4 minute read

Sincere Terry and her mother gave each other a long hug as the 18-year-old reached out to hold the hand of her grandmother. Her father and brother completed the family circle one more time.

As she started to walk into the jail with her attorney she stopped and reached out for one more reassuring hug from her father.

Turning themselves in

She was among three people who had been charged earlier with crimes connected with an incident at the Oklahoma City Police Headquarters a week ago.

They came to the Oklahoma County Jail Wednesday with their pro bono attorneys to turn themselves in.

But one found out when he arrived that Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater had dropped charges against him due to a mistake by police identifying him as being at a particular incident when he was not there.

The three were among five who were charged late Friday with incitement to riot for an incident in the doorway to the OKCPD Headquarters where they were blocked by police from entering.

They were trying to file a report against an officer who had driven his patrol car past the barriers around an area of Shartel the group was painting under permit.

Entering jail

Sincere Deangelo Terry, 18, of Oklahoma City represented by attorney Jaye Mendros; and Tyreke J. Baker, 20, of Midwest City represented by attorney Joi Miskel, went into the jail and turned themselves in around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Baker got out a chair and his white cello and played for a little while before going into the jail to turn himself in.

turning in
Tyreke Baker, one of those charged with “incitement to riot”, plays his cello one more time before entering the Oklahoma County Jail. His mother stands behind him. (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)

His mother, Cherisse Baker insisted to Free Press and other media members gathered that Tyreke Baker should not be referred to as a “protester” because he wasn’t actually protesting. She argued that Baker “is a journalist” and had been recording protests over the last 28 days with the intent on producing a documentary of the surge in protests in Oklahoma City.

Sincere Terry hugged her mother, father, brother, and grandmother and then slowly walked into the jail with her attorney.

Mistake

The third person, Austin Mack, had originally been charged along with four others including Terry and Baker.

But, after he and his attorney, Jacqueline Ford arrived Wednesday afternoon, they finally received word that the warrant had been recalled because the DA’s office found that he was not involved in the incident after all.

Mack told Free Press before he left the Jail parking lot that he thought the police had included his name because they had seen him at several other protests.

“But, I was one of the peaceful ones, you know,” he said. “I kept it peaceful. You can ask the officers. I wasn’t in violation of any crime or whatever.”

Mack said that when the incident occurred, he was at the gym working out.

U.S. Marshals?

The three attorneys explained that those charged with the loud incident in the doorway to the police headquarters were being pursued by deputy U.S. Marshals. They said their clients were being “hunted.”

They explained that the DA has the prerogative to ask the U.S. Marshals office to find those who have warrants out for their arrest but it is highly unusual for such an incident as this.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office or the OKCPD usually handle finding those who have outstanding warrants at that level.

We asked attorney Jacqui Ford why she thought Prater had called on the U.S. Marshals office to handle the warrants.

“I imagine that they’re using the US Marshals as a show of force, and to escalate the idea of how dangerous this is,” said Ford. “It is a choice. It is unnecessary. They did not have to do that.”

Response

Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, leader of Black Lives Matter, OKC – Oklahoma City was present to support the young people who were about to enter jail.

“Today is such an egregious miscarriage of justice,” Dickerson said. “Young people who could be my children – who I now think of as my children – and I’ve just met them as these courageous warriors.”

She described the charges as “senseless” and “very shameful.”

Chauncey Terry, Sincere Terry’s father, told Free Press that he didn’t like the way “they’ve gone about doing it.”

“I just don’t think it’s right,” he continued. “Especially the way they treat young kids as criminals.”

Sincere Terry’s mother spoke to the gathered news media.

“We expected the government to come for us,” she said. “Because anytime you stand against the American government and you tell them that they’re not right, they come for us when you’re black. So we expected it. But it makes me feel like that this is very disrespectful to the black community, and we’re tired of it!”


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