, according to the lawsuit.

Howard died in a southwest Oklahoma City hospital of his injuries and “officers refused to notify the next of kin of Robin Howard of his hospitalization and his death in police custody until four days after Robin Howard died,” according to court records.

The suit alleges that the actions of Coffee and Grady were malicious, wanton, reckless and grossly negligent and inflicted severe emotional distress.

Violations of his First, Fourth, Eighth and 14th Amendment rights are also alleged in the suit.


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by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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