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During the nation-wide protests that took of the country for weeks on end in late May, two teenagers had been arrested after allegedly helping to break in the windows of an Oklahoma City bail bonds business. Now, those two teens are latest to face terrorism charges.
Dozens of protestors arrived at a sit-in at the office of Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater on the last Monday in June, demanding that thar Prater drop all terrorism-related charges and resign.
However, Prater countered back, saying “When you employ these tactics for a political purpose, you are a terrorist," and those who incite violence in the streets are “criminals” who “have subverted peaceful protests and impaired the open discussion regarding race in our country.”
“It is my job to protect innocent citizens and their property and I will continue to do it to the best of my ability.” The district attorney said after accusing the Black Lives Matter activists and protestors of trying to intimidate him and law enforcement.
Our friends at Fox News have the full story:
The local chapter of Black Lives Matter criticized Prater for bringing the terrorism charges against “protesters,” especially in Oklahoma City, where a “white supremacist terrorist attack” killed at least 168 people and injured hundreds more on April 19, 1995. The bombing was the worst terrorist attack to take place on U.S. soil until that on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001.
“To conflate acts of vandalism against property with acts of terrorist violence against human beings is a moral and legal equivocation without compare,” its petition on Change.org said. “It is an insult to survivors of terrorism and it is a sacrilege to its victims. Please join us in condemning these charges and demanding that [Oklahoma County] District Attorney David Prater dismiss them without delay.”
Haley Lin Crawford and Sydney Lynch, who both turned 18 within the past month, were charged last week with acting with a large crowd to unlawfully break the windows of CJ's Bail Bonds in Oklahoma City on May 30, the Oklahoman reported. The charges came after investigators identified the two young women using Facebook Live video streamed by other demonstrators and tips to CrimeStoppers.
An anonymous article posted on Medium.com on Tuesday said Prater “chose to charge those demonstrating their First Amendment Constitutional rights with terrorism.”
“These charges carry a $1 million bond, meaning innocent Oklahomans are left to suffer in Oklahoma County Jail, which is routinely ranked as one of the worst jails in the nation,” the post said. “Prater even arrested a child on their 18th birthday — and is awaiting the 18th birthday of additional demonstrators to throw into jail.”
Reactions on Social Media varied, with different groups sharing their opinions and thoughts:
Reported by local news & TV station, KFOR-TV, Just this past Wednesday, more arrests were made:
Activist Jess Eddy was arrested Wednesday and booked on a charge of willfully disturbing, interfering with or disrupting state business, agency operations or employees.
During the meeting, Eddy shouted, “Fascist, Fascist, Fascist, Terrorist *expletive* Fascist.”
He was released after spending 12 hours in the Oklahoma County Jail.
“Terrorism and intimidation do not work against us,” said Eddy.
“Yesterday’s county commissioner resolution was written specifically to silence us and keep us from protesting,” said activist Adriana Laws.
Eddy is one of more than a dozen people arrested during protests since Ma
All of those arrested say they’ve been wrongfully charged and targeted by District Attorney David Prater.
In regards to protesters who have been charged, Prater gave KFOR the following statement:
“I draw a clear distinction between protected free speech and criminal conduct. I will continue to prosecute those who violate the laws created to protect the innocent citizens of Oklahoma County. I am not surprised that criminal defendants don’t like that. The criminal justice system provides a venue for the litigation of criminal cases. It’s called a courtroom. I will litigate these cases in an Oklahoma County courtroom, not on social media or through the press.”