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OKLAHOMA CITY – In response to reports which indicate Terence Crutcher tested positive for PCP in his system at the time of his unjustified killing at the hands of the Tulsa Police Department, the ACLU of Oklahoma released the following statement: Please attribute to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director: Initial reports that Terence Crutcher had PCP in his system are completely irrelevant to the question “should Terence Crutcher be alive today?” These findings are the product of weeks long testing and examination by medical professionals. To say that anyone on that scene could have drawn this conclusion or that such a conclusion would justify lethal forceRead More →

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  October 4, 2016 OKLAHOMA CITY – The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma filed a Motion for Summary Judgment today in its challenge to Oklahoma City’s recently enacted anti-panhandling ordinance. The Motion asks a Federal Judge to permanently block enforcement of the ordinance, which makes it a crime for citizens to sit, stand, or stay on most public medians in Oklahoma City; places that traditionally are recognized as public spaces. “This Motion asks the United States District Court to protect the free speech rights of Oklahoma City citizens by striking down the City government’s attempt to criminalize everything from panhandling to political speech andRead More →

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September 30, 2016 OKLAHOMA CITY – At the close of the ten-day protest period on Thursday, there were no challenges seeking to invalidate any signatures collected by Oklahomans for Health in their effort to place Medical Marijuana on a ballot for Oklahoma voters.  In response to the news that the final hurdle for the certification of signatures has been successfully cleared, meaning the question will appear on a ballot in the near future, the ACLU of Oklahoma and Oklahomans for Health released the following statements: Please attribute to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director, ACLU of Oklahoma: “The more than 67,000 Oklahomans who signed the petition forRead More →

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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 →