Latest: Oklahoma wildfires force evacuation of 1,400 people

WOODWARD, Okla. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires that have burned thousands of acres in northwestern Oklahoma (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

A fast-moving wildfire has forced an evacuation order for about 1,400 people in three northwest Oklahoma small towns.

Dewey County Sheriff Clay Sander said his deputies are going door-to-door in Seiling, Taloga and Putnam telling residents to leave. Sander urged people to heed the warning to leave and let firefighters protect property.

Sander said some who had earlier been evacuated from the nearby town of Vici (vi-si) were being allowed to return home.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency Friday in 55 of the state’s 77 counties. Blazes have scorched more than 200,000 acres (809 sq. kilometers) in Dewey and neighboring Woodward counties. The declaration will help speed up emergency purchases and deliveries to help fight fires.

A turkey hunter was hospitalized with burns after being trapped in one fire.

___

10:25 a.m.

A turkey hunter is badly burned but alive after becoming trapped overnight by a wildfire in northwestern Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Forestry Services spokeswoman Michelle Finch-Walker says the hunter was found Friday morning and taken to a burn center in serious condition.

Finch-Walker says the blaze in Dewey County has burned about 82,000 acres (331 sq. kilometers).

Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbaur says a separate fire near Woodward has burned more than 120,000 acres (485 sq. kilometers) and forced the evacuation of about 450 people from their homes, but no injuries are reported.

The National Weather Service says dangerous fire weather conditions are expected in much of western Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Panhandle through Saturday, with low humidity and strong winds of 20-30 mph (32-48 kph) and gusts of up to 50 mph (80 kph).

___

6:46 a.m.

A wildfire in northwestern Oklahoma has burned more than 120,000 acres (485 sq. kilometers) and forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes.

Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbaur said Friday that the fire has destroyed several homes near Woodward, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) northeast of Oklahoma City.

He says no injuries have been reported.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management reports another fire has burned more than 21,000 acres (85 sq. kilometers) near the town of Leedey, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Woodward.

The National Weather Service says dangerous fire weather conditions are expected in much of western Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Panhandle through Saturday, with low humidity and strong winds of 20-30 mph (32-48 kph) and gusts of up to 50 mph (80 kph).

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-hunter-found-burned-alive-oklahoma-wildfire-152933648.html

Cruel and unusual? Oklahoma officials want to use nitrogen gas for executions


Image: Cruel and unusual? Oklahoma officials want to use nitrogen gas for executions

(Natural News)
After months of being denied the drugs needed for lethal injections, the state of Oklahoma will turn to nitrogen gas instead. This will make it the first U.S. state to carry out the death penalty through this method.

The announcement was made at a news conference by Oklahoma State Attorney General Mike Hunter and Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh. Speaking before reporters, Hunter said that everything was still in the preliminary stage as there are no known execution protocols on nitrogen gas usage. Once finalized, however, the primary method of execution would be nitrogen hypoxia, or asphyxiation by breathing in physiologically inert gases.

An odorless and colorless gas, nitrogen makes up a massive portion of the air breathed in by humans. Nitrogen becomes extremely dangerous on its own. According to LiveScience.com, pure nitrogen kills by displacing oxygen in the lungs. This, in turn, can lead to unconsciousness in the span of one or two breaths. Within five minutes, brain cells will begin to die off due to oxygen deprivation, and death can follow soon after.

Nitrogen hypoxia most often applied to self-administered and assisted suicide by way of a suicide bag. Also known as an exit bag, this euthanasia device consists of a plastic bag and a drawcord. “Nitrogen hypoxia has been studied as a means of suicide and as it relates to pilots for decades and its benefits are it’s not a complicated medical procedure, nor does it require pharmaceuticals that might be restricted in supply,” Michael Copeland, assistant professor of criminology at East Central University in Ada, explained to OklahomaWatch.org.

The promise of a rapid demise is what prompted Oklahoma legislators to endorse nitrogen gas inhalation as the backup execution method in 2015. This occurred as a result of the state waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings on how they performed lethal injections.

“I believe in justice for victims and their families, and in capital punishment as appropriate for dealing with those who commit these crimes. Using an inert gas will be effective, simple to administer, easy to obtain and requires no complex medical procedures,” said Hunter.

Currently, there is no set date for these executions. No execution protocols regarding nitrogen hypoxia exist, meaning that state officials have only recently undertaken developing them. Though, as per Allbaugh, delivery of nitrogen gas will most likely be through a mask. Furthermore, the lawsuit filed by death row inmates stipulates that no execution date will be settled upon until 150 days after the protocol has been developed, which in itself is expected to take about 90 days at the least.

Will history repeat itself?

