Suit results in release of Barrick video
By Chris Willingham
Immediately following the in-custody death of Bobby Dale Barrick in March 2022, this newspaper requested a multitude of items from the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office through Open Records Act (ORA) requests, which were initially denied by the sheriff’s department.
Among the requests were for reports related to the case, officer body cams, radio logs and Taser device records.
Nearly a year after Barrick’s death, the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press filed an Open Records Act suit against the sheriff’s department on behalf of the newspaper on March 10, representing the paper free of charge.
As a result of the filing, the MCSO, through its attorney of record in the lawsuit, released records, logs and body cam footage that the newspaper had requested under ORA in the in-custody death of Bobby Barrick. The QR code with this story links to the Barrick in-custody Taser video, but viewers should understand that it is graphic and shocking. It is being released in an effort to be fully transparent, as this series has the attention of the nation.
Records released to the Gazette revealed the following:
Former deputy Matt Kasbaum, who quit after the Barrick incident, responded on March 13, 2022, to Lori’s Corner Store in Eagletown, where Barrick had broken a door at the store, climbed on a vehicle and was screaming.
He had been hog-tied by citizens when deputies arrived.
Kasbaum called EMS to clear Barrick medically before taking him to jail, and Barrick became combative when Kasbaum opened the door to the police truck Barrick was being housed in.
Kasbaum’s body camera showed Barrick struggling and kicking his legs out of
the truck. Kasbaum attempted to hit Barrick across the legs with an ASP baton, but Barrick kicked and the baton struck Kasbaum in the head.
Kasbaum then used a Taser deputy Kevin Storey handed to him and dry stunned Barrick in the stomach, with little effect.
At this point Kasbaum’s body camera “accidentally disengaged,” a sheriff’s department use of force review said.
No other officers had their body cameras recording at this point either, according to the received report.
Deputies said Barrick got out of the vehicle as he fought officers and crawled under the truck.
In the video, prior to “flat-lining” after being Tasered multiple times, Barrick is seen begging for his life and told EMTs that officers were going to kill him, the body camera footage shows.
In her statement, one EMT said Barrick was kicking, biting and fighting officers, who were lying on top of him and trying to put leg shackles on him when he stopped breathing.
The EMT said she checked for a pulse and could not feel a pulse, so Barrick was loaded onto a gurney and taken to McCurtain Memorial. The EMT said he was breathing on the way to the hospital. Barrick died days later in a Texas hospital.
At the time of Barrick›s death, the newspaper requested, among other things, the serial number and model of the Taser (or similar device) used on Barrick.
The MCSO’s attorney said that was a moot point, because the sheriff’s department does not issue Tasers or any electronic control devices to deputies, nor are any officers trained in the use of such devices.
The attorney said the device used on Barrick was owned personally by one of the deputies. They further said it is possible the OSBI seized the Taser device in question in their investigation of the case, but Sheriff Kevin Clardy has provided no documentation of that.