Mother of Jail Inmate Who Died Behind Bars Wants Answers

A group outspoken against the Oklahoma County Jail is once again raising concerns after they say four inmates have died behind bars this year.

Thursday, June 6th 2024, 5:20 pm



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A group outspoken against the Oklahoma County Jail is once again raising concerns after they say four inmates have died behind bars this year.

Thursday, a group calling themselves the "People's Council for Justice Reform" was joined by the mother of an inmate who died behind bars earlier this year.

“They have been beyond negligent,” Activist Mark Faulk told reporters. “They are complicit in the deaths of many of those who died in the jail.”

In late February, Oklahoma County detention officers said they discovered 31-year-old Derek Strother unresponsive in his cell. They said the anti-overdose drug Narcan was administered and CPR began immediately. According to a press release, after being transferred to a hospital, attempts to revive Strother were unsuccessful.

“He was a good man,” Strother’s mother, Debra Stanton, said. “He was a good father. He worked hard. He loved his family.”

Strother had been at the Oklahoma County Jail for two months, booked in on second-degree murder, driving under the influence, driving without a license, and reckless driving complaints following a deadly crash near Northeast 23rd and Martin Luther King that Oklahoma City police said killed 51-year-old Myreon Lacey.

Thursday, Strothers mother joined the group, calling for a change to the jail's healthcare provider.

“It should be the hospital that takes over. Because they are governed by the government. And they're highly accountable, and that way, we know that they're being taken care of,” Stanton said.

Turnkey Health Clinics CEO Flint Junod told News9 in a statement, “Turn Key Health is an Oklahoma company and a leader in caring for those experiencing incarceration. We are proud of our hundreds of professional healthcare workers that strive to provide the best quality healthcare to some of our community’s most vulnerable citizens in a challenging environment.”  

News 9 checked with the State Medical Examiner's Office Thursday, but Strother's official cause of death has not yet been determined.

"The People's Council" said they plan to hold more press conferences targeting the jail in the coming weeks.

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