Allison Christine Johnson, 45, is facing multiple charges after investigators said she spray painted anti-Semitic and other racist messaging on at least three buildings in Norman, Oklahoma, including an elementary school.
Johnson is also a suspect in two similar incidents in Oklahoma City. The state Democratic Party building and the Chickasaw Nation building were both sprayed with racist messaging as well.
Johnson turned herself in on April 4, 2019, and was booked into the F. DeWayne Beggs Detention Center. Police said that Johnson admitted to the acts of vandalism and explained that it had been her intention to “scare Jewish people” and non-white people.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Allison Johnson Was Accused of Vandalizing a School, an Arts Center & the Cleveland County Democratic Party Headquarters in Norman, Oklahoma, With Racist Graffiti
The Norman, Oklahoma Police Department shared in a news release on April 3, 2019, three buildings had been vandalized overnight. The buildings included McKinley Elementary School, the Firehouse Arts Center, and the Cleveland County Democratic Party Headquarters. According to the release, police believed early on that they believed one group or individual had been responsible for all three taggings. The Oklahoma City Police Department also joined in the investigation.
The Cleveland County Democratic Party shared images of the spray-painted messages on social media. Swastikas and other anti-Semetic messages such as “Gas the jews” had been painted on the building. The threat “Barbara Spectre will hang” was written on the sidewalk, referencing the academic who founded the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden.
You can see in the pictures the words “Hang n***er kids” and “Nazi no c***k allowed” also scrawled on the building. “Trump 2020” is also written, with what appears to be abother swastika drawn underneath.
A statue was also vandalized at one of the sites. In the tweet above, you can see the statue had swastikas painted over its eyes, the word “Jewess” written on the forehead and red paint dripping down the cheeks.
2. Police: Allison Johnson Was Accused of Spraying Racist Messages on Two Buildings in Oklahoma City the Week Before the Norman Taggings; the Targets Included a Native American Organization & the State Democrat Headquarters
The Oklahoma City Police Department posted on social media that Allison Christine Johnson was suspected of spraying racist graffiti on two separate buildings in Oklaoma City the week before the vandalism in Norman. The Norman Police Department confirmed after Johnson was arrested that she had been named as a suspect in all five of the incidents. You can read the police press release here.
The two buildings targeted were the Democratic party state headquarters and a Chickasaw Nation building. The Oklahoma City PD shared surveillance video from the Chickasaw Nation building, which was located at 4001 N. Lincoln Blvd. The time stamp in the top left corner of the video reads 2:54 a.m.
The camera was located inside the building. You can see the woman, allegedly Johnson, walk up to the door. She is holding what looks to be a spray can and a piece of paper, though she is partially obstructed by a section of the door. She sets something down at the door and goes back up the stairs out of frame. She reappears about :30 later and hangs something against the door. She is then seen shaking the can as she looks back up the stairs, presumably to check if anyone was coming.
3. Allison Johnson Faces Malicious Injury & Intimidation Charges, According to Court Records
Allison Christine Johnson turned herself in to the Cleveland County Sheriff’s office on April 4 and booked into the F. DeWayne Beggs Detention Center. According to the inmate record, her birth date is November 4, 1973. Johnson is 4’11” and about 109 pounds.
The original offense was listed as “Act of Terrorism F (Intimidation).” The Norman Police Department clarified on social media that Johnson faced a charge of making Terrorist Threats. Bond was set at $25,000. As of April 10, Johnson remained behind bars.
The Oklahoma legislature explains terroristic threats as such:
‘Terroristic threat’ means a threat to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to:
1. Cause a reaction of any type to the threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergency situations;
2. Place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
3. Prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, place of employment or occupation, aircraft, automobile or other form of conveyance, or other public place; or
4. Cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply, or other public service.
The penalty if convicted of making terroristic threats is up to one year in the county jail and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.
The charges against Johnson have since been amended. The terrorism charge was dropped and she now faces five misdemeanor and felony charges of malicious injury to property and malicious intimidation or harassment.
4. Allison Johnson Does Not Appear to Have a Criminal Background
Allison Christine Johnson does not appear to have been arrested or charged in the past. A search of a federal database does not bring up her name.
A search of the Oklahoma State Courts Network also does not bring up prior criminal charges. The only case that comes up is from 1999, when an Allison Christine Johnson filed for divorce from Larry Pittman Junior. The case was handled in Oklahoma County.
As news of Johnson’s arrest made the rounds on social media, it has prompted much speculation from commenters and people who claimed to know her. The Norman Transcript shared an article on the case to its Facebook page; in the comments, a woman named Pamela Wallace said that one of her daughters had gone to high school with Johnson and claimed that Johnson had “severe mental problems likely schizophrenia.” Other commenters also questioned her mental state. It’s important to note that police have not released any statements on this issue.
5. The Cleveland County Democratic Party Shared on Facebook That They Had Received Support From Republican Colleagues & Wrote That Hatred & Bigotry Are Non-Partisan Issues
The Cleveland County Democratic Party responded to a handful of commenters on Facebook who alleged that the graffiti was perhaps an ‘inside job” or a “hoax.” The threads stirred up a nasty online debate over which major political party espoused more hate.
The party responded in a separate post that read, “We’ve had an awful lot of posts on our page (many from outside of Oklahoma) suggesting that these acts of hatred were committed by a member of the Democratic Party to sow discord. Let us dispel that myth – Ms. Johnson is indeed a registered Republican. That said, we still believe that hatred, bigotry, and criminal behavior are non-partisan issues. We do not believe the Republican Party is to blame for the actions of a single individual, and we sincerely appreciate the support and messages of solidarity we have received from friends across the aisle.”
We checked the Oklahoma State Election Board online voter tool. It’s true that Allison Johnson (birth date 11/4/1973) is a registered Republican.
The party also wrote, “The Cleveland County Democratic Party stands united in denouncing acts of hatred, racism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry in all its forms, and we encourage you to join us in the fight for equality and justice. We must double our efforts to promote civil dialogue across the political spectrum by first recognizing each other as people, despite our political differences. Hate has no home here.”