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Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation will investigate reported sexual assault of Norman councilmember’s neighbor

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A Norman Police Department squad car sits outside the police department March 31, 2018. 

The Norman Police Department announced Monday that the continued investigation of a reported sexual assault in Norman over the weekend will be done by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. 

According to the release, Norman police officers responded to the reported sexual assault at about 12:45 a.m. June 27, contacting the victim and beginning an investigation. The victim reported “minor physical injuries” and was taken to a local medical facility for evaluation and treatment. 

In a since-deleted Facebook post Saturday evening, Norman City Councilmember Alex Scott said the victim of the sexual assault was her neighbor. 

Scott has been a prominent supporter of reducing the NPD’s budget, and was arrested outside of President Donald Trump’s Tulsa rally June 20. Personal information, including her address, appeared online when she was booked into the Tulsa County Jail, and subsequently has circulated various social media groups critical of her political stances. 

Scott indicated in a tweet that she won’t be making additional statements about her involvement in recent events until July 1, but replied with a corrected date of July 11. 

Police currently have no suspect description available for the public, according to the release. 

According to the release, the NPD has become aware of “concerns by some community members” involving allegations that local officers were involved in the release of a Norman resident’s address. The department is also aware of multiple social media messages being shared “among the community” that include the address of a city councilmember. 

“Any unlawful or unauthorized release of personal information of any person we contact is not acceptable,” the release said. “This concern will continue to be reviewed and investigated. Initially available information indicates the information shared on social media by members of our community, including some off-duty members of our agency, was obtained from the involved law enforcement agencies through public open records releases in accordance with Oklahoma state law.” 

Norman Citizens for Racial Justice called for OSBI to investigate the incident June 27, explaining in a release that “we need outside investigators from OSBI to look into this incident. NPD cannot be trusted to handle this investigation when it was the action of an NPD officer that endangered the council member in the first place. It was an NPD officer who spread Council member Alex Scott’s unredacted police report on social media with details of her assault and her home address. We cannot be confident NPD will do the right thing.” 

In the release, Norman Citizens for Racial Justice members cited an incident where Lexington police officer Eddie Zaicek posted "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” in the “Reopen Norman” Facebook group, referencing Norman Mayor Breea Clark. According to the release, the NPD’s investigation into the incident found “no direct threat to public safety.” 

“All of the women on council and the mayor are also being threatened and harassed, particularly from the 'Reopen Norman' (Facebook) group,” the release said. “NPD officers were allowed to intimidate and harass residents during the June 16th city council meeting, refusing to wear masks or to maintain social distance in the chambers despite repeated requests from city leaders and residents to do so. Off-duty officers brought firearms into the chambers against regulation and were not wearing body cams, in violation of their own policies. This culture of intimidation, violent threats, and complete disregard for public safety must end immediately.”

Community members are encouraged to share additional information or concerns involving this incident or any other topic related to NPD employees with the department’s internal affairs division at 405-366-5270 or pdprofstandards@normanok.gov, according to the release. 

A Norman City Council study session will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 7.

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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