American Indian Movement members and some of their supporters marched Friday from Pruett’s Foods at Broadway and J.A. Richardson Loop to the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training facility about two miles north of Pruett’s. AIM members said the march was intended to raise awareness of police handling of Native Americans.

“We’d really like to change their policies about their training,” AIM member Redbear Williams said at the start of the march. “We want to hold them accountable for what they are doing. A lot of these cops get away with a lot of stuff. Yet they’re still able to carry guns. They think they’re above the law.”

“With everything that’s going on, injustice, when things go on with the cops,” AIM member Sissy Williams said. “They don’t face charges, they don’t have consequences. AIM is in solidarity with BLM (Black Lives Matter). We’ve been fighting our battles for a long time, so we can help. We’re trying to keep people remembering that these things are still going on. I feel like police should be held to a higher standard. They’re supposed to be peace officers.”

The group was met at the CLEET front gate by staff members at the facility, including Executive Director Jesus “Eddie” Campa.

“We wanted to come out here, we wanted to invite you all onto campus,” Campa said, addressing the marchers. “If you have any questions, we’re more than happy to answer them. If there’s something you want to talk about, we’re more than happy to talk. Or if you just want us to go away, we’ll do that, too.”

Campa said racial profiling was not part of CLEET’s curriculum.

“I can assure you that here, we don’t teach that,” Campa said. “Not only is it unethical, it’s unprofessional. We also just instituted a ‘no colors, no labels’ course. It talks about removing the colors and the labels from everything. It talks about how we remove the preconceived notion that everybody has that police are racially motivated. We’re not racially motivated. We’re not trained to see colors, we’re trained to see human beings.”

The group was escorted on their march by members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Richard R. Barron | The Ada News

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