A brief filed with the US Supreme Court says it's up to victims of the 1921 Tulsa race riots to be responsible to know all of the circumstances to file a lawsuit.
The case is expected to be heard by the high court in a few months. 6 in the Morning reporter Omar Villafranca says in Oklahoma, you're only allowed to file a civil lawsuit two years after something happens. Itâ€™s the responsibility of the party filing the lawsuit to gather all the information in that time period.
Victims and descendants of the riot want compensation from the city. They claim the city and state's involvement in the riot was hidden or destroyed. So they want an extension on that two year window. Attorneys for the City of Tulsa have urged the US Supreme Court to deny any lawsuits against the city because of the race riots. The victims and descendants have already lost their cases in other courts and now the Supreme Court has agreed to hear it.
The 1921 riots destroyed Tulsa's black business district. The confirmed death toll was 37, but some people say as many as 300 people were killed. It wasn't until 2001, when a special commission report clarified the city and state's role in the riots that the case even came up.
Civil rights groups have also filed a brief with the court. They say a "false historical narrative" was created after the riots and that kept the victims from knowing their rights, but that's now up to the Supreme Court to decide.