Oklahoma

Oklahoma Cop, Police Chief Forced Out For Arresting City Councilman's Son

They are now facing possible investigation by the city of Vian.

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Officer Lindsey Green (left) receives an officer of the month award from Vian Police Chief Ted Johnson
Vian Ten Killer News / Facebook

The next time officials in Vian, Oklahoma, post an ad for a new police chief, they might want to mention that law and order in their little town does not apply to them.

Vian's last chief, Ted Johnson, and former officer Lindsey Green resigned earlier this week after city officials berated and threated to fire Green for arresting Joshua Smith, the son of city councilman E.O. Smith.

This is not first time the city fathers have forced out officers for arresting politically connected residents. It is not even the first time they have sacked lawmen for arresting Smith.

"She did what she was supposed to do," Chief Johnson said before resigning himself, "and by law, she didn't do anything wrong. She was only doing her job." Any reprimand of Green, the chief said, was inappropriate.

On May 2 Green, the city's first female office and the department's officer of the month for March, stopped Smith for driving without a valid license. She had been tipped off by another officer who had previously ticketed Smith for the same offense.

Green arrested Smith and took him to the local jail.

Rather than a citation for bravery, City Attorney Larry Vickers, Jr. confronted her in a rage. "The city attorney contacted me, yelling, saying you had no reason to arrest him," Green told local CBS affiliate KSFM in an interview. "He ordered me to drop the ticket and that he [Joshua Smith] be released from jail immediately."

Vickers, according to Green, contended that she had made an illegal arrest.

"They're trying to say that probable cause for pulling him over was wrong. That I went off another officer's word," Green said. Green insisted she was simply following procedure.

Under orders from Mayor Dennis Fletcher jailers released Smith after 15 minutes behind bars, local television station KSFM reported.

Rather than be fired, Green turned in her resignation. Instead of expressing regret over the whole affair, the department posted a comment on Facebook saying Green had resigned to "further her career" and that the department wished her "all the best in her future endeavors."

For his part, Fletcher told local media there was no discussion among Vain officials about firing Green. "We are looking at hiring an outside agency to review the findings and to investigate whether or not there was any misconduct with the officers," he said.

Vickers, Fletcher and officials with the Vian Police Department did not respond to Reason's request for comment.

Eleven years earlier, Vian officer Steve Brackett pulled Smith's car over for a cracked windshield. During the course of the traffic stop, Smith called on another relative, uncle James Smith—also a city councilman at the time—to see if he could smooth things out.

Smith's uncle arrived at the scene shortly afterward, and allegedly threatened Brackett's job. Brackett then arrested Smith, too, for interfering with the issuance of a citation to his nephew. A Sequoyah County district attorney, however, declined to file charges, saying Smith's actions, while inappropriate, weren't criminal.

Immediately after the arrest, Smith put firing of the city's police chief on the agenda for the next city council meeting, but then failed to turn up for that meeting. The chief kept his job.

A year later Smith voted in favor of a successful motion to fire Brackett, citing citizen complaints that had been filed, an action that caused the entire Vian Police Department to quit in protest. Sheriff's deputies filled in until new officers could be hired.

The Vian City Council has scheduled a special meeting this Tuesday for Vickers to present evidence to the council on the propriety of Green's actions. The city council will then decide on whether to go ahead with an investigation of Green.

Regardless of what they decide Green remains defiant about the arrest. "The law is for everybody. It doesn't matter who your dad is," she says.

She couldn't possibly have been speaking about Vian.

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  1. “When we told you to uphold the law, we didn’t mean against us, duh!”

  2. A King’s Guard baring her blade against one of divine right? Treason of the highest order.

  3. Vian sounds like a nice town if you’re a smith.

    1. Probably not if you’re a black smith.

  4. I suspect those officers don’t write themselves traffic tickets on those rare but inevitable moments when they violate the traffic laws.

  5. ? Oooook-lahoma, where the cops come sweeping up the crime,
    And the waiving fines sure smells divine
    When the dad comes right behind on time. ?

    1. Sung to this tune?

    2. Where is Ruprecht the Monkey Boy when you need him?

  6. In the movies, this would be when the Federal Marshals step in and arrest everyone on the city council.

  7. “They’re trying to say that probable cause for pulling him over was wrong. That I went off another officer’s word,” Green said.”

    There’s something profound in that statement.

    They’re wrong to fire her for making a perfectly legitimate arrest, but if an officer’s word is insufficient grounds for probably cause, surely it’s insufficient grounds for a conviction–in any trial.

    I wonder if the city attorney in question uses police to testify in other cases knowing that their word is insufficient grounds for probable cause–much less a conviction.

