McAlester Oklahoma Police Officer Sterling Taylor Suspended After Brutal Taser Attack On Handcuffed Woman – Caught On Video

September 10, 2012

MCALESTER, OKLAHOMA – A McAlester police officer is now facing disciplinary action after using a Taser on a woman in custody.

Surveillance video from the June incident shows Nakina Williams was handcuffed at the Pittsburg County Jail Complex after being arrested on a public intoxication complaint.

She appeared to be mouthing off when she suddenly spit on one of the officers.

The video shows the officer pulling out a Taser and firing it at Williams. Officer Sterling Taylor was seen circling Williams while the probes were still on her for a little more than minute.

“Obviously spitting in the face is inexcusable,” said the American Civil Liberties Union Board Member William H. Hinkle.”The only justification for him tasering her is if she was somehow able to physically attack him in some way that looked capable of injuring him seriously. I don’t know how she could have done that with her hands cuffed behind her back.”

The department ultimately found Taylor violated the McAlester Police Department’s policy for handling Tasers. Taylor has been placed on a two week unpaid suspension, and will have to undergo more training, according to documents obtained by Tulsa’s Channel 8.

The Police Department declined an interview saying they could not comment because Taylor has the right to an appeal.

Major Shannon Clark with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t comment specifically on the case, but the Taser instructor said Tulsa County’s training program instructs officers that Tasers can’t be used in retaliation.

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Veteran Eufaula Oklahoma Police Officer Chad French Arrested, Fired, And Charged With Burglary And Threats

September 9, 2012

EUFAULA, OKLAHOMA – A recently fired Eufaula police officer was jailed after an incident with his wife, said Eufaula Police Department chief Don Murray.

Murray said Chad French, a 12-year department veteran, was fired from his job as police officer Wednesday. Murray said French was arrested Thursday night on complaints of:

• First-degree burglary;

• Threatening to perform an act of violence; and

• Obstructing an officer.

French was released from the McIntosh County Detention Center Friday afternoon after posting $5,000 bond.

French was arrested about 10 p.m. Thursday by Eufaula police, Murray said, classifying the events leading to the arrest as a “domestic incident.”

French, Murray said, was in the process of a divorce.

Murray said French was officially terminated Wednesday, but could not speak about what lead to the termination.

“He has a right to appeal to our city council,” Murray said. “And secondly to our Fraternal Order of Police Union, so I really can’t go into that right now.”

Murray said French had always been a dedicated officer during his career.

“There have never been any type of major disciplinary issues until recently,” Murray said.

Chad French will appear in court at 2 p.m. Oct. 18 for his preliminary hearing.

French was fired from his job as a Eufaula police officer Wednesday and was arrested Thursday after a “domestic incident” with his wife, said Eufaula Police Department Chief Don Murray.

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Muscogee Oklahoma Police Officer Douglas Ragsdale Arrested And Charged With Eluding Police And Possession Of A Firearm During A Felony

August 31, 2012

MUSCOGEE, OKLAHOMA – A Muskogee High School campus police officer was arrested after leading Muskogee police on a brief chase.

Douglas Ragsdale, 44, was arrested on complaints of eluding police and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.

Muskogee police Lt. Bobby Lee said officers responded to a disturbance call at the Kum & Go at North Country Club Road and Shawnee Bypass just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Police were notified the drivers of a red pickup and silver pickup had been in an argument, Lee said. When officers arrived at the gas station, the silver pickup was gone, and Ragsdale was entering the red pickup.

Lee said Ragsdale then drove west on Shawnee Bypass, and did not stop when officers turned on their emergency lights. Ragsdale ran through a red light before pulling over into the Bacone Inn parking lot, where the silver pickup was stopped.

Lee said Ragsdale exited the vehicle and officers noticed he was holding a handgun. Ragsdale then entered his pickup and holstered the handgun.

Lee said Ragsdale told police he was campus security, and officers believed Ragsdale meant he was Bacone campus security.

“They later learned he was not Bacone campus security,” Lee said. “But that he was Muskogee High School campus security.”

Lee said the patrol officer’s report stated the driver of the silver pickup had not been arrested. The report did not indicate what the alleged disturbance had been about, Lee said.

A Muskogee County/City Detention Facility employee said Ragsdale was in the facility, but no bond had been set on Ragsdale as of Wednesday afternoon.

Muskogee school district police chief Dan Hall confirmed Ragsdale is a campus officer. Hall said the matter is a personnel issue.

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Tulsa Oklahoma Police Officer Cpl. Gene Watkins Arrested, Charged With Domestic Assault And Battery And Threatening A Violent Act

August 31, 2012

TULSA, OKLAHOMA – A Tulsa police officer was arrested Friday for charges of domestic assault and battery and threatening a violent act.

TPD Cpl. Gene Watkins was arrested around 4:30 p.m. and was released on a $1,500 bond within 30 minutes.

Court documents show the offense happened Aug. 21.

A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of Watkins and he has been ordered to have no contact with the victim.

Watkins is scheduled back in court Sept. 11.

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No Real Crimes To Solve In Oklahoma City, So Police Target Two Men Who Were Doing Flips With Panhandling

August 31, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA – Two men caught flipping for money have to cough up cash for not having a city-issued permit. Oklahoma City police arrested the men for panhandling at N.W. 122nd Street and Penn.

But they weren’t just begging. They were doing tricks.

“It is kind of like an exchange. It may be something we do people like it and they help us out,” said Cody Lamb, who was arrested.

The two men performed several flips until a police officer stopped the show, handcuffed them and put the men in the back of the squad car. Lamb said he was confused.

“I just asked what was going on? Please let me know what was going on. I have a wife and a baby that I am trying to take care of. I have a baby on the way it’s hard to get by in this world with just one job,” Lamb said.

His brother-in-law agrees.

“It does seem completely ridiculous to me to be arrested for doing backflips,” said Jesse Hertz. “I wasn’t getting in anyone’s way. I was staying on the median perfectly. I wasn’t demanding money. I was just walking around with a sign and people can roll own their windows and hand me money if they want.”

The two said they were earning money like kids washing for cars for cash, but the arresting officer said it wasn’t the same. Oklahoma law says they need a permit.

They were arrested and ticketed for aggressively panhandling.

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Tulsa Oklahoma Police Officer Marvin Blades Jr. Arrested In Sting Operation – Targeted Hispanic Drivers And Robbed Them

August 30, 2012

TULSA, OKLAHOMA – Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan addressed media Saturday afternoon and reminded about a promise he made 18 months ago to clean up the force and bring down offenders on the inside.

“There is no thin, blue line in this department that protects its own,” Jordan said.

As earlier reported by News On 6, a joint investigation by TPD and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics ended in the arrest of a TPD officer.

