ACLU files lawsuit against Oklahoma sheriff, claims agency is secretly tracking citizens

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Lawsuit filed

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma group is suing a Logan County law enforcement official after it claims he had secret records that tracked the activities of thousands of Americans without their knowledge or consent.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit in Logan County, requesting the court order Logan County Sheriff Jim Bauman to turn over records of a web-based database called “Black Asphalt.”

The ACLU claims the database tracks the activities of thousands of Americans without their knowledge or consent.

Officials with the group claim the database was confiscated in 2012 by the Logan County Sheriff’s Office and has been used as a way to search for information about suspects and citizens while avoiding the legal channels.

The ACLU claims the records should be public under the Oklahoma Open Records Act.

“The Black Asphalt system, secretly tracking the activities and confidential information of law-abiding citizens for the last decade, appears to be one of the most disturbing and egregious violations of the rights of American citizens in recent memory,” said Brady Henderson, Legal Director at ACLU of Oklahoma. Henderson continued, “I can understand why Sheriff Bauman might not want to turn over records of his significant involvement with it, but Bauman does not have the right to disregard Oklahoma’s Open Records Act.”

Once served with ACLU’s lawsuit, Bauman will have 20 days to respond to the petition.