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Protesters Force Vote Delay On How Oklahoma County Jail Trust Uses CARES Act Funding

Protesters on Monday pushed the Oklahoma County Jail Trust to postpone a discussion and potential vote on how to use more than $36 million in coronavirus relief funding until it hears from the public.

The protesters were angry most of the federal relief funds were recommended to be spent on the jail during a recent county budget board meeting.

Chanting "Let Us Speak! Let Us Speak!," the protesters interrupted the meeting when it became clear the county jail trust planned to discuss how to spend that money without public comment.

They demanded that they be given a chance to voice their concerns before any vote on spending the relief funds.

According to The Oklahoman, Trust Chairwoman Tricia Everest agreed to not hold a vote on the $36 million in relief funds until after public comments on Wednesday.

Protesters were also upset by the jail’s long standing state of disrepair. The chairwoman agreed to their demands to spend a night in the jail to experience what it is like.

Quinton Chandler worked at StateImpact Oklahoma from January 2018 to August 2021, focusing on criminal justice reporting.
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