Oklahoma County Detention Center Trust Discusses ICE's Role Within Jail

Monday, October 19th 2020, 6:21 pm
By: Storme Jones


An office space reserved for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers will remain at the Oklahoma County Detention Center for now, but a larger question about their presence and jail trust authority remains unresolved.

Opposing sides clashed during public comment at Monday's jail trust meeting both while formally addressing trustees and while confronting one another in the audience.

A motion by jail trustee Frances Ekwerekwu would have eliminated a working space for ICE officers inside the detention center. According to a jail representative, the space is smaller than a podium.

The jail staffer told trustees ICE took 34 people being held in the county jail into federal custody in October.

Trust Chair Tricia Everest, Danny Honeycutt representing Sheriff P.D. Taylor, Sue Ann Arnall and Ekwerekwu voted in favor of eliminating the office space. Trustee and Oklahoma County Commissioner Kevin Calvey and Todd Lamb voted against the motion.

M.T. Berry and Jim Couch abstained. 

Both Berry and Couch voted in favor of a similar motion in September. The two said Monday they want to wait to see how a lawsuit challenging trust authority to take action relating to ICE is decided.  

Last week, Calvey filed a lawsuit asking for a judge to decide whether a 2-1 decision by the Board of County Commissioners is binding over any decision the jail trust may make. 

Related: 2 Oklahoma County Commissioners Vote To Keep ICE In The Detention Center