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***For Immediate Release***

June 29, 2020

Black Lives Matter Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY — “Black Lives Matter Oklahoma City is deeply disturbed and heartbroken
by the recent charges from the Oklahoma County District Attorney. These incendiary charges,
disproportionately targeting black and brown youth, continue the pattern of excessive force by
law enforcement against Black and brown persons and those who stand aside us in our fight for
liberation.” - Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, Executive Director BLM OKC

It is revealing of the prevalence of systemic racial injustice that these charges were hastily and
excessively applied to defenseless adolescents while a willingness to prosecute bad cops is
most notably absent.

Isaiah Lewis is dead, forever 17–no charges and no justice. Derrick Scott is dead—no charges
and no justice. Olain Jefferson is dead—no charges and no justice—while an innocent Black
man, Mr. Julius Jones, still sits on death row, and Mr. Prater won’t release the State’s file of the
case.

Let us recall that these charges of terrorism and riot arise from property damage to a police
vehicle and broken glass a month ago. Are we as a community safer now as result of these
charges—when for the last month these young people have protesting peacefully. Property
damage is not a violent act nor an act of terrorism. The only violence committed on May 30 and
31st was the excessive force of the OKC Police Department, OK County Sheriff’s Office, and
Oklahoma Highway Patrol as they needlessly and viciously escalated each and every
engagement with peaceful protesters, using chemical agents banned by the Geneva convention
and lethal rounds to shoot and attack human beings.

Mr. Prater is correct that this is not Seattle. This is Oklahoma City. We know exactly what
terrorism is. But despite our tragic history, the District Attorney seemingly does not.

25 years ago at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, mass murderer Timothy McVeigh took
the lives of 168 innocent people. That was senseless violence. That was terrorism. The
continued violent murder of black lives by police is terrorism. A burned car is property damage.
A broken window is not violence. But the use of charges such as these to intimidate and silence
cries for justice, to suppress First Amendment Speech--that is more akin to terrorism than what
these youthful accused have ever done.

Echoing the sentiments expressed by the ACLU of Oklahoma, these charges, which have the
potential to inflict incarceration for life against the accused, are baseless and nothing more than
a political statement to silence our first amendment rights to protest. No life was lost, yet these
charges seek to destroy life and perpetuate the cycle of abuse, oppression, and destruction that
is the American Criminal Justice System.

“It is clear that both the Police and District Attorney will only respond to our pleas for de-
escalation of violence against human beings with further escalation and violence. And so BLM
OKC calls upon all Oklahomans of conscience and moral conviction to stand with us as we
advance our calls for an end to police brutality in our city, State, and in this nation, to join with us
in opposing this instance of oppression and all others, and to fight with us in our endeavor
toward justice for the slain and an end to the state-sanctioned violence that is law enforcement
in America.” - Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, Executive Director BLM OKC

CO-SIGNED