According to a police report, an undercover sting was staged Friday evening by the two agencies, and TPD officer Marvin Blades Jr., 37, was arrested on a second-degree robbery complaint. Police said the investigation was “ongoing for several months,” and Blades is suspected of targeting many Hispanics for traffic stops and stealing their money.

Jordan said peer-reporting was a huge factor in netting Blades’ arrest. Fellow officers on the street witnessed what they deemed suspicious behavior by Blades, and an investigation began, he said.

The arrest report says Blades pulled over an OBN agent in an undercover vehicle about 10 p.m. on Friday in the 2800 block of North Lewis Avenue. Blades used his assigned TPD patrol car and pulled over the undercover agent and “was armed with a Glock .40-caliber pistol and was in the Tulsa Police uniform with badge,” the report says.

When Blades approached the agent, he instructed the agent to leave his wallet in the seat and go to the back of the vehicle. Blades then went to the front of the vehicle, near the wallet, before allowing the agent to leave the traffic stop, investigators said.

When the undercover agent returned to the cab of his vehicle, he found six documented $100 bills missing from the wallet, according to the report.

Officers involved in the operation continued surveillance on Blades until just after 2 a.m. on Saturday, when they felt he could be arrested in a safe manner, the report says.

An arresting officer found cash in Blades’ right pants pocket, police said. Blades reportedly told police the money belonged to his wife, but detectives matched the serial numbers to the bills used in the sting.

Friday night’s events matched details of multiple reported robberies alleged to have been carried out by Blades, the report says.

Blades was assigned to TPD’s Gilcrease Division at the time of the robbery, police said. He was released on $25,000 bond, but remains on suspension with pay. Blades has been employed by TPD off and on since 1997.

TPD believes there are more victims who haven’t come forward because of fear. Those who believe they are victims in Blades’ alleged scheme are asked to call TPD at 918-596-9137.

Blades Jr. is son of former cop who reportedly lied about traffic stop

Blades is the son of Marvin Blades Sr., a former longtime TPD officer who once served on the force’s gang unit and also had a high-profile controversy within the department.

A search of News On 6 archives shows that north Tulsa citizens were upset and the NAACP called for the then-police chief’s resignation over a 12-day suspension of Blades Sr. in 1995. They claimed it, and his subsequent reassignment to another division, amounted to racial discrimination because Blades Sr. “stood up for black officers’ rights,” archives show.

However, an investigation by TPD Internal Affairs showed Blades Sr. was suspended for lying about a traffic stop and identifying someone as a gang member in public.

“Christopher Cox was shot and killed by a gang member on May 11, 1994,” News On 6 reported in 1995. “Tulsa gang officer Marvin Blades [Sr.] later showed a videotape of Cox’s funeral at a seminar and said Cox was a gang member. Cox’s family said that’s a lie. Internal Affairs officers asked Blades about it and found he couldn’t prove Cox was a gang member.”

Documents showed there were two reasons Blades Sr. believed Cox was a gang member — because he saw a tattoo on Cox’s arm and because he and fellow officer Bill Purifoy pulled over Cox in a traffic stop a few years before.

However, the medical examiner’s report said there was no tattoo on Cox, and a sworn affidavit from Purifoy said he never participated in a traffic stop.

Then-TPD Chief Ron Palmer told News On 6 that Blades Sr. got into trouble when he started making up things to cover his story about Cox, archives show.

“There’s an expectation, especially when we go to go court, that we tell the truth and anything we talk to the public, about whatever, that we’re telling the truth,” Palmer said in 1995. “We seek out people who tell the truth to be police officers.”

Court records show Blades Sr. filed suit against the City of Tulsa in 1995 in an appeal of the suspension, but it was later dismissed. He was eventually given back his job on the gang unit, according to News On 6 archives.

Blades Sr. served for nearly 30 years at TPD and is currently employed as an officer with Tulsa Public Schools.

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Nutcase Prague Oklahoma High School Principal David Smith Withholds Valedictorian Student’s Diploma For Saying “Hell” In Speech

August 20, 2012

PRAGUE, OKLAHOMA – There’s a bit of diploma drama going on between a local high school and that school’s valedictorian.

David Nootbaar is furious his daughter’s school is keeping her diploma.

He said, “She has worked so hard to stay at the top of her class and this is not right.”

Kaitlin Nootbaar graduated from Prague High School, the Red Devils, in May and was named valedictorian.

When tasked with writing the graduation speech, her dad said she got her inspiration from the movie “Eclipse: The Twilight Saga.”

Nootbaar said, “Her quote was, ‘When she first started school she wanted to be a nurse, then a veterinarian and now that she was getting closer to graduation, people would ask her, what do you want to do and she said how the hell do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many times.’”

He said in the written script she gave to the school she wrote “heck,” but in the moment she said “hell” instead.

Nootbaar said the audience laughed, she finished her speech to warm applause and didn’t know there was a problem.

That was until she went to pick up the real certificate this week.

“We went to the office and asked for the diploma and the principal said, ‘Your diploma is right here but you’re not getting it. Close the door; we have a problem,’” Nootbaar said.

He said the principal told Kaitlin she would have to write an apology letter before he would release the diploma.

A move her dad believes is illegal.

“She earned that diploma. She completed all the state curriculum. In four years she has never made a B. She got straight A’s and had a 4.0 the whole way through.”

Kaitlin starts college in a few days on a full scholarship, making the administrators’ decision even more appalling to her family.

We tried to get the school’s side of the story.

Superintendent Dr. Rick Martin said in a statement, “This matter is confidential and we cannot publicly say anything about it.”

Kaitlin doesn’t plan on writing an apology letter because she doesn’t feel she did anything wrong.

Her family supports that choice.

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Muskogee Oklahoma High School Campus Police Officer Douglas Ragsdale Arrested After Chase

August 9, 2012

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – Muskogee High School campus police officer was arrested after leading Muskogee police on a brief chase.

Douglas Ragsdale, 44, was arrested on complaints of eluding police and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.

Muskogee police Lt. Bobby Lee said officers responded to a disturbance call at the Kum & Go at North Country Club Road and Shawnee Bypass just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Police were notified the drivers of a red pickup and silver pickup had been in an argument, Lee said. When officers arrived at the gas station, the silver pickup was gone, and Ragsdale was entering the red pickup.

Lee said Ragsdale then drove west on Shawnee Bypass, and did not stop when officers turned on their emergency lights. Ragsdale ran through a red light before pulling over into the Bacone Inn parking lot, where the silver pickup was stopped.

Lee said Ragsdale exited the vehicle and officers noticed he was holding a handgun. Ragsdale then entered his pickup and holstered the handgun.

Lee said Ragsdale told police he was campus security, and officers believed Ragsdale meant he was Bacone campus security.

“They later learned he was not Bacone campus security,” Lee said. “But that he was Muskogee High School campus security.”

Lee said the patrol officer’s report stated the driver of the silver pickup had not been arrested. The report did not indicate what the alleged disturbance had been about, Lee said.

