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OPINION — On March 29, Oklahoma County Commissioner for District 3 Kevin Calvey posted a seething batch of lies to his Facebook page. It was a reminder of just how craven Calvey can be under the worst scenarios, and in this case, it was the killing of an Oklahoma County jail inmate that set him off. 

In the interest of providing the proper context for Calvey’s powerful spew of lies, I will now line-item this post with fact-based rebuttals. Because Calvey seems to believe that lying with impunity is still an option in a digital world, this is the least he deserves. 

George Lang opinion

Opinion by George Lang

“You’ll be shot and killed if you harm our jail staff. Praise God staff is safe.”

The detainee who was shot and killed by Oklahoma City Police officers Lt. Coy Gilbert and Officer Kevin Kuhlman was 34-year-old Curtis Williams, who was jailed on weapons and rape charges. We do not know the merits of the case against Williams, mainly because Williams was close to starting his third year of incarceration without a trial in a filthy, dangerous facility where human waste flows freely, bedbugs copulate on mattresses and inmates are regularly denied recreation and medication — in other words, a perfect recipe for an inmate rebellion/hostage situation. 

“Praise God staff is safe. Thanks to Sheriff Johnson and Oklahoma City police for their quick action.” 

That “quick action” killed a man in a situation where nonlethal means could be used, but would be less expedient for the officers than just killing Williams. “Quick action” does not always mean “best action.” Why not use the tear gas, bean bag cannons and other nonlethal weapons that OKCPD has deployed against Black Lives Matter protesters in the past year?

“Jail conditions have been an issue for years — nothing new.”

Nine detainees have died since the Oklahoma County Jail Trust took over operations nine months ago. Within one month, the population at the jail soared over 1,900. Several officers have been fired for violence against detainees, which, as Calvey blithely said, is “nothing new.” So, should we be less angry over the loss of human life because it is “nothing new”?

“At my urging, last fall we did send $14 million in CARES Act $ to the jail and we have made some progress. But bullying by left-wing extremists diverted $20 million more to their pet projects rather than the jail.”

Two weeks before the November general election, Calvey posted a meme on Facebook calling the 70 million U.S. gun owners an “unofficial army” and cited these people as evidence that “the founding fathers knew what they were doing,” which makes him a right-wing extremist and makes me want to know his whereabouts on January 6. 

Like so many right-wing extremists, Calvey accuses his opponents of his own misdeeds — in this case, diversion of funds. Oklahoma County Treasurer Forrest “Butch” Freeman is not a “left wing extremist” by any measure, but he pointed out that Calvey’s attempt to divert $14 million in CARES Act funds away from the local businesses suffering through the coronavirus pandemic and toward the unrelated jail issues would elicit a federal audit. 

“These extremists even threatened to come to our family’s home to harass us when I stood up to them.”

I think Calvey is referring to that one time my son and I walked our dogs in front of his house while Calvey was doing yard work. 

“Let’s FIX THE JAIL, Now! We have more federal $ coming. Let’s not again let extremists divert funds as they did last fall.” 

Like one of his heroes, fellow disgraced grifter and former President Donald Trump, Calvey repeats the lie and screams in all-caps in hopes that it is accepted as truth. As The Frontier reported in February, “The U.S. Department of Justice has repeatedly documented dangerous conditions at the jail that it found violated prisoners’ civil rights since at least 2003, but the agency has failed to enforce the terms of a settlement requiring the county to adequately fund and staff the facility.”

So, Calvey does not want to spend county funds to improve and effectively staff a facility that now has fewer officers and more detainees than it did in 2008. He just wants to skim money from the federal government that was expressly for individuals, organizations and businesses that lost income during the pandemic.

“Let’s prioritize these new funds to FIX THE JAIL and improve conditions for staff and inmates.”

Hopefully, Calvey is not referring to the $264 million available to Oklahoma for federal rental assistance designed to pay back rent owed by Oklahomans facing eviction. In that case, perhaps Freeman should keep his eye on Calvey to ensure he does not attempt to “divert” funds again.

Last Updated March 31, 2021, 3:10 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor