Black Oklahoma man faces 1st-degree murder charge after killing white alleged burglar

In my opinion, this black guy doesn’t deserve to have any charges filed against him for killing a burglar. But they are filing charges: first degree murder. What nonsense.

The fact that the burglar had not yet entered the building should not matter. The burglar was trying to break the lock on the door. That’s good enough for me to vote not guilty on the first degree murder charge if I was on the jury. There’s a reason we have jury nullification.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/black-oklahoma-man-faces-first-degree-murder-charge-after-killing-white-burglar-205612621.html

Black Oklahoma man faces 1st-degree murder charge after killing white alleged burglar

By Marquise Francis

June 1, 2021

LaRue Bratcher, a 34-year-old Black Army veteran from Oklahoma, remains behind bars on a charge of first-degree murder more than a year after he shot and killed a white man allegedly trying to break into his marijuana grow business.

With his trial date delayed until later this year, Bratcher’s family and friends and members of the Oklahoma City community are rallying behind him, saying the murder charge is unjust.

“I feel like this was an injustice for the simple fact that if the roles were reversed, if this was a white person inside the facility, he would not be in this situation,” Bratcher’s wife, Vicky Bratcher, told Yahoo News in a video interview.

“Someone broke into his place,” Bratcher’s uncle, Derrick Neighbors, said at a rally last month. “He didn’t go out looking for trouble. He was in his own place of business.”

In 2018 when Oklahoma voters legalized medical marijuana, Bratcher established Premium Smoke LLC, a marijuana grow shop located in Oklahoma City, whose business license expired a year later. Bratcher had planned to renew his license in 2019, his wife said, but learned he would not be allowed to do so until he made nearly $100,000 worth of renovations to the warehouse that housed it, so he held off.

On May 27, 2020, around 1 a.m., Bratcher was at the grow operation warehouse when Daniel Hardwick, a 42-year-old white man, allegedly attempted to break into the business for the second consecutive night. Video from that night reportedly shows Hardwick park his car at the rear of the shop, walk to the business’s door and jostle with the door handle, attempting to gain entry.

“He was trying to break in when the business owner, who was inside the business at the time, apparently opened fire with a handgun, striking and killing the man who was breaking in,” Master Sgt. Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department told KFOR.

Bratcher called the police shortly after the shooting, and once at the scene, officers called the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to ensure the business was legal. When they found out that the business’s license had expired, Bratcher was arrested for operating a grow shop illegally, a felony, and was held on $5,000 bond. He was not, however, initially arrested in Hardwick’s death. In addition to arresting Bratcher, authorities also seized 480 marijuana plants worth an estimated $1,500,000.

A day after the arrest, Bratcher was released on bond. But just a week later, the city’s district attorney’s office reviewed the case and upgraded Bratcher’s charges to second-degree murder. One week later, police raided Bratcher’s home, escorting him, his children and his wife to the street, and arrested Bratcher again. Then, after he refused to accept a plea deal late last year, Bratcher’s charges were upgraded to first-degree murder. The family told Yahoo News that it does not understand why.

Individuals convicted of second-degree murder in Oklahoma can expect to serve a minimum of 10 years in prison to a life sentence, which is classified as 45 years in the state of Oklahoma, with eligibility for parole after serving 85 percent of the sentence. The penalties for those convicted of first-degree murder vary but include a life sentence without the possibility of parole, or death.

Despite Oklahoma being a state with a “stand your ground” law, or castle doctrine, those rights do not apply to those who are found to have committed a felony. Prosecutors say that because Bratcher operated his grow business without a license, he was felonious and any self-defense clause is thrown out.

Knight also told Yahoo News that because Hardwick was on the other side of the door, Bratcher had no legal standing to shoot him.

“[Bratcher] shot a burglar who had been working on the doorknob,” Knight said. “To use deadly force you have to determine you or the life of an innocent person is in imminent peril. The guy was on the other side of the door. … This is not ‘stand your ground.’”

