Oklahoma Prosecutor Announces Steep Charges for Violent Protests: 'This Is Not Seattle'


Residents of Seattle and other major cities looking to relocate because of the violence and lawlessness that has erupted there in recent weeks can add the Oklahoma City area to their list of possible destinations. The district attorney there has made it clear that he values law and order.

Like Seattle and virtually every other urban center in the United States, protests broke out in Oklahoma City, the largest city in the state of Oklahoma, late last month. The protests quickly turned violent, with rioters setting fire to police cars and assaulting officers.

David Prater, the district attorney of Oklahoma County — home to the state’s capital — has charged several protesters with terrorism, rioting and assault, The Oklahoman reported.

Attempting to distinguish himself from the liberal leadership in other major American cities, Prater declared Friday, “This is not Seattle. We’re not putting up with this lawlessness here.”

In ordinary times, this type of story would not be that newsworthy. After all, it is the very job of district attorneys and the criminal justice system as a whole to hold people who break the law accountable.

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However, the United States has moved far beyond ordinary times.

Unlike Prater, many other district attorneys across the United States seem just fine with the “lawlessness” that some protesters have chosen to engage in.

Earlier this month, a district attorney in New York City announced that his office would not prosecute those arrested during the protests for “low-level” offenses such as disorderly conduct.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance made it very clear that he sympathized with lawbreakers and sent out a tweet filled with social justice platitudes announcing the decision to go easy on protesters:

In Atlanta, District Attorney Paul Howard has also decided to make his decisions based on politics, not the law. For an example of this, look no further than Howard’s decision to charge Officer Garrett Rolfe with murder.

Rolfe fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, an African-American man, after he resisted arrest and aimed a taser at Rolfe and the other police officer on the scene. Howard himself had previously referred to a taser as a “deadly weapon under Georgia law.”

But in today’s polarized and inflammatory political climate, elected officials get no points for consistency. Brooks’ death happened just two and a half weeks after the death of unarmed African-American George Floyd in police custody, the inciting incident that led to the widespread protests and riots.

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Not long after Brooks’ death, rioters set fire to the Wendy’s where his encounter with police occurred. Howard apparently made the calculation that the mob would not stop the violence unless the officer responsible faced severe repercussions, regardless of whether he committed any crime.

Prater, on the other hand, has stood up to the mob by announcing his intent to hold lawbreakers in Oklahoma City accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

When prosecutors ally themselves with lawbreakers and social justice warriors, it causes the breakdown of the rule of law in the society. It’s nice to see the Oklahoma County district attorney bucking this trend.

If this is to remain a nation of laws, Americans must make it clear that they value law and order above capitulating to the mob.

Citizens can make this clear at the ballot box by rewarding local officials who choose to uphold law and order and punishing those who do not. Losing re-election is sometimes the only way that politicians get the message.

For now, the residents of Oklahoma City can rest assured knowing that their town will not become the site of the next “CHOP.”

Hopefully, David Prater’s decision to hold the violent protesters wreaking havoc in his city accountable will mark the beginning of a nationwide resurgence of law and order.

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Ryan holds a bachelor of arts in political science from Rhode Island College. In addition to participating in the National Journalism Center’s internship program, he has written for several conservative publications.
Ryan holds a bachelor of arts in political science from Rhode Island College. In addition to participating in the National Journalism Center’s internship program, he has written for several conservative publications.