OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma House voted Tuesday to censure Representative Mauree Turner, D-OKC, for allegedly harboring a fugitive following last week’s confrontation between trans-rights activists, a lawmaker and state troopers that led to one arrest.
On Feb. 28, a protester hurled water at Representative Bob Ed Culver, R-Tahlequah, following the House’s passage of HB 2177 – a bill to ban gender affirming care for minors.
The protester was then escorted out by an Oklahoma State Trooper.
At the fourth floor stairwell on the southwest side, the protester threw the water again but this time at the trooper. That is when the trooper went in for an arrest. He followed the protester down the stairs until the two became physical.
Once detained by the trooper, the protester swung and open-handedly hit the trooper on the shoulder.
After contemplating the event, Culver decided to press charges.
“If water being thrown on me had been the extent of the action taken, I would not have given it a second thought. However, I cannot stand by while our highway patrolmen are assaulted for simply doing their jobs,” said Culver. “Taking all of that into consideration, I have decided to press charges against the individual who assaulted me and the patrolman and will cooperate fully with the law enforcement investigation.”
Now, House officials say Rep. Turner hid a person wanted for questioning in the case inside their office.
House Speaker Charles McCall released the following statement:
Last week, a member of the House of Representatives and a highway patrolman were assaulted after an otherwise peaceful protest turned violent. Following this assault, one individual was apprehended by law enforcement while another involved in the incident fled the scene. It came to the attention of law enforcement that the individual who fled was hiding in the official office of a member of the House. This member knowingly and willfully impeded a law enforcement investigation, harboring a fugitive and repeatedly lying to officers, and used their official office and position to thwart attempts by law enforcement to make contact with a suspect of the investigation.
I want to make something very clear: I will not allow members of the House of Representatives to use their House assigned offices and official positions to impede law enforcement officers carrying out investigations or making arrests in the State Capitol. Our law enforcement officers leave their homes every day to serve and protect us, never knowing if it might be the last time they see their families. The House stands by our law enforcement, and will not allow what is an already dangerous and unpredictable job to become more dangerous due to the actions of a member of our body, The inappropriate, and potentially criminal, actions exhibited by this member of the House were deserving of censure, and the actions taken by the House today were both measured and just.Charles McCall, R-Atoka
The House voted 81-19 to censure and strip Turner of their committee assignments.