Knight added that officers did not arrest Bratcher initially in Hardwick’s death because it’s not their job to determine who was right or wrong. Police are responsible only for gathering all of the information at the scene, Knight said, and “it’s up to the DA to decide from there.”

The Oklahoma County district attorney’s office did not return Yahoo News’ request for comment.

Bratcher’s lawyer, Clay Curtis, believes that even without the “stand your ground” defense, Bratcher acted in a “reasonable” manner.

“The evidence shows Mr. Bratcher acted reasonably under the circumstances,” Curtis told Yahoo News. “I think anyone would be in fear for their life in that circumstance. … This case isn’t about us growing weed in terms of the homicide, it’s about whether people think he acted reasonably under the circumstances.”

Bratcher’s wife, who also served in the U.S. military, believes the courts are making Hardwick out to be the victim and using her husband’s Army training against him.

“We’ve been fighting for this country and at the end of the day, it feels like you come home and it doesn’t mean anything to anybody,” Vicky Bratcher said.

Vicky added that at last year’s bond hearing, prosecutors said her husband was a “threat to the community” because of his previous combat training and expertise with a weapon.

“They used our experience of being a veteran [against us],” she said. “That’s literally a slap in the face.”

A petition in support of Bratcher’s release had received more than 5,800 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon. Dozens of demonstrators marched through downtown Oklahoma City last month in support of Bratcher and protested outside the county jail.

“When you’re in trouble, somebody has to fight for you,” Neighbors, Bratcher’s uncle, said. “This is my family and we’re going to fight for him.”

The trial date for Bratcher has been set for Oct. 11 of this year.

Feeling a mix of emotions, Vicky Bratcher is cautiously optimistic that justice will prevail.

“I feel deflated … my heart is broken,” she said. “This whole year has been very hard. I am still managing the warehouse, taking care of the kids and making sure that everything at home is good for his return. But it’s been hard to know that I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority updated its policy this year to allow cardholders to apply for a new license while still using their expired one until the new one comes in the mail.

June 1, 2021. Tags: , , . Guns. Leave a comment.

2 Oklahoma Boys Pulled From Class for ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-Shirts

I totally support the boys’ right to wear these shirts in school. The school is being completely ridiculous to suspend them.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/09/us/black-lives-matter-shirt-oklahoma-school.html

2 Oklahoma Boys Pulled From Class for ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-Shirts

In addition to the disciplinary action they have faced, the boys’ mother said that at least one of her three sons has been bullied because of the shirts.

May 9, 2021

Two brothers, 8 and 5, were removed from their Oklahoma elementary school classrooms this past week and made to wait out the school day in a front office for wearing T-shirts that read “Black Lives Matter,” according to the boys’ mother.

The superintendent of the Ardmore, Okla., school district where the brothers, Bentlee and Rodney Herbert, attend different schools had previously told their mother, Jordan Herbert, that politics would “not be allowed at school,” Ms. Herbert recalled on Friday.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma has called the incident a violation of the students’ First Amendment rights.

On April 30, Bentlee, who is in the third grade, went to class at Charles Evans Elementary in a Black Lives Matter shirt, which Ms. Herbert said he had picked out himself to wear.

That evening, Ms. Herbert learned that the school’s principal, Denise Brunk, had told Bentlee that he was not allowed to wear the T-shirt. At Ms. Brunk’s direction, he turned the shirt inside out and finished out the school day.

On Monday, Ms. Herbert went to the school to ask the principal what dress-code policy her son had violated, Ms. Herbert said. Ms. Brunk referred her to the Ardmore City Schools superintendent, Kim Holland.

“He told me when the George Floyd case blew up that politics will not be allowed at school,” Ms. Herbert said on Friday, referring to Mr. Holland. “I told him, once again, a ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirt is not politics.”

Neither Ms. Brunk nor Mr. Holland responded to emails or phone calls seeking comment on Friday.

On Tuesday, Ms. Herbert’s three sons — Bentlee; Rodney, who is in kindergarten; and Jaelon, a sixth grader, all of whom are Black — went to their schools in matching T-shirts with the words “Black Lives Matter” and an image of a clenched fist on the front.

