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September 22, 2016   OKLAHOMA CITY – In response to the Tulsa County District Attorney’s announcement of the charge of Manslaughter in the First Degree against Officer Betty Shelby, the ACLU of Oklahoma released the following statements: Please attribute to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director: “The manslaughter charge against Officer Shelby is welcomed and appropriate. We echo the Tulsa County District Attorney’s firm assertion that Officer Shelby is entitled to due process and presumed innocent until proven guilty. We are also heartened to see that, at least in this instance, law enforcement officers are not being held to a lower standard than the citizens they serve.Read More →

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September 19, 2016 OKLAHOMA CITY – In response to the release of two videos depicting the murder of Terence Crutcher (seen here via The Tulsa World website), an unarmed black Tulsan whose car had broken down, and the launch of DOJ and State investigations, the ACLU of Oklahoma released the following Statements: Please attribute to Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director: “A Tulsa Police officer murdered Terence Crutcher in cold blood. Each of the officers present were complicit in the unconscionable, reprehensible, and disgusting killing of this unarmed, defenseless man, by allowing him to bleed to death on the street rather than attempting anyRead More →

By Allie Shinn:   It’s a formula we know well. When an Arab or a Muslim commits a violent crime, the script kicks in. Almost immediately, the story becomes about Muslim extremism. It’s a matter of time before someone mentions ISIS. Local law enforcement field questions on homegrown terrorism while years of American foreign policy are called under attack. In essence, when a Muslim or an Arab-American commits a crime, the narrative is all too predictable.  This is true even when all evidence indicates the perpetrator acted alone and outside of any religious or race-based motivations. Indeed, evidence becomes irrelevant. We wrap the incident inRead More →

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  September 8, 2016 OKLAHOMA CITY – The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma filed a request for an administrative hearing to contest the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s denial of a personalized license plate reading “COMMIE” to an Oklahoma taxpayer. The Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) of the Oklahoma Tax Commission denied ACLU of Oklahoma Client Zakk Luttrell’s request claiming that the license plate violated subparts 2 and 6 of the Non-offensive content policy, which require that a vanity plate not include “contempt, ridicule, or superiority based on race, gender, politics, ethnic heritage, or religion,” and “isn’t otherwise appropriate for a state-issued plate,” respectively. While the MVDRead More →

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By Riley Bisher: Local media recently reported that Frederick Spencer followed a vehicle into a convenience store parking lot. The reports said he was furious. He was said to have believed a person in the car had flipped him off after they passed him. The allegations and reports say that Spencer got out of his car, approached the other vehicle, began a confrontation, and, then, pulled out an AR 15 rifle. Spencer then allegedly lifted it up and slammed down the butt of the gun onto the other car, leaving a large dent. Moments later, he allegedly retrieved a second, loaded firearm and began to pointRead More →

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August 24, 2016 OKLAHOMA CITY – In response to Oklahomans for Health’s successful effort to gather the signatures required to place a proposal for medical marijuana on the ballot, the ACLU of Oklahoma released the following statement: Please attribute to Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director: The successful grassroots effort by Oklahomans across the political spectrum is a testament to the overwhelming support for rethinking Oklahoma’s prohibition against medical marijuana. Whether timing allows this proposal to reach the ballot in November or pushes the proposal to a later date, make no mistake about it,  Oklahoma is one step closer to ending an illogical andRead More →

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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 →