(UnitedVoice.com) – There’s an expectation that public officials will uphold the laws and values of their communities. Especially when serving in a law enforcement capacity. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, as illustrated by the next story. Now, Oklahoma’s governor is demanding action.
A local newspaper, the McCurtain Gazette-News, recently released a bombshell recording that is more than three hours long. On the recording, McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Clardy is heard speaking to County Commissioner Mark Jennings and Investigator Alicia Manning, who works for the sheriff. The conversation took place on April 6 at a county commissioners meeting.
On the recording, Jennings, Clardy, and Manning start discussing father and son reporters Bruce and Chris Willingham. Bruce left a voice-activated recorder in the room after a commissioner’s meeting because he thought they were violating the state’s Open Meeting Act. Manning called the men “insignificant,” while Jennings said that he knows the location of “two big deep holes.” The sheriff responds that he has “an excavator.” Jennings also mentions that he’s known a few hitmen that were really quiet.
The group also discusses black people. Jennings talks about beating them up and throwing them in a cell. The sheriff responds, “It’s not like that no more.” Jennings says he would like to take black people to a local creek and lynch them but says he can’t because “They got more rights than we got.”
Governor Kevin Stitt (R) called for all of the officials’ resignations, saying their comments were “horrid” and declaring “hateful rhetoric” has no place in his state.
News: @GovStitt calls for resignation of the McCurtain County Officials who were caught on tape talking about killing a reporter and lamenting about not being able to hang Black people.
He says he will ask the OSBI to open an investigation into the officials pic.twitter.com/DYOcDGW6qR
— Reese Gorman (@reesejgorman) April 17, 2023
Jennings resigned from office on April 18. The sheriff has not, and neither has the investigator, at the time of this writing. The McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office claims the audio was illegally obtained, but the newspaper disputes the claim, CNN reported.
According to News 9, the FBI opened an investigation into the matter.
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