Prosecutor: Facebook Post Targeting Norman Mayor is Protected Speech

May 16, 2020

Norman Mayor Breea Clark
Credit City of Norman

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — A social media post that called Norman Mayor Breea Clark a vulgar name and lamented that “politicians don’t get hung in public anymore” was not a direct threat to the mayor and is protected free speech, Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said Friday.

Norman police launched an investigation Thursday after Clark reported the post on a “Re-Open Norman” Facebook page. It read: “Mayor (expletive), needs to be pulled out of office and tried on the court house lawn...the problem with politicians, they don’t get hung in public anymore ...#bringbackpublichangings!”

Norman police connected the post to Eddie Zaicek, a police officer in the nearby town of Lexington who admitted to police that he made the post after telling reporters a day earlier that his Facebook account had been hacked. A telephone message left Friday with Lexington Police Chief Deana Allen wasn’t immediately returned.

Clark has come under fire for keeping some businesses and houses of worship closed under orders in the state’s third largest city that are stricter than state guidelines.

In a statement Thursday, Clark said none of her decisions “were made with the intent to hurt residents or businesses.”