A Muskogee County/City Detention Facility employee said Ragsdale was in the facility, but no bond had been set on Ragsdale as of Wednesday afternoon.

Muskogee school district police chief Dan Hall confirmed Ragsdale is a campus officer. Hall said the matter is a personnel issue.

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Nutcase Cleveland County Oklahoma Deputy Sheriff Shot Domestic Dispute Victim’s Dog For No Reason – And His Bullet Nearly Hit Her Children And Elderly Mother In Another Room

August 6, 2012

CLEVELAND COUNTY, OKLAHOMA – A Cleveland County woman says she called a sheriff’s deputy for help, but when he arrived at her home, he shot and killed her dog without provocation.

Tara Harmon said she called 911 because of a domestic dispute with her boyfriend. She told Eyewitness News 5’s Carla Wade that when the deputy arrived, she asked him to wait a few minutes before going into her back bedroom so that she could put away her two dogs.

Harmon said the officer did not wait and when her 6-year-old dog Sophie came near the deputy, he pulled his weapon and shot and killed the dog. Sophie was a female blue heeler who had just recently had puppies.

Harmon said the bullet ricocheted off the ground and went through a wall in her kitchen. Her small children and elderly mother were in a room about 10 feet away.

A spokesperson for the Cleveland County Sheriffs Office said they are investigating.

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BROKE: 16 States Now Rationing Prescription Drugs For Medicaid Patients

July 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Sixteen states have set a limit on the number of prescription drugs they will cover for Medicaid patients, according to Kaiser Health News.

Seven of those states, according to Kaiser Health News, have enacted or tightened those limits in just the last two years.

Medicaid is a federal program that is carried out in partnership with state governments. It forms an important element of President Barack Obama’s health-care plan because under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–AKA Obamcare–a larger number of people will be covered by Medicaid, as the income cap is raised for the program.

With both the expanded Medicaid program and the federal subsidy for health-care premiums that will be available to people earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level, a larger percentage of the population will be wholly or partially dependent on the government for their health care under Obamacare than are now.

In Alabama, Medicaid patients are now limited to one brand-name drug, and HIV and psychiatric drugs are excluded.

Illinois has limited Medicaid patients to just four prescription drugs as a cost-cutting move, and patients who need more than four must get permission from the state.

Speaking on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on Monday, Phil Galewitz, staff writer for Kaiser Health News, said the move “only hurts a limited number of patients.”

“Drugs make up a fair amount of costs for Medicaid. A lot of states have said a lot of drugs are available in generics where they cost less, so they see this sort of another move to push patients to take generics instead of brand,” Galewitz said.

“It only hurts a limited number of patients, ‘cause obviously it hurts patients who are taking multiple brand name drugs in the case of Alabama, Illinois. Some of the states are putting the limits on all drugs. It’s another place to cut. It doesn’t hurt everybody, but it could hurt some,” he added.

Galewitz said the move also puts doctors and patients in a “difficult position.”

“Some doctors I talked to would work with patients with asthma and diabetes, and sometimes it’s tricky to get the right drugs and the right dosage to figure out how to control some of this disease, and just when they get it right, now the state is telling them that, ‘Hey, you’re not going to get all this coverage. You may have to switch to a generic or find another way,’” he said.

Arkansas, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia have all placed caps on the number of prescription drugs Medicaid patients can get.

“Some people say it’s a matter of you know states are throwing things up against the wall to see what might work, so states have tried, they’ve also tried formularies where they’ll pick certain brand name drugs over other drugs. So states try a whole lot of different things. They’re trying different ways of paying providers to try to maybe slow the costs down,” Galewitz said.

“So it seems like Medicaid’s sort of been one big experiment over the last number of years for states to try to control costs, and it’s an ongoing battle, and I think drugs is just now one of the … latest issues. And it’s a relatively recent thing, only in the last 10 years have we really seen states put these limits on monthly drugs,” he added.

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Owasso Oklahoma City Manager Is Still Trying To Get Rid Of Bad Cop Lt. Mike Denton After His Brutal Attack On Man

July 12, 2012

OWASSO, OKLAHOMA – Owasso City Manager Rodney Ray announced Thursday that the city will seek to overturn an arbitrator’s decision and once again terminate a police officer accused of using excessive force during an arrest.

The incident began more than a year ago, when Lt. Mike Denton and other officers were attempting to subdue Bryan Scott Spradlin, a Collinsville resident arrested on a complaint of public intoxication.

The June 30, 2011 arrest was captured on multiple video recording systems worn by the officers involved.

Denton is seen hitting Spradlin in the face three times in video obtained by KRMG and posted below.

The city terminated Denton, an 18-year veteran, in November, citing the use of excessive force.
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Video Shows Owasso Police Officer Lt. Mike Denton’s Brutal And Violent Attack On Handcuffed Man – Douchebag Was Fired And Then Reinstated By Arbitrator

July 11, 2012

OWASSO, OKLAHOMA – KRMG News has obtained the lapel-camera video shot in June last year when Owasso Police Lieutenant Mike Denton gave 3 elbows to the face of a man being arrested for public intoxication.

The City of Owasso fired Lt. Denton in November 2011, citing ‘excessive force’ during the arrest of Bryan Scott Spradlin of Collinsville. Spradlin later pleaded guilty to the public intoxication charge.

KRMG News filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the video from the Owasso Police Department in November 2011. That video was finally released Monday.

In a grievance hearing in March, an arbitrator reduced Denton’s firing to a written reprimand and reinstated the officer to the Owasso Police Department.

On June 30, 2011, Bryan Spradlin was arrested at an apartment complex in Owasso for public intoxication.

Officers went to the apartment on a disturbance call.

The arrest was videotaped from a camera on the officer’s lapel.

The clip shows Spradlin refusing to stand up while in handcuffs.

Lt. Mike Denton then drags him into jail.

You can hear Lt. Denton say, “Are you ready to walk? Can you get up and walk? You want to act like a big boy?”

Next, you can see Lt. Denton throwing three elbows into the suspect’s face.

The officer was fired for using excessive force.

Chief Dan Yancey spoke to KRMG in November.

Yancey said he was concerned about excessive force after viewing the video.

He said, “There’s a definite line, drawn in the sand if you will, as to what officers have the right to do, and if you cross that line intentionally, I think there should be severe consequences.”

In March, an arbitrator rehired Lt. Denton and gave him a written warning.

KRMG News made a Freedom of Information request for the video.

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Tulsa Oklahoma Destroys Woman’s Garden – City Codes Allowed Edible Plants And Trees – City Said They Don’t Care

June 16, 2012

TULSA, OKLAHOMA – A Tulsa woman is suing the city’s code enforcement officers after she said they cut down her garden with no cause.

