Civil rights activists are rebuking the Oklahoma County District Attorney for filing charges against Oklahoma City protesters accused of destroying property during demonstrations against police killings last month.
District Attorney David Prater charged multiple people with crimes such as, terrorism, rioting, arson, incitement to riot and assault and battery on a police officer. The defendants face years in prison.
According to The Oklahoman, Prater called the defendants violent and unscrupulous. Referring to the terrorism charges, he said, "When you act like a terrorist, you will be treated like a terrorist."
Prater also said Oklahoma City was "not Seattle" and his office wouldn't put up with lawlessness. The terrorism charges were linked to the burning of a police vehicle and attempts to burn a bail bonds business.
The ACLU of Oklahoma said the charges were politically motivated, potentially unconstitutional and an abuse of power.
The Oklahoma City chapter of Black Lives Matter argued the property damage wasn’t violent or an act of terrorism. The group said the charges are an example of racial inequality in the state’s criminal justice system.