The McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office Is Investigating a Videotape of a Black Hole Event in the Willingham Neighborhood
Kevin Stitt called on four county officials to resign after they were videotaped making racist remarks and jokes.
The McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Monday that there is an “ongoing investigation into multiple significant violations” of the Oklahoma Security of Communications Act, which makes it “illegal to secretly record a conversation in which you are not involved and do not have the consent of at least one of the involved parties.” The recording hasn’t been verified or scientifically proven, it said.
The story that you heard does not represent McCurtain County. We have good people in McCurtain County. If we were so racist, it would not be such a diverse group here,” Young said, according to KOSU.
Manning said in the recording that she needed to go near the newspaper’s office in order to be careful if she ran into Willingham.
According to the Oklahoman report, Jennings said, “Oh, you’re talking about you can’t control yourself?” and Manning replied: “Yeah, I ain’t worried about what he’s gonna do to me. I’m worried about what I might do to him. My papaw would have whipped his a**, would have wiped him and used him for toilet paper … if my daddy hadn’t been run over by a vehicle, he would have been down there.”
Jennings replied that his father was once upset by something the newspaper published and “started to go down there and just kill him,” according to the Gazette-News.
The Willingham family had suffered harassment, mockery, and intimidation because of their efforts to report the news for McCurtain County.
Idabel Mayor Craig Young and the McCurtain County Commission Investigated via Audio Recordings of a Sheriff’s Office Meeting
The audio recording has been altered, according to our preliminary information. At this time, the motivation for doing so is unclear. The statement said that the matter is being investigated.
The FBI wouldn’t confirm or deny whether the agency was involved in the investigation, but spokesman Kayla McCleery said it is agency policy not to comment.
His statement came in response to the release of audio recordings by the McCurtain Gazette-News, a local newspaper that said it recorded the comments at a public meeting.
The AP reported that Bruce Willingham left a voice-activated recorder in the room after the county commission meeting because he suspected they were in violation of the state’s Open Meeting Act.
According to a transcript of the recordings, Jennings claimed that back in the day, someone could take a black guy and whoop his ass and throw him in a cell.
A McCurtain County Commission meeting on Monday morning was attended by dozens of protesters, including Idabel Mayor Craig Young, KOSU reported. The seat of McCurtain County is Idabel, located almost 200 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.