Denise Morrison said she has more than 100 plant varieties in her front and back yards and all of them are edible and have a purpose.

She knows which ones will treat arthritis, which will make your food spicy, which ones keep mosquitoes away and treat bug bites, but she said none of that matter to city inspectors.

Last August, Morrison’s front and back yards were filled with flowers in bloom, lemon, stevia, garlic chives, grapes, strawberries, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint, an apple tree, walnut tree, pecan trees and much more.

She got a letter from the city saying there had been a complaint about her yard.

She said she took pictures to meet with city inspectors, but they wouldn’t listen, so she invited them to her home so they could point out the problem areas.

“Everything, everything needs to go,” Morrison said they told her.

When she heard they wanted to cut it all down, she called police. The officer issued her a citation so it could be worked out in court.

She said she went to court on August 15, and the judge told them to come back in October. But the very next day, men were cutting down most of her plants.

They even cut down some of her trees -– ones that bore fruit and nuts -– and went up next to her house and basically removed everything in her front flower bed.

“I came back three days later, sat in my driveway, cried and left,” Morrison said.

Morrison said she had a problem at her last property with code enforcement, so this time, she read the ordinance, which says plants can’t be over 12-inches tall unless they’re used for human consumption. She made sure everything she grew could be eaten, which she told the inspectors.

“Every word out of their mouth was, ‘we don’t care,'” Morrison said.

Morrison said she used many of the plants that were destroyed to treat her diabetes, high-blood pressure and arthritis.

“Not only are the plants my livelihood, they’re my food and I was unemployed at the time and had no food left, no medicine left, and I didn’t have insurance,” Morrison said. “They took away my life and livelihood.”

Morrison finally went to court last week for the citation she got last August at another property. The garden portion of the citation was dismissed and she pleaded no contest to having an inoperable truck in her driveway.

She filed a civil rights lawsuit this week, accusing the inspectors of overstepping their authority.

The City of Tulsa said it hasn’t received the lawsuit yet, so it couldn’t comment.

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US Cities Doing Everything They Can To Starve The Homeless And Make Sure They Have No Place To Sleep

June 10, 2012

US – A growing number of cities across the United States are making it harder to be homeless.

Philadelphia recently banned outdoor feeding of people in city parks. Denver has begun enforcing a ban on eating and sleeping on property without permission. And this month, lawmakers in Ashland, Ore., will consider strengthening the town’s ban on camping and making noise in public.

And the list goes on: Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City and more than 50 other cities have previously adopted some kind of anti-camping or anti-food-sharing laws, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

The ordinances are pitting city officials against homeless advocates. City leaders say they want to improve the lives of homeless people and ensure public safety, while supporters of the homeless argue that such regulations criminalize homelessness and make it harder to live on the nation’s streets.

“We’re seeing these types of laws being proposed and passed all over the country,” said Heather Johnson, a civil rights attorney at the homeless and poverty law center, which opposes many of the measures. “We think that criminalization measures such as these are counterproductive. Rather than address the root cause of homelessness, they perpetuate homelessness.”
Vagrancy laws

Cities that have adopted laws affecting the homeless:

Anti-Camping
• Atlanta
• Denver
• Los Angeles
• Miami
• New York
• Seattle

Anti-Food-Sharing
• Phoenix
• Orlando
• Cleveland

A number of organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia this month in response to its feeding ban.

Mark McDonald, press secretary for the city’s mayor, Michael Nutter, said the measures are about expanding the services offered to the homeless, adding dignity to their lives and about ensuring good public hygiene and safety.

“This is about an activity on city park land that the mayor thinks is better suited elsewhere,” he said. “We think it’s a much more dignified place to be in an indoor sit-down restaurant. … The overarching policy goal of the mayor is based on a belief that hungry people deserve something more than getting a ham sandwich out on the side of the street.”

If people come inside for feeding programs, they can be connected with other social service programs and possibly speak with officials such as substance abuse counselors and mental health professionals, McDonald said.

Critics argue that bans on feeding and camping often leave people with no where to eat or sleep because many cities lack emergency food services and shelters. Meanwhile, citing people who violate such ordinances costs cities money when officials try to follow up on such cases and hurts people’s ability to get jobs and housing, because many develop criminal records.

In 2007, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty filed a lawsuit against Dallas contesting its ordinance that restricted locations where groups could share food and prohibited many groups from providing food in locations where they had served homeless people for years. A trial is scheduled to begin this month.

“It is a good thing when you see municipal governments paying attention to the homeless population and trying to find a number of solutions to the crisis,” said James Brooks, the National League of Cities’ program director for community development and infrastructure. “Cities have an obligation not only to the people in the parks but to people in the wider community to prevent a public health problem.”

Brooks’ group supports the ordinances and said they are holistic approaches to solving a problem that will not simply end by giving people shelter. The key to helping homeless people is to get them indoors where social service workers can help them, Brooks said.

An opponent of the measures, Neil Donovan, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, sees the ordinances as possible signs of “compassion fatigue.”

“People are getting frustrated and getting angry at the issue,” he said. “The person who is asking for money outside a coffee shop, the person who is camping just outside the ballpark, the chronically homeless are getting the brunt of this anger.”

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8 Shot And Woman Beaten After Oklahoma City Basketball Game

May 22, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA – Eight people were shot Monday night just blocks from the Chesapeake Energy Arena as large crowds were leaving the playoff game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, police said.

Authorities were trying to determine what led to the shootings that occurred at about 11:35 p.m., said Capt. Dexter Nelson of the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Of the victims, one was in critical condition and seven suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Nelson said.

Also, a woman was injured when she was punched and kicked in the crowded streets, authorities said.

Thousands of people were in the area because the Thunder beat the Lakers 106-90 to advance to the Western Conference finals.

“Whenever you get about 8,000 people outside of a venue, we are going to be outnumbered,” Nelson told CNN affiliate KOCO. “You can’t have enough people down here for that.”

Several people had been questioned about the shootings, but no arrests had been made Monday night, Nelson said.

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Pedophile Former “Top” FBI Agent Donald Sachtleben Arrested, Charged With Child Pornography – Currently Visiting Professor At Oklahoma State University, But All References To Him Suddenly Disappeared From Their Web Site

May 15, 2012

CARMEL, INDIANA – A former supervisory FBI agent has been arrested and jailed on child pornography charges.

Donald Sachtleben was taken into custody and charged Monday after a nationwide undercover investigation of illegal child porn images traded over the Internet.

The 54-year-old resident of Carmel, Indiana, has pleaded not guilty and has a detention hearing in federal court Wednesday.

A federal complaint alleges 30 graphic images and video were found on Sachtleben’s laptop computer late last week when FBI agents searched his home, about 23 miles north of Indianapolis.

The arrest was a result a months-long probe, said the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Joseph Hogsett.

