ADA, Okla. (KXII) - People marched together in solidarity to the Ada Police Department to celebrate the life and memory of Anthony Meely who died in Ada police custody on Oct. 4, 2019.
"It's very important to come together and throughout any country, in Ada, Oklahoma to defend the right of any people who wrongfully killed or targeted,” said David Hill, a Choctaw man who attended the march.
In attendance were the American Indian Movement, Black Lives Matter Oklahoma City and Meely's family. Along with a crowd of over 50 people, more than five Native American nations and members of the Ada community showed support for 36-year-old Anthony Meely.
In October, body camera footage was released and showed Meely involved in a foot chase and a fight with an Ada Officer.
The video shows Meely and an officer in a struggle, and then he’s held down by an Ada officer and handcuffed. Meely was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital.
"To remember a father, a son, a brother and a friend. To show, y'know, that he was somebody his life meant something,” said Mary Topaum, the director of the American Indian Movement.
Meely’s family shared with News 12 that he had a history of mental illness.
Topaum said police should have more training in handling mental health in people.
"Here we are in 2019 and we're still dealing with this and it's not getting better. It's like we're stepping back in time and it's not the direction we should go for future generations,” said Topaum.
This week would’ve been Meely’s 37th birthday.