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Arrested for Supporting Local Business: Occupying Black Friday at the Big Boxes in Oklahoma City

Asked if he felt that the Del City police intentionally targeted him, or were rougher because he's gay, Jay said, “Oh yes, absolutely.”

Agnew was standing right next to Jay and saw him being manhandled by police. “Jay told this cop he was going to call the ACLU, and the cop just slammed him down onto the back side of the car. The officer said, `Okay, I'm gonna take Loudmouth over here,' and they separated him from the rest of us. Jay still has a bruise on the right side of his face.”

“When I threatened to call our contact at the ACLU, the cops grabbed my phone away from me,” Jay said. “And the cop (Officer Miller of the Del City Police Department) slams my face down onto the car and tells me, `You're stupid. You never should have tried a thing like this.' His tone was very demeaning and aggressive. He just kept instructing me to shut up, shut up, shut up. As Officer Miller was pushing me into the squad car, he threatened, “You're gonna go down, boy. I'm gonna get you charged with assault and battery of an officer.' He claimed that I had pushed him, which is a lie. An outright lie.”

Occupy OKC attorney Brittany Novotny (also the state's first openly transgender political candidate, who challenged Republican Sally Kern for the House District 84 seat last year), is planning to subpoena the store's surveillance camera footage to prove just who pushed whom.

Officer Miller's threat to charge Jay with assault and battery of an officer turned out to be an idle one. However, Jay was the only member of the group to be charged with resisting arrest. The other nine arrested protesters were charged with disorderly conduct.

 

Jay Vehige stands up to Tulsa police on a bitterly cold Oklahoma night, Nov. 3, 2011Jay Vehige stands up to Tulsa police on a bitterly cold Oklahoma night, Nov. 3, 2011
 
Part II of this report, “Occupying a Jail Cell,” describes the OKC occupiers' experience behind bars. Look for it on ThisCantBeHappening! December 1st.

 

LORI SPENCER is a veteran journalist and musician from Austin, Texas. The newest member (as of today!) of the ThisCantBeHappening! collective, she has visited six occupy camps throughout the American heartland since early October. In recent weeks she's been an embedded reporter with the Occupy Oklahoma City camp (while managing to squeeze in some holiday time with her family). Look for more of Lori's traveling occupy journals on TCBH! in the months ahead. Lori also has a personal blog



story | by Dr. Radut