“The mission of our Project Safe Childhood initiative is to investigate and prosecute anyone found to (be) engaged in the sexual exploitation of children,” Hogsett said in a news release. “No matter who you are, you will be brought to justice if you are found guilty of such criminal behavior.”

Sachtleben is currently an Oklahoma State University visiting professor, according to his online resume. He is director of training at the school’s Center for Improvised Explosives, but all references to his work have now been removed from the university’s website. There was no indication from the school as to whether it had suspended him. Calls to the university and his Indianapolis attorneys were not immediately returned.

He had been an FBI special agent from 1983 to 2008, serving as a bomb technician. He worked on the Oklahoma City bombing and Unabomber investigations, according to his university biography.

A separate LinkedIn profile filled out by Sachtleben says he is an “accomplished investigator with more than 25 years of experience in FBI major case management, counter terrorism investigations, bombing prevention, post blast investigations and public speaking.”

According to the criminal complaint, a federal-state joint task force had been investigating an Illinois man allegedly trading child porn images as far back as September 2010. That suspect was arrested in January, and a search of his computer reportedly led to Sachtleben, who was using the e-mail name pedodave69.

According to the affidavit, an e-mail from that account was sent to the Illinois suspect last fall, along with nine images of child porn. “Saw your profile on (a file sharing network). Hope you like these and can send me some of ours (sic). I have even better ones if you like.” Prosecutors say Sachtleben sent that e-mail.

Sachtleben’s wife was interviewed by agents during the execution of the search warrant and denied any involvement with child porn. She was not taken into custody.

FBI officials in Washington had no comment on the arrest.

If convicted, Sachtleben would face up to 20 years in prison on the charge of distribution of child porn, and an additional 10 years for possession.

The Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood initiative was launched in 2006, leading to what federal officials call a more than 40% increase in the number of cases investigated. The project’s website says 2,700 indictments were filed last year alone.

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CNN Correspondent Says “F*cking Nigger” On Air – Quoting Tulsa Oklahoma Shooter Described On Facebook The Savage Beast Who Killed His Father

April 9, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – During Sunday’s broadcast of “CNN Newsroom,” correspondent Susan Candiotti — the reporter covering the recent shootings of five black men in Tulsa, Okla. — used a racial slur on live television.

Candiotti used the “n” word while reading aloud what one of the suspects in the shooting, 19-year-old Jacob England, wrote recently on his Facebook page.

“Now, this, according to relatives, has troubled him ever since and CNN has also discovered what police have,” Candiotti said. “There was a Facebook posting made just the other day, written by the suspect in this case, that police are examining.”

“And it reads like this: ‘Today is two years that my dad has been gone, shot by’ — and please excuse the language, it’s very sensitive — ‘Shot by a fucking nigger. It’s hard not to go off between that and [England’s fiancée] Sheran.’”

At the end of Candiotti’s segment, “CNN Newsroom” anchor Fredricka Whitfield apologized to viewers for the slur.

“Susan Candiotti in Tulsa — and we apologize to our viewers for such profanities being used on our air,” Whitfield said.

This is the second time in recent weeks a CNN reporter has uttered the word on live television. Last month, Drew Griffin of CNN’s special investigations unit used a racial slur on live television when reporting on a case involving a federal hate crime in Mississippi.

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Serial Shooter Targets Blacks In Tulsa Oklahoma – Three Dead And Two Wounded Within 3 Mile Area

April 7, 2012

TULSA, OKLAHOMA – The same attacker or attackers may be to blame for four early-morning shootings that left three people dead and two wounded within a three-mile span of north Tulsa, police in Oklahoma say.

All five victims were walking through neighborhoods not far from each other when they were shot early Friday, Tulsa homicide detective Sgt. Dave Walker told the Tulsa World.

All the victims were black, prompting the Rev. Warren Blakney Sr., NAACP Tulsa president, to say that someone appeared to be “targeting black people to shoot.”
“I’m on edge for my people,” Blakney said, according to the Tulsa World.

The local chapter of the NAACP and other black leaders held an emergency meeting Friday evening at a church to appeal for calm and discuss safety.

When asked if people in the community felt that the shooter was deliberately targeting black people, Tulsa City Councilor Jack Henderson replied, “Yes, absolutely,” krmg.com reported.

Henderson said people should not let “some crazy, deranged person mess up their weekend,” but he added that the community “needs to watch their backs” until the shooter is caught, according to the Tulsa World.

Police don’t believe the victims knew each other.

“There is no forensic evidence to link at this point,” Walker said. “Timing and location lead us to believe they may be connected.”

Four shooting victims were found in yards, and the fifth in a street. Police identified those killed as Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clark, 54, and William Allen, 31. Fields was found wounded about 1 a.m. Friday, Clarke was found in a street about an hour later, and Allen was discovered in the yard of a funeral home about 8:30 a.m.

Minutes after Fields was found, police found two men with gunshot wounds in another yard two blocks away. They were taken to hospitals in critical condition but expected to survive, police said.

Police Capt. Steve Odom said in his 30 years with the police department, he’d never seen so many shootings happen in such a short time.

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Trying To Beat The Heat: Oklahoma City Police Arrest Man For Mowing Lawn At 4:30 – Which He Has Done For Last 10 Years

September 1, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City man said he was doing a good deed when he was arrested and cited for mowing his yard and a neighbor’s yard Friday morning.

Phil Ray Gage, 40, was arrested on a complaint of disturbing the peace after a neighbor called police to report him for mowing a lawn at 2529 NW 33 at 4:30 a.m., Oklahoma City police said.

He was released by police at the scene after he signed a citation for disturbing the peace.

But Gage said he’s been mowing in the early morning hours for 10 years, and nobody has complained before.

He said when he was arrested he was in the process of finishing up mowing his neighbor’s yard.

“When the officer came up to me she asked me if I knew it was illegal to mow at that time of day,” Gage said. “I thought she was cracking a joke. Then she told me to get up against the car, and she put cuffs on me.”

Gage said he mows in the early morning hours because of the heat and because it fits his work schedule best.

Gage said the light from his neighbor’s yard and his yard provides enough light for him to mow.

“I’m a carpenter, so I have to mow when I can,” he said. “That time is just what works best because of the heat and my job.”

Gage said he never has had problems with his neighbors.

“We all know each other,” he said. “We watch out for each other’s houses. I have phone numbers for just about all my neighbors except for the guy that lives across the street. I don’t know him as well.”

Gage said he would have stopped mowing in the early morning hours if someone had asked him to.

“I just wished he would have talked to me about it before he called the police,” he said. “If people wanted me to stop, I’d stop.”

Gage said he intends to fight the ticket.

“I’m going to try to fight it,” he said. “It’s unreal how I got treated for mowing a yard.”

According to police reports, Gage became argumentative when officers arrived and asked him to turn off his mower, but Gage said he complied immediately.

