Peaceful protester removed by police for alleged trespassing in front of Trump rally venue
A 62-year-old peaceful protester was arrested and dragged by police officers outside of President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., Saturday while wearing a shirt that said, “I can’t breathe.”
Sheila Buck was seen outside of the BOK Center in Tulsa where Trump held the rally Saturday.
Buck, a Tulsa resident and art teacher, repeatedly told Tulsa police that she had a ticket according to footage captured of her interaction with the police by MSNBC.
She told The Washington Post that she was stopped by federal authorities in plainclothes, who told her she could not enter but did not provide a reason.
Buck was confronted by police in a blocked-off street who told her that they were going to lift her when she was sitting down, the footage showed.
“Somebody has to do this,” Buck can be heard saying. The officers can be seen forcibly dragging her away from the area and handcuffing her. She told police that the handcuffs hurt her.
“Somebody has to do this.”
A peaceful protester is arrested outside the location President Trump’s rally will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/Nj23OgyOvX
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 20, 2020
Buck said while she was being removed from the arena and that the officers said, “I was trespassing and breaking the law.”
“I’ve never been arrested before in my life,” Buck said, before being loaded into a police cruiser.
The phrase “I can’t breathe” printed on Buck’s shirt has become a rallying slogan in the U.S. against racial injustice. Eric Garner, an unarmed Black man, said the phrase as police in New York City held him in a chokehold in 2014 shortly before he died.
George Floyd, who died last month after a former Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, also said the phrase while he was being arrested.
Buck appeared to be protesting Floyd’s death, along with the deaths of other African Americans.
Buck is just one of millions of protestors nationwide who have spoken out against racial injustice, police brutality and the Trump administration in recent weeks.
The Tulsa Police Department said in a Saturday statement that “Trump campaign staff” requested “to remove an individual from the secure area of the rally.”
“Tulsa Police spoke to the arrestee, Ms. Buck, for several minutes trying to convince her to leave on her own accord. After several minutes requesting her to leave she continued to refuse to cooperate and was escorted out of the area and transported to booking for obstruction,” the statement said.
“For clarification, the arrestee had passed through the metal detector area to the most secure area of the event accessible only to ticket holders. Whether she had a ticket or not for the event is not a contributing factor for the Tulsa Police in making the arrest. Officers at the location, particularly in the ‘Sterile’ area, will remove individuals only at the direction of Campaign Staff,” the statement continued.
Tulsa police said the woman was “in an area that is considered a private event area and the event organizer, in this case the Trump Campaign, can have people removed at their discretion.”