Marijuana Advocate Sues Oklahoma Sheriff for Forced Removal
CLAREMORE, Okla. — June 29, 2018
A marijuana advocate is suing a northeastern Oklahoma sheriff for using excessive force and violating their civil rights by forcibly removing them from a community forum on a state ballot measure on medical marijuana.
The lawsuit seeks more than $75,000 in damages.
Court records show Charles “Chip” Paul filed the lawsuit June 20th against Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton. The lawsuit says Paul raised his hand several times to ask questions, but was ignored. He says he made a comment to his wife about inaccuracies but "was in no way disruptive." Paul alleges Walton, a northeastern Oklahoma sheriff, grabbed him by the throat and escorted him out.
"Walton grabbed Paul's throat and neck, forcibly removing him from the Claremore Event Center. Paul all the while indicated he would leave peacefully. Walton slammed Paul's head into the door as he was physically removing him. Walton placed both his hands on the back of Paul's neck and utilized a tactical maneuver reserved for subduing individuals in a dangerous condition,” his petition states.
Walton told The Claremore Daily Progress that he was only doing his job and has no regrets.
"My intentions are to keep doing this job as long as I can and as long as we've got right on our side I certainly have no fear," he said. "These things are distractions. But it's part of doing your job. We've got people that are looking for any way to take a shot at ya. I think apparently they see this as an opportunity to take a shot at Walton. I guess they're entitled to their shot but I'm certainly convinced that we've got right on our side. The truth doesn't change and we're going to keep doing our job the right way. Unfortunately in today's world, political correctness dilutes things, in people's minds there is no right and there is no wrong. And I disagree with that. We did our job in an effort to maintain control of a meeting that was out of control. I'm never going to apologize for doing my job."
Oklahoma voters on Tuesday approved the proposal to legalize medical marijuana.