“I did what she told me to do,” he said. “Believe me, if I had said one thing to her she would have taken me to jail.”

The neighbor who called police could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

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Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Patrick Venable Quits, Charged With On-Duty Rape Of Drunk Female Motorist

August 16, 2011

GUTHRIE, OKLAHOMA – The Logan County District attorney has charged a
former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper with second-degree rape.

Patrick Venable, 27, resigned June 29 after OHP began investigating
allegations of sexual misconduct against him. In July, OHP officials
said the investigation had been ongoing for several weeks, but they
would not reveal details of the allegations.

In a news release Tuesday, Logan County District Attorney Tommy Lee
says while on duty as a trooper, Venable pulled over a woman on the
Broadway Extension in Oklahoma City. Lee says Venable took the woman
into custody for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor.
He’s accused of then transporting her to a residence in Guthrie where he
had sex with her.

Venable is scheduled to make his first appearance in court at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16.

If convicted of second-degree rape, Venable faces one to 15 years in prison.

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GUTHRIE, Oklahoma – The Logan County District attorney has charged a former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper with second-degree rape.

Patrick Venable, 27, resigned June 29 after OHP began investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against him. In July, OHP officials said the investigation had been ongoing for several weeks, but they would not reveal details of the allegations.

7/22/11 Related Story: Accusations Of Sexual Misconduct Rock OHP

7/22/11 Related Story: OHP Trooper Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Alleged

In a news release Tuesday, Logan County District Attorney Tommy Lee says while on duty as a trooper, Venable pulled over a woman on the Broadway Extension in Oklahoma City. Lee says Venable took the woman into custody for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor. He’s accused of then transporting her to a residence in Guthrie where he had sex with her.

Venable is scheduled to make his first appearance in court at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16.

If convicted of second-degree rape, Venable faces one to 15 years in prison.


Update: Cashion Oklahoma Reserve Police Officer Paul Lamarche Arrested For Child Molestation

May 9, 2011

LOGAN COUNTY, OKLAHOMA – A reserve police officer from Cashion was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of lewd or indecent proposals or acts with a child younger than 16, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

Paul Lamarche, 39, was arrested at about 4 p.m. in his home in the 3300 block of North Highway 77 in Logan County, according to the OSBI. Lamarche was booked into the Logan County Jail, agents said.

OSBI agents said Lamarche put his hands down the pants of a girl about 10 years ago, when the girl was still under 16. Agents said Lamarche knew the girl who reported the incident.

Lamarche faced a judge Wednesday afternoon, court officials said.

According to court documents, Lamarche “began rubbing (the girl’s) back,” then slowly “moved his hands down to her bottom.” The girl said Lamarche “then put his hands under {her} clothes and began rubbing her bottom skin on skin.”

But Irvin Box, Lamarche’s lawyer, said the accusation is suspicious because Lamarche is going through a divorce and the girl claiming to have been sexually molested by him suddenly appeared 10 years after the incident happened.

“Anytime there’s a divorce case where allegations that occurred 10 years ago suddenly surface, and their nature — rubbing the back and buttocks of a person under 16 at the time, I think she was 15 — are awfully suspicious,” Box said.

Lamarche said remembers the incident, but he only touched the girl’s back and shoulders.

The investigation is ongoing. Authorities said there may be more victims involved.

Lamarche would be able to remain out of jail on a $10,000 bond, court officials said.

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Cashion Oklahoma Reserve Police Officer Paul LaMarche Arrested, Faces Sex Charges Involving A Child – Planned To Run For Logan County Sheriff

May 9, 2011

CASHION, OKLAHOMA — A Cashion reserve police officer arrested Tuesday on a sex crime complaint was a former Logan County deputy who planned to run for sheriff in 2012.

Paul LaMarche, 39, was arrested Tuesday on a complaint of lewd or indecent proposals or acts with a child under 16. He was booked in the Logan County jail and released after posting $10,000 bond.

LaMarche could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Logan County Chief Deputy Rob Groseclose said LaMarche worked as a deputy from June to December 2008. He quit shortly before current Sheriff Jim Bauman took office.

“I don’t believe (LaMarche) was going to be retained, and I believe that was made clear to him, and he resigned,” Groseclose said.

LaMarche had posted a website indicating he planned to run against Bauman for sheriff in 2012. The website is no longer available, but cached versions included a picture of LaMarche in uniform and touted his law enforcement experience.

A call to a mobile phone number listed on the website was not returned Wednesday.

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El Reno Texas Police Officer Chris Leal Arrested, Suspended, Charged After Drunken Wreck In Patrol Car And Leaving The Scene – Patrol Car Found On Roof In Ditch

April 22, 2011

EL RENO, OKLAHOMA – An El Reno Police Officer stands accused after a car accident this past weekend. We’ve learned off-duty officer Chris Leal was arrested for DUI and leaving the scene of an injury accident.

The El Reno Police Chief tells us that his officers arrived on the scene around 6 a.m. Sunday.

They found one of their K9 patrol units on it’s top in a ditch.

They then went to Officer Leal’s house to determine if the car had been stolen.

No one was home at the time.

The Police Chief tells us Leal was found about 2 miles from the crash scene and was determined to be under the influence of alcohol and taken into custody.

Two family members and one passenger were also at the crash sight.

They were treated for minor injuries.

Right now Leal is on unpaid leave pending an internal investigation.

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Oklahoma City Oklahoma Police Officer Maurice Martinez Arrested, Faces 36 Felony Charges For Sexually Abusing Children, Child Pornography, And Child Abuse

April 22, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — An Oklahoma City police officer was in jail Friday night and officially charged with 36 felonies and one misdemeanor for the alleged sexual abuse of several children.

Officer Maurice Martinez has been under investigation since January, when six of his adopted children were taken into state custody. He was arrested and a search warrant executed on their home.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Martinez was abusing children as young as 12.

Investigators said the behavior went on for years, but the officer was repeatedly allowed to adopt children and bring them into his home.

Investigators said Martinez had several images if children on his iPhone and computer. They said he kept his phone locked all the time and only allowed the children to use the phone in his presence.

According to court documents, he allowed his adopted children to physically abuse each other and never notified the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

Investigators said they seized videos from his home showing children getting “pummeled by other children” and “hit over the head by Martinez.” A child said he had “food poured on him” and he was “locked outside,” police said.

Since the investigation and Martinez’s first arrest in January, police said he has accused of intimidating witnesses from cooperating with police, conspired with a teenager to break into his home and steal evidence before police could seize it and gave $400 to another victim to send him on a bus to Utah to obstruct the investigation.

Martinez was booked into jail on April 15. He is still in jail, and a bond has not been set.

Martinez is charged with 32 counts of sexual abuse of a child, one count of possession of child pornography and one count of child abuse, among other charges.

