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Alleged threats against Norman Mayor Breea Clark protected by First Amendment, Norman Police Department determines

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Mayor of Norman Breea Clark introduces presidential candidate and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker at the Campus Corner Community Block Party Aug. 29, 2019.

The Norman Police Department said it determined the communication Norman Mayor Breea Clark reported Thursday morning doesn’t constitute a direct threat to the public or to Clark and was protected by the First Amendment. 

The Norman Police Department said in a press release Friday afternoon that it received information regarding an alleged threat posted to the Facebook group “Reopen Norman” referencing Clark Thursday morning. 

According to the Oklahoman, the police department began an investigation into the social media post after Clark reported a Facebook post that read “Mayor (expletive), needs to be pulled out of office and tried on the court house lawn … the problem with politicians, they don’t get hung in public anymore … #bringbackpublichangings!” 

The comment was later attributed to Eddie Zaicek, a police officer in Lexington, according to the Oklahoman, although he denied posting it, saying his account had been hacked. 

According to the release, involved parties were cooperative throughout the investigation, and the individual responsible for the comment admitted to writing and posting it on social media. Investigators found no indication of a direct threat to public safety.

Investigators presented the case to the Cleveland County district attorney’s office, which determined charges couldn’t be filed. 

According to the release, based on Oklahoma State Statute, investigators found that the communication was not a direct threat and was actually protected by the First Amendment.

Ari Fife is the OU Daily summer editor-in-chief and a sophomore journalism major minoring in international studies and political science. Previously, she served as a senior news reporter and was an SGA beat reporter.

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