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July 19, 2016   OKLAHOMA CITY  — On Monday, July 18, Oklahoma City Chief of Police Bill Citty approved the use of personal rifles by members of the Oklahoma City Police Department in addition to their standard arsenal of lethal and non-lethal weapons.  The following statement should be attributed to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma in response to Chief Citty’s action. “Increasing the armament of Oklahoma City Police Department officers to allow carrying personal rifles on neighborhood beats will increase the tension between the public and law enforcement. In the absence of a clear departmental policy, this changeRead More →

  July 14, 2016   OKLAHOMA CITY – Following the release of video and eyewitness accounts of the arrest of Black Lives Matter protester, Brandon “Donny” Lara, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma is calling for an independent investigation of the arrest. “This arrest is troubling and probably unconstitutional,” said Brady Henderson, ACLU of Oklahoma Legal Director. “We’ve reviewed video footage of the arrest and find it wildly inconsistent with the arresting police officer’s sworn affidavit. The arresting officer does not appear to have been truthful about the cause of arrest, nor does the officer’s affidavit include sufficient allegations to support the charges made againstRead More →

July 8, 2016 OKLAHOMA CITY – Following the tragic deaths this week of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the hundreds of other recent killings of  black Americans, Black Lives Matter Oklahoma, OKC Artists for Justice, NAACP OKC, the MLK Coalition, and the ACLU of Oklahoma will conduct a peaceful protest and memorial vigil in solidarity with the impacted families and communities. This peaceful gathering will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, July 10, downtown Oklahoma City. The event will feature a march, speakers, music, poetry, and an opportunity for communities to come together and mourn the loss of those who were killed. An exact locationRead More →

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma late last week launched Mobile Justice OK, a free smartphone app that allows Oklahomans to automatically record and upload cell phone videos of public interactions with law enforcement to the ACLU of Oklahoma. The same app is simultaneously being launched in 9 other states, including: Arizona, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington DC. The Mobile Justice App is already in use in California, Colorado, Missouri, New York, and Oregon. Mobile Justice OK is available for use on Android and iOS phones and can be downloaded for free through Apple’s AppRead More →

Yes, we got your telephone calls, social media inquires — and the emails, too. For several weeks now, we’ve received dozens and dozens of questions about what’s next for the Ten Commandments monument placed at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Here’s what we can tell you: Right now ACLU of Oklahoma is waiting for a judicial mandate from the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said the state Supreme Court would issue instructions to Oklahoma County District Judge Thomas Prince. “Once the Oklahoma Supreme Court issues its mandate, which could be any day now, then it’s up to Judge Prince to act,” he said. “AfterRead More →

August 11, 2015 Oklahoma City–Scott Carter, an award-winning investigative reporter, has joined the staff of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said today. Carter will serve as the the ACLU of Oklahoma’s Director of Investigative Communications, a new position at the ACLU of Oklahoma that will support the ACLU’s work in courthouses and the state capitol by telling the often untold stories about the state of civil liberties in Oklahoma. “Scott Carter is a gifted journalist and has a deep understanding of Oklahoma government, law and history and an insatiable determination to find the truth.  I am confident his workRead More →

Oklahoma Agrees To Bring Public Assistance Agencies into Compliance with the Law NEW YORK, WASHINGTON and OKLAHOMA CITY (July 30, 2015) – Voting rights advocates and Oklahoma officials announced today that a settlement has been reached to provide more effective voter registration opportunities to citizens throughout the state. This effort began last summer when the Metropolitan Tulsa Urban League, the League of Women Voters of Oklahoma and Metropolitan Tulsa, and YWCA Tulsa notified Paul Ziriax, the Secretary of the Oklahoma State Election Board, that it appeared Oklahoma’s public assistance agencies were not offering clients a meaningful opportunity to register to vote. Under the National VoterRead More →