OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Two more activists were recently charged in Oklahoma County District Court after police say the two refused to cooperate at a protest back in May.
Tuesday night, activists Jess Eddy and Mark Faulk are preparing to turn themselves into the Oklahoma County Detention Center after being criminally charged. The two were arrested back in May at a Black Lives Matter protest near Northwest 23rd and Classen.
“Honestly, we are very nervous,” activist Mark Faulk said.
“I am upset,” Jess Eddy said. “I really am.”
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater charged both Eddy and Faulk with obstructing a roadway” and refusing to comply with a lawful order.
Their charges came just days after jail officials announced 33 inmates and six jailers tested positive for COVID-19 over the last month. Another 540 inmates are now in quarantine.
“This is retaliation,” Faulk said.
On May 30, the two men were part of a protest in downtown Oklahoma City following the death of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Min. Faulk was live-streaming the whole thing.
“We need you to quit shooting people,” Faulk said in the live-stream.
“Turn around,” the officer said in the live-stram. “That was your chance.”
“The police blocked the street,” Faulk tells KFOR.
Faulk was handcuffed on camera and Jess Eddy was right behind him.
“We have a right to protest police brutality,” Eddy said.
According to police, both were arrested because “they refused to move” after “standing in the street” and “blocking the flow of traffic”.
OKCPD says this sparked “other protestors to become violent, throw objects and start pushing.”
“If anyone caused anything later at the police department, it was the department themselves,” Faulk said.
Prater released a statement to KFOR, saying:
“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.”
The pair of charges comes after a slew of similar cases, including charging other protestors with terrorism for allegedly breaking windows of a bail bonds business before trying to set it on fire. Others were accused of torching an Oklahoma County sherrif’s van.
“It’s time for Prater to go,” Eddy said.
Eddy and Faulk told KFOR they will enter the Oklahoma County Jail Wednesday at 10 a.m. There is a protest planned at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday as well.
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