By Robert Medley
As unrest over the Minneapolis killing of a black man by a white police officer escalated across the country, a Canadian County Sheriff’s tactical team was called into action to help keep the peace in neighboring Oklahoma City.
Vandals had hit the Oklahoma County jail with graffiti, and before noon on Saturday, Canadian County Sheriff Chris West got a call for help from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office for backup. Protests over the Floyd killing began to organize in Oklahoma City Saturday.
“We were requested to provide Oklahoma County with mutual assistance,” West said. “We were there to protect the lives and property of innocent, law-abiding citizens,’” West said.
Protesters were mostly peaceful Saturday evening, West said.
He said he went to the Oklahoma County jail along with two Canadian County armored vehicles. The military vehicles are mine-resistant and armored for protection. There were about 30 law officers from Yukon, Mustang, Piedmont, Union City and the sheriff’s office who went to Oklahoma City, West said.
The protest started to turn violent late Saturday and early Sunday near NW 23 and Classen Boulevard in Oklahoma City where storefront windows were shattered, and other damage reported. An Oklahoma County Sheriff’s vehicle reportedly burned.
He said many of the peaceful demonstrators who were near NW 23 and Classen started to leave the area when violence broke out.
“There were peaceful demonstrators and there were some bad actors,” West said.
The Logan County Sheriff’s office, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Warr Acres police and National guardsmen also assisted Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office, West said.
He said all team members and vehicles from Canadian County returned from downtown Oklahoma City on Sunday, but the team will be ready if needed, he said.G“If they call us for assistance we will assist,” West said.