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Social Justice Nonprofits Pay $1.4M In Bonds For OKC Black Lives Matter Protesters

Facebook / Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office
Inside the Oklahoma County jail.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City’s local Black Lives Matter chapter posted a total of $1.4 million in cash bonds to release four protesters from jail who were arrested and charged with various crimes during demonstrations against police brutality and racism.

With help from the National Bail Fund Network, Black Lives Matter paid a $750,000 bond to release Eric Christopher Ruffin on Thursday.

Ruffin, 26, is charged with violating Oklahoma’s Anti-Terrorism Act for encouraging people to burn an Oklahoma County sheriff’s van and an Oklahoma City bail bonds business on May 30. He denies wrongdoing.

Adam Warner Hayhurst, Desha Lee Dixon and James Lovell Holt, who are charged with rioting, were also released Thursday. The trio is accused of violent acts during racial justice protests on May 31. 

The individual bail for Hayhurst and Dixon separately was $300,000, while Holt’s was $50,000, reduced from $300,000. 

The nonprofit National Bail Fund Network contributed significantly to the bonds Black Lives Matter in Oklahoma City paid to bail out the protesters.

“This is what we do. The National Bail Fund Network makes sure there’s support for community bail funds across the country,” Director Pilar Weiss told The Oklahoman.

The nonprofit has had a flood of donations since the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died pleading for air after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes. Floyd’s death catalyzed national and global protests against systematic racism and police brutality against Black people.

Judge Ray C. Elliott required Holt to follow a daily curfew and to wear an ankle monitor. Holt, 31, is accused of throwing rocks at a museum door at the Oklahoma City National Memorial on May 31.

Another protester, 21-year-old Isael Antonio Ortiz, remains in jail on terrorism charges with bail set at $1 million.

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