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Oklahoma City Oklahoma Police Officer Sgt. Maurice Martinez Arrested Second Time In Child Molestation Case

April 16, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA – The Oklahoma City police officer accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy was arrested again Friday in what police said was a sting operation after tips led authorities to the runaway teen in Utah. Police said officers used a Taser while making the arrest.

Police Sgt. Maurice Martinez was arrested about 1:45 a.m. in a traffic stop at SE 44 and Sooner Road, police Capt. Patrick Stewart said. Martinez was pulled over as he was driving to a meeting that, unbeknown to him, had been set up by investigators.

Police accuse Martinez of buying the boy a bus ticket to Utah and arranging for him to stay with people Martinez knew.

Martinez has not been charged, but Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said he anticipates filing “numerous, numerous” felony counts against Martinez. Prater said the officer also could face federal charges.
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** Bill Passes Oklahoma Senate That Finally Strips Illegal Immigrants Of Our Constitutional Rights – Wetbacks Can Be Arrested Without A Warrant And Property Seized If Used To Commit Immigration Related Crimes **

March 17, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA –  — A sweeping anti-illegal immigration bill that allows police to arrest people they suspect are in the country illegally and seize property used to commit immigration-related crimes has passed the Oklahoma Senate.

The Senate voted 29-15 on Wednesday for the bill over the objections of some members who say the plan is unconstitutional and would be detrimental to Oklahoma’s economy.

The bill authorizes law enforcement officers to arrest someone without a warrant, if the officer has “probable cause” to believe the person is in the country illegally.

It also allows police to seize property, like homes or vehicles, used to knowingly harbor or transport illegal immigrants.

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First Time Offender Mom Sentenced To 10 Years In Oklahoma Prison For $31 In Pot Sales

February 21, 2011

TAFT, OKLAHOMA – Because of $31 in marijuana sales, Patricia Marilyn Spottedcrow is now serving 10 years in prison, has been taken away from her four young children and husband, and has ended her work in nursing homes.

Three days before Christmas, Spottedcrow, 25, entered the Eddie Warrior Correctional Center.

“I’m nervous … because it’s prison … people I don’t know,” she said.

“People said don’t get too comfortable here or you’ll be here longer. Don’t make too many friends. Come and do your time and get out.”

Marijuana transactions

On Dec. 31, 2009, Spottedcrow and her mother, Delita Starr, 50, sold a “dime bag” of marijuana to a police informant at Starr’s home in Kingfisher, court records state.

Starr handled the transaction and asked her 9-year-old grandson — Spottedcrow’s son — for some dollar bills to make change for the $11 sale.

Two weeks later, the same informant returned and bought $20 of marijuana from Spottedcrow.

The two women were arrested for drug distribution and because Spottedcrow’s children were in the home, an additional charge of possession of a dangerous substance in the presence of a minor was added.

“It just seemed like easy money,” said Spottedcrow, who says she is not a drug user but has smoked marijuana. “I thought we could get some extra money. I’ve lost everything because of it.”

The women were each offered plea deals of two years in prison. But because neither had prior convictions and the drug amounts were low, they gambled and entered a guilty plea before a judge with no prior sentencing agreement.

Starr received a 30-year suspended sentence with no incarceration, but five years of drug and alcohol assessments. Spottedcrow was sentenced to 10 years in prison for distribution and two years for possession, to run concurrently. She will be up for parole in 2014.

‘Cried for days’

Starr claims the cases have been “blown out of proportion” by lawmen and criticizes the sentences as stiff. “It shocked me and we cried for days,” she said. In addition, Starr was fined $8,600 and Spottedcrow $2,740.

“Never in a million years did I think I’d be here 10 years,” Spottedcrow said of prison.

“We were under the impression we would get probation. When I left for court, I just knew I was coming back home. It hit me like a ton of bricks. There were no goodbyes, they took me away right then. How do you tell your children you are going to prison? How do you prepare for this?”

Former Kingfisher County Judge Susie Pritchett, who retired in December, said the women were conducting “an extensive operation” and included children in the business.

“It was a way of life for them,” Pritchett said.

“Considering these circumstances, I thought it was lenient. By not putting the grandmother in prison, she is able to help take care of the children.”

A presentencing investigative report prepared by the Department of Corrections rated Spottedcrow’s risk of re-offending as “high” and recommended substance abuse treatment while incarcerated.

“It does not appear the defendant is aware that a problem exists or that she needs to make changes in her current behavior.”

Spottedcrow was unemployed and without a stable residence when arrested, the report states. The family lost their Oklahoma City home for not paying bills.

“When she needed money … this is the avenue she chose rather than finding legitimate employment,” the report states. “The defendant does not appear remorseful … and she makes justifications for her actions.”

‘Kids are involved’

Pritchett said on first drug offenses, sentences are usually suspended and may require treatment or random drug tests.

Only if there are other more serious circumstances is a first-time drug offender sent to prison, she said.

“When kids are involved, it’s different,” Pritchett said.

“This was a drug sale. When I look at someone in front of me, I’m thinking, ‘What is it going to take to rehabilitate this person?’ We look at their attitude and other factors.”

When Spottedcrow was taken to jail after her sentencing, she had marijuana in her jacket. She pleaded guilty to that additional charge Jan. 24 and was sentenced to two years in prison and fined nearly $1,300. That sentence also will run concurrent with her other conviction.

Spottedcrow has four children — ages 9, 4, 3 and 1 — and is determined to keep her 8-year, common-law marriage intact. “It’s been really hard on my husband,” she said. “I know a lot of things can happen, but he’ll always have my back and be there.”

Her son is aware of what has happened, but the girls have been told their mother is away at college.

“I missed my daughter’s fourth birthday, and I’ll miss her fifth one too. My other daughter just started talking, and I’m not there to hear her,” Spottedcrow said.

“My baby woke up … and doesn’t know where her mommy is. This is the hardest thing to do, and know I can’t do anything about it. I just have to focus on myself and take it day-to-day and plan for going home. I will want to see my kids at some point. I’m trying to take this slow. I can’t get depressed about it.”

Oklahoma’s two prisons for women — the maximum-security Mabel Bassett in McLoud and minimum-security Eddie Warrior in Taft — housed 2,622 prisoners last year.

Of those, 48 percent are serving time for nonviolent drug offenses and 22 percent for other nonviolent offenses such as embezzlement and forgery.

Of the 1,393 women received by Oklahoma prisons last year, 78 percent were identified by DOC as minimal public safety threats.

Most nonviolent offenders are housed at Eddie Warrior, an open campus with a walking track and six dormitories.

‘I’m already changed’

Spottedcrow knows she will need to find a new job skill because her work in the health field won’t be there because of her incarceration. She would like to open a boutique.

“Even though this seems like the worst thing … I’ve been blessed along the way,” she said. “It could have been worse. I’m happy my kids are safe and, ultimately, I’m safe. I’m thankful I still have a family.”

