(Tulsa, Oklahoma) – Today, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), along with local attorney Scott Wood, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Tulsa and its Chief of Police, Chuck Jordan, on behalf of Wayne Brown, a Tulsa police officer who was wrongfully terminated because local political activists complained to the City about conservative social media posts Brown had made several years prior to his hiring as a Tulsa police officer.
AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise commented:
“In a cowardly act of political correctness, the City of Tulsa and its Chief of Police fired a good officer because local, left-wing political activists complained about certain Facebook posts allegedly made by our client several years prior to his hiring as a Tulsa police officer.”
“These activists play the race and anti-Islam cards every chance they get because they hate white, conservative, Christian police officers. It is a shame that the Tulsa police leadership was so willing to throw Officer Brown under the bus to appease these radicals. While the Tulsa leadership might side with these anti-police activists, I can assure you that the rank and file do not.”
As alleged in the Complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma:
“On or about September 4, 2019, Defendants, acting under color of state law, terminated Plaintiff’s employment as a police officer with the City of Tulsa Police Department (hereinafter “TPD”) because of the content and viewpoint of certain social media posts allegedly made by Plaintiff several years prior to the City hiring him as a police officer.”
“It is well settled that a State cannot condition public employment on a basis that infringes the employee’s constitutionally protected interest in freedom of expression.”
The Complaint alleges that the City’s firing of Brown violated his rights protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit seeks damages and attorneys’ fees.
Brown previously filed with the City a Notice of Tort Claim, informing the City that he intends to pursue a state law claim because his employment with the TPD was wrongfully terminated in violation of Oklahoma public policy. Brown is seeking $175,000 in damages, the maximum allowed under state law. The City has 90 days to respond to the notice.
AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi noted:
“Shortly after our client was fired, the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR, a Muslim Brotherhood / Hamas front group, launched a press release crowing about the firing and making its predictable ‘Islamophobia’ attack against the officer. If you are a Christian or a Jew and oppose the sharia-supremacy advocated by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, CAIR will label you an ‘Islamophobe’ in an effort to marginalize you and your beliefs. It appears that CAIR may have played a role in our client’s firing. We intend to find that out during the course of discovery.”