Tulsa Race Massacre Survivors Make Appeal To Oklahoma Supreme Court

The Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday that survivors should be able to sue over the long-lasting effects of the race massacre and arguments that the city should not be sued.

Tuesday, April 2nd 2024, 6:39 pm

By: News On 6


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The two known survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre made another appeal on Tuesday, this time before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

They're asking the higher court to overturn a judge's decision to dismiss their case against the City of Tulsa.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday that survivors should be able to sue over the long-lasting effects of the race massacre and arguments that the city should not be sued.

The survivors of the race massacre have not won in court, not in 1921, or in modern times.

They sued claiming ongoing harm from the massacre, but the case was dismissed in Tulsa, and that's how it ended up in Oklahoma City.

The State Supreme Court is reviewing the district court dismissal, by Judge Caroline Wall.

That will determine whether or not survivors get a trial on damages from the massacre.

Their argument is the City had a role in carrying out the massacre and has since not done anything to right that wrong.

"We feel good about our opportunity, and we hope the court will rule very, very quickly because our goal is to make sure these two beautiful ladies here get justice in their lifetime,” said the plaintiff’s attorney. “So we hope to get a decision from this court soon, and the next time you hear from us, we will be in Judge Wall’s courtroom, getting discovery."

Almost 100 people watched Tuesday’s hearing in person.

There is no timeline for a decision.

The city argued the dismissal was proper, saying the city wasn't responsible for the massacre.

Representatives from the city declined to comment on Tuesday's hearing.

After the case was dismissed in Tulsa County in July 2023, Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum said in part, “The City remains committed to finding the graves of 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre victims, fostering economic investment in the Greenwood District, educating future generations about the worst event in our community’s history, and building a city where every person has an equal opportunity for a great life.”

Related: Attorneys Respond To 'Unjust' Dismissal Of Tulsa Race Massacre Lawsuit

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