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Man dies after Oklahoma City police, family try to subdue him

Clifton Armstrong, 38, died Wednesday night while in police custody in northwest Oklahoma City.
BY JULIANA KEEPING Modified: May 2, 2013 at 11:55 pm •  Published: May 2, 2013

/articleid/3805618/1/pictures/2042815">Photo - Clifton Armstrong, 38, died about 9 p.m. after police tried to subdue him, police report. <strong>PROVIDED</strong>
Clifton Armstrong, 38, died about 9 p.m. after police tried to subdue him, police report. PROVIDED

The state medical examiner's office will determine the cause and manner of Armstrong's death.

Officers on leave

Oklahoma City police performed a demonstration of the proper procedure for placing a person in “maximum restraint” Thursday at the police training center, 800 N Portland. In the demonstration, the officer placed in restraint belts turned her head to the side. Two officers worked to restrain her. One placed his knee across her upper back and held her handcuffed hands in place while the other officer applied belts. One belt restricted the feet. A second belt was secured around the waist. The two belts were connected to restrict leg movement.

Police have used the hobble restraint system for years, Nelson said. There are several applications of the system. An investigation will determine how the restraint system was used and whether it was used properly, Nelson said.

All of the involved officers were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal and administrative investigations, Nelson said.

The officers involved have been identified as Jeffery Dutton, Gregory Franklin, Mohammed Tabaia and Daniel Holtzclaw.

It does not appear a Taser was used, although that remains under investigation, Nelson said.

About the victim

At the time of his death, Armstrong was on probation for a 2008 burglary conviction, state corrections department records show. In the mid-1990s he was sentenced to five years probation on three charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and two charges of concealing stolen property, records show.

His sister said Thursday her brother had problems. Besides a drug addiction, he did not have custody of his children. She adopted two of her brother's children in 2007. A third child is with the mother's family, she said.

But she said her brother was loving and strong.

“I was his best friend,” she said.

Family members gathered at the home Thursday to mourn, flipping through albums that show Armstrong in the years before a drug addiction took hold.

In one, he is a young child with a beaming smile in his Boy Scout uniform.

“I loved him,” his sister said. has disabled the comments for this article.

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