(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 03/08/2023) – Today, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Oklahoma Chapter (CAIR Oklahoma) condemned the Oklahoma House of Representatives vote to formally censure Rep. Mauree Turner for exercising constitutional rights afforded to everyone in the United States.
SEE: House Republicans Censure Rep. Mauree Turner, Democrats Call Foul
[Background: Video footage shared by witnesses shows an individual being graphically wrestled to the ground by an Oklahoma State Trooper following allegations that the individual assaulted an Oklahoma State Representative. Another individual present during the arrest then went to Rep. Turner’s office. That individual was later arrested at home.]
“CAIR Oklahoma condemns this action by our House of Representatives. People have the right to remain silent. They also have the right to keep law enforcement officers from entering their home or business without a warrant,” said CAIR-OK Advocacy Coordinator Nicole Baumann.
“This was not a situation where the warrant exception applied, such as a hot pursuit or an imminent fear of danger,” said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani. “There was no reason the police could not have just obtained a warrant or just waited for the accused to exit the office.”
The censure means that Rep. Turner is removed from their positions on the House Criminal Justice & Corrections and Rules committees until a formal apology to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is made. The vote, held and passed along partisan lines with nearly all Democrats voting “No,” took place a week after a series of events involving protests at the Capitol.
Individuals close to the event stated that Rep. Turner did not impede the officers from performing their duties at any time. Furthermore, Rep. Turner has not committed a crime by exercising basic constitutional rights.
Baumann continued, “Rep. Turner acted to invoke constitutional rights in the same way we teach our community to do when we give Know Your Rights presentations. This decision comes as two other members of the state House of Representatives have active felony charges against them yet have not been removed from committee assignments or voting privileges. This is a political stunt, nothing more.“
SEE: State Rep. Ryan Martinez charged with felony in connection with October DUI arrest
SEE: AG Drummond takes Rep. Terry O’Donnell case from DA Vicki Behenna
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: Adam Soltani, CAIR-OK Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 405-248-5853; Veronica Laizure, Esq., CAIR-OK Deputy Director, email@example.com, 405-430-9877.