Response to the announcement has been swift. Dale Baich, an attorney for 20 of Oklahoma’s death row inmates, has criticized the move, stating: “Instead of following the recommendations of the Oklahoma Death (Penalty) Review Commission, the attorney general and Department of Corrections took a different course by adopting this new method of execution.

“Oklahoma is once again asking its citizens to trust its officials as they learn on the job through a new execution procedure and method. How can we trust Oklahoma to get this right when the state has the recent history that reveals a culture of carelessness and mistakes?”

In the last five years, Oklahoma has gained a small level of infamy after the occurrence of two high-profile, botched executions. The first was Clayton Lockett’s execution in 2014. Lockett, who had been convicted of kidnapping, murder, and rape, was injected with a combination of midazolam, vecuronium bromide, and potassium chloride. Though declared unconscious at first, Lockett began to struggle after three minutes and continued to do so for over 40 minutes before finally succumbing to a heart attack. (Related: Ohio slowly executes man with agonizing experimental lethal injection that almost didn’t work.)

The second was Charles Warner’s execution in 2015. Warner, who was charged with the rape and murder of an 11-month-old girl in 1997, was given potassium acetate instead of potassium chloride. His entire execution lasted a lengthy 18 minutes. While Warner was said to have showed no signs of distress, his last words before dying were: “My body is on fire.”

Oklahoma has not carried out any executions since Warner’s death.

Visit Shootings.news to read up on more news stories revolving around crime and punishment.

Sources include:

LiveScience.com

OklahomaWatch.org

 

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Source Article from http://www.naturalnews.com/2018-04-12-cruel-and-unusual-oklahoma-officials-want-to-use-nitrogen-gas-for-executions.html

Earthquakes in Oklahoma are manmade, strongly linked to fracking wastewater injection: Study


Image: Earthquakes in Oklahoma are manmade, strongly linked to fracking wastewater injection: Study

(Natural News)
Man-made earthquakes in Oklahoma are strongly linked to fracking methods such as the injection depth of wastewater, according to a major study published in Science.

  • The study aimed to provide targeted evidence in proving that there has been a substantial decrease in induced seismicity in the Oklahoma region, with possible applications in other parts of the world.
  • An average of 2.3 billion barrels of fluids per year have been injected into the ground by Oklahoma’s well operators since 2011. Disposal of wastewater is typically at depths of one to two kilometers below the ground surface. In addition, saltwater is injected deep underground for recovery of oil and gas.
  • There has been an approximately 800-fold increase in the annual number of earthquakes in Oklahoma since 2011, which is associated with the connection between the frequency of earthquakes (seismicity) and the depth of fluid injection into underground rock formations.
  • The researchers examined the connections between injection volume, depth, location, and geological features over a six-year period, using an innovative software that is capable of analyzing large and complex data sets. Called the Uninet, it incorporated injection well records and earthquake data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
  • The research team found that seismic activity may be influenced by the depth and volume of injected fluids at depths where layered sedimentary rocks meet crystalline basement rocks. According to analysis, deeper wells allow easier access for fluids to seep into fractured basement rocks, which are prone to earthquakes.
  • The team concluded that raising the injection depths to above the basement rocks could significantly reduce the energy released by earthquakes, which in turn may reduce the instances of larger, more devastating quakes.

The researchers stated that the findings warrant a broader understanding of how factors such as operational, spatial, and geologic parameters influence seismic activity. The team noted that their analysis may grant opportunities to evaluate regulatory actions on a rational, quantitative basis in terms of seismic effects.

Journal Reference:

Hincks T, Aspinall W, Cooke R, Gernon T. OKLAHOMA’S INDUCED SEISMICITY STRONGLY LINKED TO WASTEWATER INJECTION DEPTH. Science. 2018;359(6381):1251–1255. DOI: 10.1126/science.aap7911

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Body cam video shows cops kill Oklahoma grandmother who shot BB gun during marijuana raid

Oklahoma grandmother marijuana raid

    

Disturbing body camera footage was just released showing the moment police killed a grandmother in her home over a raid for marijuana.

Bartlesville, OK – Michael Anthony Livingston, 50, was suspected of selling a plant that is legal in some form in well over half the country. Because the other half of the country still violently and callously kidnaps, cages, and kills people for this plant, however, Livingston is in jail and his mother is now dead. The entire incident was captured on video and paints a disturbing picture of America’s war on drugs.

Geraldine Townsend, 72, was shot and killed earlier this month as a Bartlesville SWAT team executed a search warrant to bust Livingston for the alleged sale of marijuana. Body camera footage of the raid was released today.

When the heavily armed and militarized men kicked in the door to their home, Townsend, likely not knowing who her home invaders were, picked up a pellet gun and fired off two pellets. A Bartlesville officer then shot and killed her.

