Oklahoma City – For months the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority, also known as the Jail Trust, has routinely operated their meetings under direct threat of violence and intimidation from local Antifa and BLM agitators. On numerous occasions these same activists have even threatened the families of the county commissioners tasked with overseeing the operations of the Oklahoma County Jail.
Due to these threats, and the disorder and disruption they bring to the meetings as a whole, the Jail Trust chose to change the venue of the April 19th meeting from in-person to virtual. Unfortunately, numerous malfunctions with the Cisco WebEx program caused the members of the public who wanted to attend virtually to be unable to. The program also caused numerous problems with communication between members of the jail trust. As such, after struggling with the software glitches for 40 minutes the meeting was cancelled and rescheduled for Wednesday, April 21st.
This didn’t stop the local agitators from crying foul, claiming that the Jail Trust was violating the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act by excluding members of the public. Sadly, the local and national media were more than happy to run with the misleading headlines, all but accusing the Jail Trust of violating Oklahoma law.
In a phone interview with Ignite Liberty, Oklahoma County Clerk David Hooten, whose office is tasked with running all county meetings, addressed the concern. “The meeting was admittedly a disaster from the start, and likely should have been cancelled from the beginning, but not because anyone was trying to hide anything from anybody. Our office has led the way in modernizing county government, making it more accessible to the people of Oklahoma County than ever before. Unfortunately, technical glitches that are beyond our control do happen. When it was apparent we wouldn’t be able to resolve them in a timely manner the meeting was adjourned without any business being conducted. Those who wanted to attend the meeting didn’t miss a thing, and will still be able to attend the meeting on Wednesday.”
Hooten also gave some perspective on the reason for the virtual meetings. “It is all about safety. My employees have been subjected to numerous, repeated threats of physical violence from the very same people that are accusing us of wrongdoing in this case. They want to create an atmosphere of intimidation and fear, forcing us to take meetings virtual just for our own safety, and then dare to point the finger and accuse us of wrongdoing. It’s absolutely preposterous!”
Even Oklahoma County Commissioner Kevin Calvey, while speaking at the Oklahoma County GOP Convention, noted how these same agitators have threatened to come to his house and even threaten his wife and children.
These are the same kind of Marxist bullying tactics used by Antifa and BLM in cities like Portland, Minneapolis, and Seattle. They have no place in civil discussion, and no place in Oklahoma. Sadly, these Communists are using our own open meetings laws against us and creating an environment of chaos and intimidation that is making it virtually impossible for our elected officials to conduct business. At some point enough is enough.
Our elected officials must be allowed to work without threats of violence and intimidation. If that means they have to have meetings virtually, then they are well within their right to do so. Crying foul simply because of software glitches is not just disingenuous, its utterly absurd…especially when the ones doing it are directly responsible for creating the environment that necessitated the virtual meetings in the first place.