'We The People' Submits 8,000 Signatures Supporting Investigation Into TCSO

Friday, June 19th 2015, 11:10 pm
By: News On 6

The community activist group 'We the People' turned over more than 8,000 signatures to the Tulsa County clerk Friday afternoon.

They want a grand jury investigation into Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz.

Even though the group got thousands more signatures than needed, it's not a done deal yet. There are still many more steps to take before it could go before a grand jury, and that could be months away.

The petition is sitting inside the Tulsa County Courthouse, and Monday it goes to the Tulsa County Election Board for the signatures to be verified.

Friday, Marq Lewis with ‘We The People' walked out of the courtroom smiling.

"It feels good. It just shows what Tulsans can do when they can come together, no one gave us an opportunity,” he said.

'We the People' gathered 8,860 signatures in 41 days. Friday, Lewis handed them all over to the Tulsa County Court Clerk.

It's the first step in launching a grand jury investigation into Stanley Glanz.

"We were the underdogs, and we are only trying to do something that is right,” Lewis said.

They started gathering signatures in May after the fatal shooting of Eric Harris by Reserve Deputy Bob Bates.

Special Coverage: TCSO Reserve Deputy Shooting Controversy

Friday, court employees looked over the petition and it will soon be sent to the Tulsa County Election Board to verify at least 5,000 signatures belong to Tulsa County residents.

Then it's up to a judge to call on a grand jury.

Even though Lewis said gathering signatures has been tough, it's been rewarding for everyone involved.

"We just gave them hope and this process here and renewed people's hopes, have renewed citizens hope," he said.

A judge denied the group's request for the names and addresses of petitioners to be sealed, saying it's public record.

6/19/2015 Related Story: Judge Denies Request To Seal Names On Petition To Investigate TCSO

'We the People' volunteers told the judge they were threatened and intimidated while gathering signatures.

"We have had more intimidation from the sheriff's office than a lot of things, and that was bad. They were showing up at our locations, the deputies were showing up at our location,” said Lewis.

Sheriff's office spokesperson Terry Simonson told News On 6, deputies are too busy serving the citizens to intimidate protestors. He also said, "The sheriff's office wants the process to be transparent and legal. Today's ruling is one important step towards both of those objectives."

The sheriff's office claims some of the signatures were gathered illegally, by offering free food in exchange for signing.

‘We The People' said they've never done anything illegal while getting signatures and, so far, no complaints have been filed against them.