Trooper's Confrontation With Protester Turns Physical
OKLAHOMA CITY - An encounter between an Occupy OKC protester and an Oklahoma highway patrol trooper turns physical, and it's all caught on camera.
Some are calling it assault while others say, "Not so fast."
The amateur video was taken at Thursday's I-40 Crosstown grand opening. The video was taken by an Occupy OKC protester as a fellow protester approached a group of troopers.
The video starts with a protester going by the name Jay Fox recording cell phone video of troopers at the grand opening of the new I-40. In the video, it appears, Fox inches closer to the trooper just before the trooper slaps the phone out of his hand.
"I felt assaulted, really," Fox said.
Fox is a former college student who calls himself a revolutionary. It is not his first run-in with the law. Fox was arrested on Black Friday during a protest at the Del City WalMart.
"I'm not one to stand for authoritarian figures," Fox said.
Fox says two troopers touched him unlawfully on Thursday. So, Fox says, he attempted a citizens' arrest against a different trooper than the one seen on video smacking the cell phone from Fox's hand.
"I told officer Phillipi to get on the ground and put her hands behind her back, and she wouldn't do it," Fox said. "I told her, clearly, 'You buy into corporate fascism,'" laughed Fox.
Some who saw the video did not have much sympathy for Fox.
"You can just obviously see those people are trying to push the buttons of the troopers," attorney Irven Box said.
Box served as an Oklahoma City police lieutenant during the Vietnam War protests.
"I've been there, done that," Box said.
News 9 showed the video to Box to get his legal opinion on whether the trooper did anything wrong.
"As the trooper said, you're in my space … I really think if a district attorney looks at it or his supervisor [looks at it, they would think] that [the protester] was in the [trooper's] space," Box said.
As for OHP, the state's policing agency would not say much about the incident as of late Friday.
"We are aware of the video that's out there on Youtube right now, and we are looking into it," OHP spokeswoman Trooper Betsy Randolph said.
OHP would not give any further statement or comment on the incident than what was previously quoted. Fox says he is considering filing a complaint against the trooper.