As the video shows, police did announce themselves. However, Townsend, who was asleep when the raid began, may not have believed they were the police or may not have heard them and chose to defend herself against her home invaders-with a BB gun.

“While taking Livingston into custody officers heard shots, and two officers were struck with some type of projectile,” Bartlesville Police Capt. Jay Hastings said.

Despite knowing it was a BB gun-because they were hit with the BBs-police opened fire on the elderly woman.

In the disturbing video, we can hear Livingston, who was complying with officers and on the floor at the time, tell police that it is indeed a BB gun. However, police opened fire anyway.

“You killed my mother,” Livingston. “It’s a BB gun.”

“Officer down,” says one of the officers referring to his fellow cop who was struck with a BB.

The officers then go outside to check on their injuries and the cop who took a BB to the face said he was fine.

“Looks like she stopped and shot Steven (sic), and then I come back around to cover him and she point it at me again and blam,” the officer states in the video. “And then I fucking shot.”


Comment: If his partner was shot first and was not seriously injured, the cop should have known the lady was not holding a lethal weapon – if it wasn’t obvious already. Surely there were many other ways for them to take away the pellet gun without shooting a 72 year old on the chest?

When police enter the home again, Livingston is on the floor with an AR-15 to his head pleading with them to help his dying mother.

“She didn’t know,” Livingston said, suggesting that she had no idea it was police in her home. “She was asleep.”

“You killed my mother man!” Livingston yells several times at the police, to which the officer responds, “She shot me, shut up!”

Townsend was struck in the chest and later died at the hospital.

Livingston, the subject of the search warrant, was arrested as he watched his mother get shot in the chest and bleed out on the floor of their home.

As Tulsa World reported at the time,

Four officers had entered the house in the 1600 block of South Maple Avenue in Bartlesville to serve a drug-related search warrant when the shots were fired about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. Livingston and the address were allegedly tied to the sale of drugs.

One officer returned fire, striking Townsend in the upper body. Bartlesville police did not identify the officer who discharged a service weapon. Townsend allegedly shot one officer in the leg and another in the face with the pellet gun.

Emergency responders transported Townsend and one officer she shot to a local hospital. Police initially said her condition “appears to be critical.” Townsend died there from her injuries, Hastings said.

The investigation of the shooting has now been turned over to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

As TFTP reported at the time, after the raid, the only drug recovered by police was marijuana. According to court records, Livingston was booked into the Washington County Jail on complaints of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of paraphernalia, possession of a firearm in commission of a felony and possession of eavesdropping equipment.

Because police killed his mother, an upset and distraught Livingston allegedly threatened to kill the officer who did it, so police tacked on another charge of threatening to perform an act of violence.

While many people will justify the death of the 72-year-old woman by claiming that her son was breaking the law and she also broke the law when she fired at the officers in her house, it is important to examine the scenario objectively by looking at the morality of the situation versus the legality of it. Legality does not equal morality.

If we look at the original charges brought against Livingston-not a single one of them involves a victim. Had this man actually harmed someone, rest assured it would have been listed. However, all of these charges stem from the sale of a plant.

Had Livingston lived in Colorado, he could have had the potential to be considered a model citizen who is aiding the local economy by selling a plant that is revolutionalizing the state. Instead, because he was in Oklahoma-where marijuana is viciously attacked by drug warriors-he is sitting in a cage with a $500,000 bail and his mom is dead.

This is what the drug war does. It turns entrepreneurs into criminals, puts cops in harm’s way while turning them into home invaders, and kills otherwise entirely innocent grandmas who try to defend their home from would-be burglars. Every minute that this failed and immoral war continues is a travesty of justice and an insult to humanity. The time to end it is now.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/375986-Body-cam-video-shows-cops-kill-Oklahoma-grandmother-who-shot-BB-gun-during-marijuana-raid

WATCH: Oklahoma City Police Officer Charged With Murder After Shooting Man With Hands Up


OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City police officer was arrested and booked into the Oklahoma County Jail for second-degree murder in connection with a November officer-involved shooting.

Sgt. Keith Patrick Sweeney was charged in connection to the death of 29-year-old Dustin Pigeon.

Police were called on Nov. 15 to the 1400 block of SW 20 to approach a suicidal person.

Pigeon reportedly doused himself with lighter fluid, held a lighter and threatened to kill himself. Pigeon was killed when he refused to comply with officers’ commands. Pigeon’s death was the seventh officer-involved shooting and the 77th homicide in Oklahoma City.

According to the court document, Sweeney shot Pigeon multiple times after Pigeon was hit by projectile from a bean bag shotgun deployed by another officer. Pigeon was pronounced dead at the scene.

The court document said the investigation into the incident concluded Pigeon was not armed and was not a threat to the officers when he was shot by Sweeney.

