breea clark

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — A group of citizens in Oklahoma’s third-largest city has launched a petition drive seeking to oust half of the City Council and the mayor for cutting police funding, building on resentment over the mayor’s order requiring people to wear masks in public to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The Norman City Council on Tuesday voted to approve a mandatory mask ordinance.

The measure passed 8-1 at the virtual meeting, and applies to public places including stores, retail establishments, houses of worship, among others.

"By God, if Texas can do it, then we can do it too," Mayor Breea Clark said before the motion passed. "Our residents are worth it."

"The lives of Norman residents are worth fighting for," Clark tweeted late Tuesday evening.

Norman Police

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma police officer is under investigation after responding to a departmental email about coronavirus protective masks that were issued by sending images of people with white bags over their faces carrying torches, reminiscent of lynchings of blacks by the Ku Klux Klan, his police chief said Tuesday.

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.

Facebook / @ClarkForNorman

Facing accusations of religious discrimination from Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter and U.S. Attorney Timothy Downing, Norman Mayor Breea Clark on Friday announced that she would amend the city's order meant to limit the spread of COVID-19 and allow places of worship to hold in-person services sooner than she originally intended.

City of Norman residents have been in touch with Attorney General Mike Hunter’s office about their mayor’s reopening plan because it delays in-person church services from resuming until May 15.

In an appearance on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt defended his decision to allow the state's businesses to reopen.

"We peaked at hospitalizations with 560 across the state," Stitt said. "Today we have 300 across the state in our hospitals. And so we think it's time for a measured reopening."

Wallace asked Stitt about statements by Dr. Monks, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, in which Monks characterized the reopening as too early and not in keeping with White House guidelines.