OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Only a few people participated in the protest seeking freedom for self-proclaimed “Tiger King” Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic, outside the United States Courthouse in Oklahoma City.
A KFOR camera crew was at the William J. Holloway Jr. United States Courthouse on Saturday afternoon to capture footage of the rally, but found only three people with two megaphones demanding the release of the notorious tiger breeder and convicted felon.
Tami Springer, who manages Maldonado-Passage’s official website, organized and participated in the protest. She said they protested at the U.S. Courthouse because that’s where Maldonado-Passage will soon be resentenced.
Springer said Maldonado-Passage is innocent of the crimes he was convicted of in 2019.
“You would see if you watched ‘Tiger King 2,’ the witnesses have recanted their testimony and they’ve sworn affidavits that they perjured themselves, therefore the jury was tainted and the verdict should be overturned,” Springer said.
Maldonado-Passage, 58, was recently transferred to a federal medical unit in North Carolina after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
He’s serving a 22-year prison sentence for a murder-for-hire conviction – having attempted to hire two different men to kill his rival, animal rights activist Carole Baskin – as well as federal wildlife charges related to killing and selling tigers. He and his supporters lobbied President Donald Trump and Trump’s staff to pardon him.
Maldonado-Passage, who formerly owned the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, recently told the New York Post that Trump was “a fool” not to pardon him.
He and Baskin gained national exposure through the popular Netflix docuseries ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.’ A second season was recently released on the streaming service.
‘Tiger King’ supporters created an “Innocent King” logo and heavily promoted Saturday’s rally across social media.
Springer said Maldonado-Passage indorses protests calling for his freedom.
“He wants us to get the word out there that he’s innocent,” she said. “A lot of people know he has cancer, and it’s pretty aggressive. He needs treatment, and he needs good treatment, and he needs to get released to get that.”
The protest was scheduled for 1-4 p.m.