OKLAHOMA CITY - In response to the Norman Police Department internally investigating an officer who sent a racist image and reference in an email to the entire department, the ACLU of Oklahoma released the following statement:
“We strongly condemn Norman Police Officer Jacob McDonough’s actions referencing KKK members wearing hoods and holding flame torches, while referring to the type of mask he would prefer to wear. We affirm our solidarity and stand in support of those individuals and communities affected by these hateful acts, and join in the call with our partners at the Oklahoma State Conference NAACP for an independent investigation in the Norman Police Department and a review of the officer's history with marginalized communities.
While our organization defends the First Amendment, we also recognize the power of speech, especially speech that implies the official power of the state, comes with consequences that are harmful and traumatizing. The ACLU of Oklahoma stands firm in its belief that equality and justice will only be achieved if society looks racism and bigotry squarely in the eyes and rejects it.
Our state is no stranger to the kind of devastating headlines about fatal police interactions and over incarceration of our Black and Brown communities.The fact that police abuse remains a significant problem demands the attention of an independent investigation.
To our communities that feel unsafe as a result of these actions and the everyday struggle to trust those in power--we are here for you and will continue our fight to protect civil liberties for all.”