Tulsa Police Chief Defends Occupy Tulsa Arrests

Wednesday, November 2nd 2011, 8:17 am
By: News On 6

Russell Hulstine, NewsOn6.com

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan held a news conference Wednesday morning and said his department had no choice but to arrest some Occupy Tulsa protesters overnight.

Jordan said while he respects the protesters' first amendment rights, he must follow the law, and the protesters were violating the park's curfew.  Jordan said if the protesters had remained on the sidewalk, they would not have been arrested. 

Police arrested 10 Occupy Tulsa protesters after they refused to leave a city park at 6th and Boston early Wednesday morning.

The arrests happened at 1:45 a.m.

Jordan said four of the people taken into custody were actually arrested on outstanding warrants.  But a check of the arrest reports shows only three of them had outstanding warrants.

As many as 50 police officers were involved in clearing out the park after officers ordered the protesters to leave.
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Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said officers waited more than two hours past the curfew to enforce the law. 

Many of the 40 Occupy Tulsa protesters left when police made the announcement, but several refused to leave.

Tulsa Police say those who refused to leave grabbed a hold of each other to show they were refusing to leave.

At that point, Tulsa Police started using pepper spray.  Chief Jordan defended the use of the pepper spray.

The protesters who were arrested were taken to the Tulsa County jail and booked on complaints of resisting arrest and violation of the park's curfew.

Tulsa County jail records show those arrested by Tulsa Police include:

  • John Harlien -- Tulsa
  • Amanda Hammack -- Tulsa
  • Lawrence Black -- Austin, Texas
  • Shane Algiere -- Tulsa
  • Masar Alabdul-Baqi -- Tulsa
  • Jeffrey Key -- Tulsa
  • Brittany Mercer -- Tulsa
  • Samval Molik -- Tulsa
  • Elias Sliva -- Tulsa
  • John Vanzant -- Mounds, Oklahoma

After posting bond, seven of them returned to the park at 6th and Boulder to continue their protest.

11/1/2011 Related Story: City Shuts Off Power At Scene Of 'Occupy Tulsa' Protest

Keep checking here for new developments in this story, and News On 6 viewers can watch reporter Dan Bewley's report on News On 6 at 5 p.m.