In a year, Spottedcrow will have a review and hopes to shorten her time in prison.

“I’m already changed,” she said. “This is a real eye-opener. I’m going to get out of here, be with my kids and live my life.”

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Broke Police Departments Stop Responding To Certain Calls

August 25, 2010

TULSA, OKLAHOMA – Budget cuts are forcing police around the country to stop responding to fraud, burglary and theft calls as officers focus limited resources on violent crime.

Cutbacks in such places as Oakland, Tulsa and Norton, Mass. have forced police to tell residents to file their own reports — online or in writing — for break-ins and other lesser crimes.

“If you come home to find your house burglarized and you call, we’re not coming,” said Oakland Police spokeswoman Holly Joshi. The city laid off 80 officers from its force of 687 last month and the department can’t respond to burglary, vandalism, and identity theft. “It’s amazing. It’s a big change for us.”

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Oklahoma County Oklahoma District Attorney David Prater Charges Pharmacist Who Shot And Killed Robber While Protecting Store And Employees

May 28, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA – An Oklahoma City pharmacist who shot and killed a 16-year-old would-be robber has been charged with first-degree murder.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said Wednesday that 57-year-old Jerome Ersland was justified in shooting Antwun Parker once in the head on May 19. But Prater says Ersland went too far when he shot Parker five more times in the abdomen while Parker lay unconscious on the floor.

Ersland’s attorney — Irven Box — says Ersland was protecting himself and two women inside the pharmacy.

Prater showed a security video in which two men burst into the pharmacy and one being shot. Ersland is seen chasing the second man outside before returning, walking past Parker to get a second gun then going back to Parker and opening fire.

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TSA Implements Virtual Strip Searches Of Airline Passengers. $170,000 Machines To Replace $10,000 Metal Detectors

February 19, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC — For the first time, some airline passengers will skip metal detectors and instead be screened by body scanning machines that look through clothing for hidden weapons, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday.

An experimental program that begins today at Tulsa International Airport will test whether the $170,000 body scanners could replace $10,000 metal detectors that have screened airline passengers since 1973. Airports in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, Albuquerque and Salt Lake City will join the test in the next two months, TSA spokesman Christopher White said.

The scanners aim to close a loophole by finding non-metallic weapons such as plastic and liquid explosives, which the TSA considers a major threat. The machines raise privacy concerns because their images reveal outlines of private body parts.

“We’re getting closer and closer to a required strip-search to board an airplane,” said Barry Steinhardt of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Privacy advocate Melissa Ngo fears that passengers won’t understand that the scanners take vivid images that screeners view.
FIND MORE STORIES IN: San Francisco | Miami | Las Vegas | Salt Lake City | Transportation Security Administration | American Civil Liberties Union | Albuquerque | Homeland Security | Airports Council International | Christopher White | Barry Steinhardt | Bruce Schneier | Tulsa International Airport | Melissa Ngo

White said each scanner has explanatory signs on how the machines work and posters showing the image they create.

Passengers at the test airports will be instructed to go through the new scanners. Anyone who doesn’t want to go through will be allowed to refuse and instead go through a metal detector and receive a pat-down, White said.

People in the scanner will stand with their arms raised and their face will be blurred out in the metallic-looking image on a nearby screen. TSA screeners view the images from inside a closed room near a checkpoint and immediately delete them.

“We’ve struck a very good balance between security and privacy,” White said.

Christopher Bidwell, security chief at the Airports Council International trade group, said the scanner “really does not reveal as much as some people might think.”

The scanners aim to address problems exposed by government probes in which covert agents got liquid explosives and detonators through airport checkpoints. A 2005 Homeland Security report urged better checkpoint technology.

Security analyst Bruce Schneier, a frequent critic of the TSA, said the scanners should improve security but warned that they take longer than metal detectors — 30 seconds vs. about 15 seconds per passenger. “There will be pressure to do the screening faster, which will be sloppier,” Schneier said.

The scanners bounce harmless “millimeter waves” off passengers’ bodies and use no radiation.

The TSA has done preliminary tests of the scanner on passengers who had just passed through metal detectors. Those tests found that the machines excel at finding hidden objects, White said.

Based on the results of the latest test, the TSA will decide at an undetermined date whether to use more body scanners in place of metal detectors.

Appeared Here


TSA Implements Virtual Strip Searches Of Airline Passengers. $170,000 Machines To Replace $10,000 Metal Detectors

February 19, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC — For the first time, some airline passengers will skip metal detectors and instead be screened by body scanning machines that look through clothing for hidden weapons, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday.

An experimental program that begins today at Tulsa International Airport will test whether the $170,000 body scanners could replace $10,000 metal detectors that have screened airline passengers since 1973. Airports in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, Albuquerque and Salt Lake City will join the test in the next two months, TSA spokesman Christopher White said.

The scanners aim to close a loophole by finding non-metallic weapons such as plastic and liquid explosives, which the TSA considers a major threat. The machines raise privacy concerns because their images reveal outlines of private body parts.

“We’re getting closer and closer to a required strip-search to board an airplane,” said Barry Steinhardt of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Privacy advocate Melissa Ngo fears that passengers won’t understand that the scanners take vivid images that screeners view.
FIND MORE STORIES IN: San Francisco | Miami | Las Vegas | Salt Lake City | Transportation Security Administration | American Civil Liberties Union | Albuquerque | Homeland Security | Airports Council International | Christopher White | Barry Steinhardt | Bruce Schneier | Tulsa International Airport | Melissa Ngo

White said each scanner has explanatory signs on how the machines work and posters showing the image they create.

Passengers at the test airports will be instructed to go through the new scanners. Anyone who doesn’t want to go through will be allowed to refuse and instead go through a metal detector and receive a pat-down, White said.

People in the scanner will stand with their arms raised and their face will be blurred out in the metallic-looking image on a nearby screen. TSA screeners view the images from inside a closed room near a checkpoint and immediately delete them.

“We’ve struck a very good balance between security and privacy,” White said.

Christopher Bidwell, security chief at the Airports Council International trade group, said the scanner “really does not reveal as much as some people might think.”

The scanners aim to address problems exposed by government probes in which covert agents got liquid explosives and detonators through airport checkpoints. A 2005 Homeland Security report urged better checkpoint technology.

Security analyst Bruce Schneier, a frequent critic of the TSA, said the scanners should improve security but warned that they take longer than metal detectors — 30 seconds vs. about 15 seconds per passenger. “There will be pressure to do the screening faster, which will be sloppier,” Schneier said.

The scanners bounce harmless “millimeter waves” off passengers’ bodies and use no radiation.

The TSA has done preliminary tests of the scanner on passengers who had just passed through metal detectors. Those tests found that the machines excel at finding hidden objects, White said.

Based on the results of the latest test, the TSA will decide at an undetermined date whether to use more body scanners in place of metal detectors.

Appeared Here