In response to the news that the Oklahoma City Police Department has killed a deaf man who did not respond to officer commands, the ACLU of Oklahoma released the following statement: The following is attributable to Allie Shinn, Director of External Affairs: “We are incredibly saddened and disturbed by the news that an Oklahoma City police officer shot and killed Magdiel Sanchez, a deaf man confronted on his own porch. Police have an obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide reasonable modifications in their interactions with people with disabilities.  The neighbors put the police on notice that they were dealing with someone whoRead More →

In response to multiple violations of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment from the Mounds Police Department on the official department Facebook page, the ACLU of Oklahoma released the following statement: The following is attributable to Brady Henderson, Legal Director: “Both the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and provisions of the Oklahoma Constitution protect against government officials establishing a state religion. The exclusive, pervasive promotion of the Christian faith by the Mounds Police Department represents a clear violation of those legal mandates. By promoting one specific religion on its official Facebook page, the Mounds Police Department has established clear preference for thatRead More →

In response to the announcement that the number of people in Oklahoma’s corrections system has reached an all time high of over 63,000, the ACLU of Oklahoma released the following statement: The following statement is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director: “It is unacceptable, though unsurprising, that the Oklahoma Department of Corrections continues to set new records on the number of humans suffering under our current system. Oklahoma’s criminal justice system is an unsustainable, indisputable human rights catastrophe. As more and more Oklahomans are consumed by our political leaders’ insatiable appetite for mass incarceration, we move further from safety and justice and closer to reachingRead More →

by ACLU Staffers: Candace Liger, Amy Gioletti, and Nicole McAfee If the “Tussle at the Tower,” the final debate between candidates for Oklahoma County Sheriff, taught us anything, it’s that desperately needed reforms for the Oklahoma County Jail will not likely come from the next occupant of the Sheriff’s office. The three candidates, (acting) Sheriff P.D. Taylor (R), Oklahoma County Sergeant Mike Hanson (D), and former Canadian County Undersheriff Ed Grimes (I), discussed inmates, felons, and prisoners, but rarely broke with tired talking points and status quo policies. With an excess of 2,000 folks locked in cages in the Oklahoma County Jail on any given day,Read More →

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 →