Today the ACLU of Oklahoma released the first of a seven part video series showcasing the human rights catastrophe within the Oklahoma County jail. The series is inspired by this week’s “Wheel of Justice” gimmick on local news featuring the Oklahoma County Sheriff. A host spun a wheel of men and women charged with a variety of crimes then asked the public for help apprehending the “winner” of the spin. This type of “game show” coverage has been aired in a handful of states across the U.S., so ACLU Community Organizer, Candace Liger, took the idea in a new direction. The ACLU created a versionRead More →

Mashburn

The following statement is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director: “We’re pleased to see reports that District Attorney Greg Mashburn has dropped the remaining charges in his ridiculous multi-year assault on Norman’s Friendly Market. This decision comes in the wake of thoughtful people from around Oklahoma rising up to express their anger and frustration at Mashburn’s waste of taxpayer resources on this frivolous prosecution. While we are pleased to see this development after two years of pushing this indefensible front in the failed war on drugs, this prosecution remains a symptom of a much larger problem. Mashburn’s continued insistence that the racist, demoralizing, and draconianRead More →

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OKLAHOMA CITY–In response to the announcement that the Tulsa Police Department and the Tulsa County Sheriff’s office will lead their own investigations into the killing their officers committed on June 9, the ACLU of Oklahoma made the following statement: The following statement is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director: “We have serious doubts about the capability of Tulsa Police Department (TPD) and Tulsa County Sheriff’s (TCSO) office to investigate this morning’s killing in an unbiased and honest manner. Even if one only considers the last last two years of disturbing conduct in both of these departments, it is absurd to ask the residents of TulsaRead More →

The Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY–Blame for the Oklahoma House’s shameful last-minute scuttling of monumental criminal justice reform measures with overwhelming bipartisan support falls squarely on House leadership. Despite having a clear mandate from voters to reverse the unsustainable and destructive course of Oklahoma’s overly harsh, discriminatory, and counterproductive criminal justice system, House leaders tucked tail and capitulated to out of touch, taxpayer subsidized lobbying groups. While the public face of this cowardly act of obstructionism has been Rep. Scott Biggs, R-Chickasha, a deeper scorn should be directed at House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka. Speaker McCall may have for the time being escaped blame for this embarrassment, but historyRead More →

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OKLAHOMA CITY– In the wake of the Betty Shelby trial, which revealed serious incidents of misconduct by multiple members of the Tulsa Police Department (TPD), as well as the news that Officer Shelby will remain a member of the TPD, the ACLU of Oklahoma stands in solidarity with the family and friends of Terence Crutcher, as well as the larger community, as we continue to lament his horrific death at the hands of law enforcement.  We are  calling today for immediate, concrete action to address the Department’s failure to maintain the minimal ethical and policy standards required to protect the citizens of Tulsa. TPD’s leadRead More →

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OKLAHOMA CITY: In response to the Republican Platform Caucus proposal to threaten 82,000 children with deportation, the ACLU of Oklahoma issued the following statement: The following is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director:   “The Republican Platform Caucus is using cheap, tired tactics of political distraction in an attempt to create confusion about Oklahoma’s true problem—a failing Legislature. Indeed, the Oklahoma Legislature is a far greater threat to the safety and prosperity of Oklahomans than any child that may have entered this Nation from one of our borders. This proposal might be laughable if it weren’t made at the expense of real human beings, commonRead More →

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In response to the news that the owner and the manager of The Friendly Market, Robert Cox and Stephen Tyler Holman, have been acquitted of all charges regarding the sale of legal glass pipes out of their Norman, OK shop, The ACLU of Oklahoma has issued the following statement. The following statement is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director: “It is unconscionable that the Cleveland County District Attorney would spend a single penny of taxpayer resources on such a monumental waste of time as to prosecute a business owner and manager who never broke any law. The people of Oklahoma ostensibly elect their district attorneysRead More →