January 26, 2017

Oklahoma City-- In response to Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum and Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan’s assertion that the Tulsa Police Department will not become a federal dragnet deportation force, the ACLU of Oklahoma released the following statement:

Please attribute the following to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director:

“The ACLU of Oklahoma is pleased to see Mayor Bynum and Police Chief Jordan honoring their commitment to protect all of the citizens of Tulsa, regardless of immigration status. Attempts to conscript local law enforcement into dragnet deportation forces are reckless, irresponsible, and counterproductive. Tulsa cannot be safe when crime victims and potential informants are too afraid of deportation to cooperate with the police.

Resisting Executive Orders that force agencies to abet the federal government’s proposed reckless mass internment and deportation of immigrants is an important step in building trust between law enforcement and the communities it serves. To the extent that this declaration ensures that Tulsa will be a city free from unnecessary and counterproductive immigration enforcement, the ACLU applauds the Mayor and Police Chief’s actions.

We call today upon municipalities and counties small and large to follow Tulsa’s lead by unequivocally announcing their intentions to resist the Trump administration’s attempt to coopt local law enforcement agencies and to affirm their commitment to ensuring that all those who wish to live in their communities are welcome and safe. While we welcome the opportunity to change minds through reasonable policy analysis, any municipalities and counties that intend to waste their limited public safety resources by implementing a dangerous and counterproductive policy, should, at the very least, be clear about where they stand and serve notice to the citizens they are choosing not to protect.”

Please attribute the following to Oklahoma City Councilman Ed Shadid:

All cities face police manpower challenges; Oklahoma City is no different. We need to focus our precious, limited resources on public safety for all of Oklahoma City's peoples, not towards assuming responsibilities of the Federal Government. I look forward to OKCPD Chief Bill Citty's comments on the matter at the next City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 31st (under City Manager Reports). I would encourage those interested to come to the city council meeting, if they are able, in order to participate in the discussion (sign up to speak under "Citizens to be Heard").