Oklahoma's Own In Focus: Lexington Investigations

Lexington, Oklahoma has been involved in multiple investigations, including a confrontation between an officer and a Cleveland County deputy and the local animal shelter.

Thursday, February 8th 2024, 5:22 pm

By: News 9, Colby Thelen


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Lexington Police & County Deputy Incident

Lexington, Oklahoma, has been involved in multiple investigations, including a confrontation between an officer and a Cleveland County deputy.

This is body cam footage of the incident.

It all started with a SWAT callout in Lexington, that the department says it didn't know about until the County Sheriff was pulled over.

But there are two 911 calls from a bounty hunter asking for assistance, one of them to Lexington Police.

The two departments both ended up at the barricaded suspect scene.

Things escalated quickly between an officer and a Lieutenant for the Sheriff's department.

The Sheriff's office released a statement following the altercation, saying in part, “Their actions during the incident were wholly inappropriate and unprofessional."

An investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

Related:

Lexington Animal Shelter

The Cleveland County Sheriff's Office has relaunched its investigation into the Lexington Animal Shelter.

An investigation began last year after allegations emerged of neglect and improper euthanasia and disposal.

There was a protest when the video alleging abuse and cruelty surfaced in September.

Related: 'Nothing But Animal Cruelty': Lexington Animal Shelter Under Fire

“These animals have no voice for themselves,” Cleveland County Sheriff Chris Amason said.

His office investigated at the time along with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and the case was closed.

“The district attorney indicated that there were no additional charges there,” Amason said. “Even though they have a problem morally with what they’re doing down there, it did meet the letter of the law.”

As Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Johnson sees it, the shelter didn’t just meet the letter of the law but exceeded expectations.

Related: How Lexington Is Fixing Its Animal Shelter Problem

“What was construed to me was that there was no crime committed,” Chief Johnson said. “And that they were actually impressed with how much we were doing with so little.”

However, the case is open again.

“All of the sudden we’re going to reopen this five, six months later,” said Johnson. “I don’t know under what circumstances.”

He believes it has to do with a recent jurisdictional dispute with Cleveland County.

“I’m going to let common sense prevail on that one,” Johnson said when asked whether he believed retaliation played a part.

The sheriff says that’s not the case.

“It has nothing to do with any retaliation. Again these are new allegations that are being brought up,” Amason said. “It’s because of the public outcry. They’ve reached out to me. I have a responsibility to ensure that issues like this are thoroughly investigated.”

The Sheriff's Office says because of the ongoing investigation, it can’t comment on what is happening in the case.

In the meantime, Chief Johnson says he's open to giving any residents a tour if they want to see it for themselves.

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