Husband of Oklahoma mayor apologizes for KKK Halloween prank - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Husband of Oklahoma mayor apologizes for KKK Halloween prank

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Cary Sharp, husband of Lahoma Mayor Theresa Sharp, told KWTV that he's embarrassed and that he shamed his family and friends. (PHOTO: Twitter) Cary Sharp, husband of Lahoma Mayor Theresa Sharp, told KWTV that he's embarrassed and that he shamed his family and friends. (PHOTO: Twitter)
LAHOMA, Okla. -

The husband of a small Oklahoma town's mayor is apologizing for a Halloween prank in which he and others dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan and held a cross in front of a fire to make it appear it was burning.
    
Cary Sharp, husband of Lahoma Mayor Theresa Sharp, told KWTV that he's embarrassed and that he shamed his family and friends.
    
Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles told the Enid News & Eagle that no law was broken, but said the prank was "very poor judgment." Niles says costumes were removed and the fire was extinguished at the request of deputies.

Mayor Sharp said she was not at the party and that she "in no way" condones the activity.

Sheriff Niles released the following statement on his Facebook page Sunday afternoon. 

The Halloween night incident in Lahoma, while unacceptable by me and the members of my staff, is still a matter of poor decision making on the part of several adult males.

This much is known to me. I received information on the incident and dispatched a deputy to check it out. That deputy was already in the area. Lahoma PD had received a complaint from a party, who was upset over the matter of subjects in white robes burning a cross. Officers made contact with the males on their property telling them the activity was in poor taste and to stop.

Social media comments suggested that arrests should have been made. We must have a violation of the law to make arrests, as the fire was legal, the consumption of alcohol was on private property, and no one had stated anyone made threats of violence acts to the deputy at that time.

The Constitution of the United States guarantees certain rights including the right of speech. It doesn’t say the speech has to be in good taste, of common sense or that we have a consensus of agreement. Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. wrote in a decision that "if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.”

While I may disagree with that, I am sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, of the State of Oklahoma and the laws enacted therein. It doesn't mean I have to like any symbol of hatred, just have to monitor it for violations of the law."

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