    I wonder if local judges ever grant search warrants based on an officer’s word.

    1. I believe most search warrants are based on officers’ word.

      1. Of course!

        City Attorney Larry Vickers, Jr. confronted her in a rage . . . “They’re trying to say that probable cause for pulling him over was wrong. That I went off another officer’s word,” Green said.

        A City Attorney isn’t necessarily a prosecutor. They aren’t usually involved with criminal justice.

        They usually handle lawsuits against the city, make sure procedures are followed during city council meetings, etc.

        Still! I’m not an attorney, and even I know that no prosecutor in the criminal justice system would ever say that taking an officer’s word for something is insufficient grounds–for probable cause. Is he kidding?!

        Yeah, a cop goes up and gives his word under oath, and a judge grants a warrant. That’s the way it works.

        Yeah, a cop gets called up to testify on his collar, and the defendant is convicted on his word.

        That’s the way it works!

        I’m sure the city attorney is a nice guy. He’s probably very good at handling, you know, code enforcement cases and cases where people don’t pay their property tax.

        1. More likely he’s an idiot relation to the local ruling council.

  8. More common than you think. Ray Corpuz, former city manager and insurance fraudster of Tacoma had a multi-block no-arrest zone set up for his troubled son.

    For his transgressions, Corpuz went on to be city manager of Salinas Calfornia. When these behavioral problems were brought up to Salinas city officials, they claimed they hadn’t googled his name before hiring him.

  9. Who gets pulled over for a cracked windshield?

    1. Someone who drives through a rent-seeking environment.

  10. I suspect there is a lot more going on here and that all parties involved are top shelf assholes.

    1. It’s a little town of 1500 people, they’re probably all related. Wide spot on the highway on the way to the lake or the national forest – it’s a speed trap town that makes most of its revenue off the “you ain’t from around here, are ya boy?” po-lice. Add the heavy Native American population and you got a recipe for all kinds of shady dealings, graft and corruption that plenty of people are pissed off they aren’t getting their fair share of. Wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Junior was targeted because the old man pissed off the police chief over something involving money.

      1. My wife was native American. When we were in OK, we got tribal plates, because they only cost $7, or something ridiculous like that.
        You know how cops go around reading licence plates for suspended licences, etc?
        I had a police officer tell me that they were unable to pull up info on tribal plates. Pretty cool for tribal people, huh?

  11. Listen carefully, never empty a decades old (maybe) jar of those pickled red peppers in your garbage can with old Lebanese food in it. Sweet Jesus, the whole trash can smells like a giant bag of dried rotten apricots.

    1. That’s not as bad as a baggie of a special high fat diet dog shit getting stuck to the bottom of your dumpster in humid 80 degree weather and you not noticing for several days. I never thought a smell could reach through your nostrils and punch the back of your brain before you could say “holy hell, I just opened a gate to a level of existence where decay has reached sentient immorality.”

  12. What this place needs is a nice Glib drink recipe.

  13. Matt Welch on “Real Time” – you fucking Peanuts.

  14. Do you have a paypal account ? in the event if you do you can make an additional 300 a week in your revenue working from home for 3 hours every day… go to

    ……. http://www.Prowage20.Com

  15. Putting someone in jail for driving without a license? Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this?

    1. Your observation is spot on. Cracked windshield and driving without a license…..that we allow people to actually be arrested and jailed for stuff like this speaks loudly about ourselves. It’s chicken shit stuff like this that all too often ends up with escalating into additional charges like resisting, assaulting an “officer” to beat downs and even worse.

      It’s no wonder normal, reasonable people these days can’t stomach the sight of a cop. But until these same people put a firm boot on the necks of cops, nothing will improve.

      1. reasonable people these days can’t stomach the sight of a cop

        Bigot, collectivist? You decide.

        1. Not really. A reasonable person would know they’re a hairs length away from serious physical abuse in any situation involving the police.

          Unreasonable people cheer and clap as the reasonable ones are shot while cuffed and lying face down on the ground.

  16. Top man runs into topper man. Much butthurt ensues with flouncing.

  17. I mean, it seems like this lady was just told by another cop “watch out for this kid or car, pull him over when you see him he’s got no license”. Which if that’s all she acted on is clearly an illegal thing to do. She has no way of knowing if he got a valid license in the time since his last pulling over. And she has no right to comply pull him over and find out without another traffic violation or warrant occuring first.

    This sounds equivelant to saying the cops can pull you over or stop you anytime they wish because someone in their department told them they arrested you for selling drugs in the past. That obviously wouldn’t fly, and I don’t think this should either. Regardless of the entitlement of the prep.

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