Oklahoma Officials Were Fired After Being Recorded Making Racist Remarks And Threatening Journalists

Following the release of tape in which three McCurtain County, Oklahoma, officials threatened journalists and made racial remarks, they were suspended.

Following a unanimous decision at an emergency meeting on Tuesday morning, the McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Clardy, Capt. Alicia Manning, and jail administrator Larry Hendrix were suspended, according to the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association.

What penalties District 2 Commissioner Mark Jennings, who was also recorded on camera, will endure, is unknown.

The McCurtain Gazette-News released an audio recording of Clardy and Jennings whining about two newspaper reporters, Bruce Willingham and his son Chris Willingham, and threatening to kill and bury them. Both had written about the alleged wrongdoing by the sheriff’s office.

In Louisiana, Jennings says he knows “two or three hit men” who are “very quiet guys.”

In the audio, Jennings is heard purportedly lamenting his inability to lynch Black people, while another individual laments the fact that Black people can no longer be taken from jail and “taken down to Mud Creek and hanged up with a rope.”

The talk supposedly also included Hendrix and Manning.

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Bruce Willingham, who left a tape recorder behind after a county commission meeting in March because he believed that officials had broken the law by continuing to discuss business after the meeting finished, was able to get the audio.

Craig Young, the mayor of Idabel, and Kevin Stitt, the governor, have both demanded that the officials step down.

Stitt declared, “I won’t watch this happen while doing nothing.

The tapes, according to the sheriff’s office, were “illegally obtained” and “altered.” It further stated that “those involved” would face criminal prosecution.

According to News 9, the FBI is looking into the tape. More audio will be released in the upcoming days, according to Willingham.

The remarks were made about six months after Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German’s murder, when Robert Telles, a public administrator for Clark County, Nevada, was detained.

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