On Saturday, June 20, hours before President Donald Trump’s rally was set to take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a woman was arrested at the rally location. The woman, who was dressed in black and wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt, identified herself as Sheila Buck.
Video of the incident shows Buck sitting peacefully and praying before she’s approached by officers with the Tulsa Police Department and a Trump campaign official. A nearly 10-minute video of MSNBC covering the incident and her arrest has been shared on YouTube:
The Protester Was Told by a Campaign Official That She Was Being ‘Uninvited’ Before Her Arrest
The video shows that Buck was sitting on the ground and praying while two Tulsa Police Department officers stood by, along with a Trump campaign official. Buck told them, “This is my country. This is my country. This is my city. I have tickets for this event. I have clothes on. I’m protected. What’s the problem?” Buck was wearing a black scarf wrapped around her head to cover her mouth and nose.
The official responded, “This is a private event.”
“I have tickets to your private event,” Buck said. “I’ve been invited and have a ticket.”
“Yeah, well, my job with the campaign is to officially uninvite you,” the campaign official answered her.
Shortly after, one of the police officers walked over and said, “We have to arrest you for trespassing and I would really rather not do that,” before asking her to leave. Buck answered that she would be staying.
The two officers then grabbed Buck forcefully by the arms. Buck struggled, at which point they put handcuffs on her. As she was escorted away, Buck told the media the officers said, “I was trespassing and breaking the law and they’re arresting me.” She continued, “I’ve never been arrested before in my life, and I have a ticket.” She also said that she’s not part of any organized group. She said she believes she’s being arrested because of her shirt.
The Tulsa Police Department Posted About the Incident on Facebook
The Tulsa Police Department addressed Buck’s arrest on Facebook. They indicated that the removal of the protester from the “secure area of the rally” was done at the request of the Trump campaign staff. The statement reads:
Tulsa Police spoke to the arrestee, Ms. Buck, for several minutes trying to convince her to leave on her own accord. After several minutes requesting her to leave she continued to refuse to cooperate and was escorted out of the area and transported to booking for obstruction.
The police also wrote in their statement that Buck had “passed through the metal detector area to the most secure area of the event accessible only to ticket holders. Whether she had a ticket or not for the event is not a contributing factor for the Tulsa Police in making the arrest. Officers at the location, particularly in the ‘Sterile’ area, will remove individuals only at the direction of Campaign Staff.”
The statement also clarified that Buck was in an area of the event considered to be private, which means the Trump Campaign “can have people removed at their discretion.”
Buck’s Arrest Received Criticism on Social Media, With Many Saying It Violated Her 1st Amendment Right
Many people took to social media to protest against Buck’s arrest, saying that she was at the event lawfully since she had purchased a ticket and the arrest violates her First Amendment right. Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the Democratic Coalition, wrote: “Sheila Buck should’ve never been arrested by [Tulsa Police] and she needs to be freed immediately. Raise your hand if you agree. cc: Tulsa Mayor.”
Another Twitter user wrote: “Oklahoma Gov Kevin Stitt just went on national television YESTERDAY talking about how Oklahomans believe in the FREEDOM to wear what they want (when it comes to the public safety issue of not wearing masks). Does that ‘freedom’ not extend to Sheila Buck’s tshirt, [Gov. Stitt]?” One person said, “Sheila Buck was arrested while sitting down for wearing a ‘I can’t breathe’ shirt. Wtf? Authoritarian insanity. Shame on [Tulsa Police] for arresting someone exercising their 1st Amendment right.”
One person shared: “I can’t believe what I just watched on MSNBC. You can come armed in Nazi and Confederate gear in America, but don’t you dare show up peacefully praying and supporting Black Lives Matter. I am sickened. That was fascism what just happened to Sheila Buck.”
Others spoke up on Twitter to support the Tulsa Police Department’s decision to arrest Buck. One person said: “The Tulsa PD did the right thing by arresting Sheila Buck. She’s a troublemaker. At least Tulsa has police officers who step up and put scumbags where they belong.” Another added: “She was on PRIVATE PROPERTY and refused to leave when asked. It doesn’t matter if ‘she had a ticket’.. its PRIVATE PROPERTY.”