Oklahoma Vandalism Suspect Charged
An Oklahoma woman arrested by the Norman Police Department in relation to a recent string of racist vandalism incidents in Norman and Oklahoma is facing five charges so far in Cleveland County.
According to authorities, Allison Johnson, 45, turned herself in and has been charged with four counts of malicious injury to property and one count of malicious intimidation or harassment.
While Oklahoma County has yet to file charges, the investigation began following two incidents that occurred last month in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Democratic Party Headquarters and the Chickasaw Nation’s Oklahoma City Area Office were defaced with spray paint that included comments such as “Gas the Jews” and “White planet only.”
Graffiti at the Chickasaw Nation office was less generalized, focusing specifically on Native Americans with phrases such as “Indians will be gassed.” Bill Anoatubby, governor of the Chickasaw Nation, denounced the attack and expressed the Chickasaw Nation has been working with authorities on the matter.
These incidents were followed by additional vandalisms that occurred in Norman last week, where Johnson had spray painted racist slurs and white supremacist language over the McKinley Elementary School, the Firehouse Arts Center and the Cleveland County Democratic Headquarters.
It was at the Chickasaw Nation office that security cameras captured the initial footage of Johnson, according to Bo Matthews, Oklahoma City Police Department’s public information officer. Johnson was then captured again in footage during the Norman incidents, which contributed to her apprehension by police last week.
“I was just shocked; stunned, in fact,” said Krystal Golding-Ross, Cleveland County Democratic Party chair.
In response to these incidents, a rally was organized last Wednesday by Norman’s Ward 6 councilmember Breea Clark and Ward 8 councilmember Alex Scott. The rally brought hundreds of Norman community members to Lions Park in Norman in an attempt to both heal the community and denounce the acts that occurred, according to Clark.
“Hate has no home in Norman. Though meant to scare people, these ignorant acts of intimidation reeked of fear themselves,” Clark said. “Fear of the change that strengthens our community. Fear of the diversity that enriches our culture. But we Normanites are hearty, resolute and strong.”
Along with community members and the Norman City Council, the event was also sponsored by the Norman Police Department and the Norman Parks and Recreation Department, with free snow cones provided by local vendor Eskimo Sno.
“Tonight the Norman community came together. We cried. We hugged. We laughed. WE RALLIED,” Clark wrote on her Facebook page.
Johnson had her first court appearance in the Cleveland County Court on Monday and it remains to be seen if Oklahoma County will press additional charges in relation to its own vandalism cases.