Later that morning, Ms. Herbert received a call from Rodney’s school, Will Rogers Elementary, telling her that she needed to either bring Rodney a different shirt or let the school provide one for him, or Rodney would be forced to sit in the front office for the rest of the school day. Rodney did not change shirts, and he sat in the office until school was over.

Ms. Herbert learned later that day that Bentlee had also been made to sit in his school’s front office, where he missed recess, and did not eat lunch in the cafeteria with his classmates.

Jaelon, 12, encountered no issues at Ardmore Middle School because of his T-shirt, his mother said.

In an interview with The Daily Ardmoreite, Mr. Holland suggested that the T-shirts were disruptive.

“It’s our interpretation of not creating a disturbance in school,” Mr. Holland told the newspaper. “I don’t want my kids wearing MAGA hats or Trump shirts to school either because it just creates, in this emotionally charged environment, anxiety and issues that I don’t want our kids to deal with.”

Mr. Holland said there had been similar cases in the district this year.

“Most of it has not been an issue until this lady here has been angry about it,” Mr. Holland told The Ardmoreite. “I wish she weren’t so upset.”

Ms. Herbert said she met with Mr. Holland on Monday and asked him what would happen if she sent her children to school in “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts again.

“He told me nothing could be done because it wasn’t against policy,” Ms. Herbert recalled.

Indeed, the dress code outlined in the district’s Elementary Student Handbook makes no mention of politics. It says that “sayings or logos” on shirts or tops “should be in good taste and school appropriate.”

“Any clothing or apparel that disrupts the learning process is prohibited,” the handbook adds, stipulating that principals have the final say on “the appropriateness of dress.”

To Ms. Herbert, the idea that her 8-year-old son would not “be able to express that his life matters” was ludicrous.

On Friday, the A.C.L.U. of Oklahoma sent a letter to Mr. Holland, Ms. Brunk and James Foreman Jr., president of the Ardmore City School Board of Education.

In the letter, the A.C.L.U. said it would be a violation of the students’ First Amendment rights to be prohibited from wearing clothing that says “Black Lives Matter.”

If the school district does not reverse its policy and allow students to wear “Black Lives Matter” clothing, it must be prepared to prove in federal court how wearing the T-shirts creates “a substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities,” the A.C.L.U. said. “Anything less than that would be found to be a violation of the students’ First Amendment rights.”

It cited a 1969 U.S. Supreme Court case, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, which addressed the issue of a group of students who wore black armbands to object to the Vietnam War. A principal told the students that they would be suspended if they wore the armbands at school.

The court ruled 7-2 that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

“This has been the unmistakable holding of this Court for almost 50 years,” the A.C.L.U. said.

Mr. Foreman and the other members of the school board did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

In addition to issues with disciplinary action, Ms. Herbert said Bentlee has now been bullied at school over his T-shirt. When Bentlee returned from school on Thursday, he told his mother that two white boys had picked on him.

“One boy told him that his life does not matter, and the other one told him to just get suspended,” Ms. Herbert said.

The principal told Ms. Herbert the situation would be handled, she said.

“With everything going on in the world today, I keep my boys informed,” Ms. Herbert said, adding that the family watched the news together. “They know what’s going on.”

Out of principle, Ms. Herbert said she would continue to support her sons in wearing the T-shirts to school.

Despite the turmoil, the shirts were never intended to be an “attention-seeking ordeal,” Ms. Herbert said. “I don’t see Black Lives Matter disrupting anything.”

May 10, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Black lives matter, Cancel culture, Dumbing down, Education, Racism. 2 comments.

Obamacare forces cancer survivor to lose her doctor, and her new Obamacare plan covers zero doctors within a 400 mile radius

Janet Grigg lives in Oklahoma and is a survivor of colon cancer. Obamacare caused her to lose coverage for her doctor. Her new Obamacare plan covers zero doctors within a 400 mile radius of her home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FoyREgDH_8

May 31, 2014. Tags: , , , , , . Health care, Politics. 12 comments.