Oklahoma non-binary Democrat censured for harboring fugitive in state capitol office
An Oklahoma state lawmaker who identifies as non-binary, was censured by the state House of Representatives for allegedly impeding a law enforcement investigation after harboring a fugitive wanted for assaulting a fellow House member and a state trooper last week.
Rep. Mauree Turner, D-Oklahoma City was accused of allowing a fugitive wanted for questioning regarding an assault to hide in their office on Feb. 28, and as the person hid in the office, Turner rejected requests from law enforcement officials to access the fugitive.
The incident happened after the House passed a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors. Shortly after the bill passed, the suspected fugitive allegedly assaulted both a House member and an Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer in the State Capitol building.
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On Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted 81-19 to censure Turner.
House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, issued a statement, saying Turner “knowingly and willfully, impeded a law enforcement investigation, harboring a fugitive and repeatedly lying to officers” while using their official office and position to “thwart attempts” by law enforcement officials to contact the suspect.
“I want to make something very clear: I will not allow members of the House of Representatives to use their House assigned offices and official positions to impede law enforcement from carrying out investigations or making arrests in the State Capitol,” McCall said. “Our law enforcement officers leave their homes every day to serve and protect us, never knowing if it might be the last time, they see their families. The House stands by our law enforcement, and will not allow what is an already dangerous and unpredictable job to become more dangerous due to the actions of a member of our body. The inappropriate, and potentially criminal, actions exhibited by this member of the House were deserving of censure, and the actions taken by the House today were both measured and just.”
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Turner did not immediately respond to questions.
The legislator posted to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, though, accusing state Republicans of making Oklahoma “unsafe to Trans Oklahomans.”
“When I walk into the chamber and there’s a gaggle of troopers talking about me, I think about how Republicans have used every resource in their *power to make this place unsafe to Trans Oklahomans. To Us. To Me…2-spirit, Trans & Gender Non-conforming Oklahomans,” Turner Tweeted.
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The censured legislator later tweeted that they have a “a lil heartburn goin’ on…lol.”