The district attorney’s office determined the use of deadly force was not justified.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed the murder charged against Sweeney on Tuesday.

“Pigeon would not drop the lighter,” said Prater. “But was substantially compliant with the officers’ orders. At one point, Mr. Pigeon dropped his hands to waist level.

“Sweeney should not have been yelling orders,” said Prater. “They’re talking to him, trying to get him to drop it.”

Pigeon’s father told News 9 the day of the shooting that he did not understand why his son was fatally shot.

“He went out and helped people. He just was not a mean man. He was not,” Boston Pigeon, Dustin Pigeon’s father, said. “He was a good person.”

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Oklahoma City Officer Charged With Murder in Fatal Shooting of Suicidal Man


OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma City officer has been charged with second degree murder in connection to the fatal shooting of a suicidal man in November.

Court records filed Dec. 5 show that Oklahoma City Police Department Sgt. Keith Sweeney faces a complaint of murder in the second degree or the alternative of manslaughter in the first degree.

The charge comes in connection to the Nov. 15 fatal shooting of 29-year-old Dustin Robert Pigeon.

According to police, officers responded to reports of a suicidal person around 2:40 a.m. in the courtyard of Parkview Village Homes, 1416 SW 20 Street. When officers arrived on-scene, they say Pigeon was holding a bottle of lighter fluid and threatening to light himself on fire. The officers attempted to get Pigeon to drop the lighter fluid and get on the ground, but he did not comply.

Court documents show that Officer Nitzky deployed a bean bag shotgun, striking Pigeon in the left hip. Sergeant Sweeney then discharged his weapon striking Pigeon multiple times.

Pigeon was provided medical attention but died on scene. The documents also state that Pigeon was not armed and “not a threat to the officers”.

Sweeney has been on paid administrative leave since the incident. District Attorney David Prater will host a press conference at 2:30 p.m. to discuss the incident. Body camera footage of the incident will also be released at this time.

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Oklahoma Cop Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison For Killing Daughter’s Teenage Boyfriend


A former Oklahoma cop will spend the next 15 years in prison for shooting his daughter’s teenage boyfriend to death over two years ago.

Ex-Tulsa police officer Shannon Kepler claimed he acted in self-defense when he gunned down Jeremey Lake on Aug. 5, 2014, shortly after the 19-year-old had started dating his daughter, Lisa. But a jury didn’t buy that argument and found Kepler guilty of manslaughter last month after three separate juries failed to indict him on murder charges.

On Monday, District judge Sharon Holmes slammed Kepler with a $10,000 fine in addition to a 15-year prison sentence.

Kepler, 57, testified during his trial that he drove to Lake’s house after a discussion about his daughter’s love life turned heated. He told jurors that he believed Lake had a gun and that “it was either him or me.”

Cops who fatally shot man with pipe did not know he was deaf
But no weapons were found on Lake after the shooting and the young man’s aunt testified that he had extended his hand for a shake when Kepler opened fire.

Lake’s father, Carl Morse, told the judge on Monday morning that he woke up and wanted to “rip” Kepler’s “head off,” but said he eventually came to his senses, adding that Kepler will now have to “pay the consequences.”

“The last three years of my life have been a living hell,” Morse said.

Prosecutors argued that Kepler, who was off-duty, “hunted” down Lake because he was “the boy” his daughter had been sleeping with.

Third mistrial for ex-Tulsa cop accused of killing black man
Lisa Kepler met Lake at a homeless shelter after her parents kicked her out of the house.

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Carmelo Anthony posted a photo of the Oklahoma City Thunder's damaged charter plane

This looks worse than it really was. But damn it looks bad, right?

Members of the Oklahoma City Thunder were greeted by a surprising sight when their charter plane landed in Chicago in the early hours of Saturday morning: a giant, ugly dent in the plane’s nose. 

SEE ALSO: NAACP issues travel advisory for American Airlines

Carmelo Anthony shared a look at the damage on Instagram, along with a completely fair question: WTF?

The aircraft, which landed safely when all was said and done, “likely encountered a bird,” according to a Delta Airlines statement shared with ESPN. A happy ending for the team, but not so much for that poor bird. 

With a dent of that size, you’d think it was a rough ride for the Thunder. Not so, according to a team official. The flight was “a little rough,” according to ESPN, but not in a way that left everyone aboard alarmed.

While the damage looks significant, the nose of most passenger-bearing jets is not as sturdy as you might think. In truth, the weatherproof enclosure — called a “radome” (a portamanteau of “radar” and “dome”) — holds the plane’s radar antenna. And clearly, it’s easily damaged when some poor bird collides with it in midair.

Still, what a jarring thing to see as you’re exiting a plane.

WATCH: This futuristic organizer will replace your basic toiletry kit

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