VIAN, Okla. — A police chief and an officer in an eastern Oklahoma town have resigned, citing pushback they say they faced after the recent arrest of a city councilor’s son.
The Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/2r5AUTc ) reports Vian Officer Lindsey Green resigned on Monday and Police Chief Ted Johnson followed suit on Wednesday, tendering his resignation effective next week.
“This was about sending them a message,” Johnson said. “We were never told we were going to be fired or dismissed, but if you go against council like I did, I knew eventually where this was heading.”
Green arrested Joshua Smith on May 2 for driving without a license after confirming his license had been revoked. Smith is the son of E.O. Smith, a Vian city councilor and candidate for the District 5 seat on the Cherokee National Tribal Council.
Green said Smith was released shortly after she spoke to City Attorney Larry Vickers by phone.
“He asked me what happened, I told him. He said I did not have probable cause to make the arrest. I told him I did have probable cause and he wouldn’t listen,” Green told the newspaper.
Vickers told The Associated Press on Thursday that Green didn’t have probable cause to pull Smith over. He added that he hadn’t spoken to Johnson, but he respects the police chief for standing by his officers.
Johnson said driving without a license is standard grounds for arrest anywhere.
“She did everything 100 percent proper, and I support my officers 100 percent,” Johnson said. “I was hired a year ago to come over here to make sure things like this didn’t happen. I am disappointed. It has weighed heavily on me.”
Green was hired by the Vian Police Department in December. She was the town’s first female officer.
Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com