TULSA, Okla. — The survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre had their day in a Tulsa County courtroom today. Attorneys on their behalf were arguing a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against the city of Tulsa and seven other defendants.the lawsuit claims that the Tulsa Race Massacre created a public nuisance that is still taking place today.
That is what attorneys for the three survivors of the Tulsa race massacre argue. However, attorneys for the Tulsa Regional Chamber say the survivors have no standing and the court has no jurisdiction because the survivors don’t live in Tulsa county.
Damario Solomon-Simmons brought up the state’s public nuisance case pointing out that the case was won because the marketing of opioids led to overdose. The defendants for argued the word marketing is present tense, not something that happened in the past. The judge asked attorneys for the plaintiff what are the defendants in the case including the city of Tulsa and the military department doing in greenwood, causing a current public nuisance.
Solomon-Simmons argued that the IDL and white businesses that have moved into greenwood affects the survivors and the community of Greenwood.
The judge did not make her ruling today. however, she tells me she will make it in writing in a timely manner.
Tuesday is an important milestone in the ongoing legal battle over reparations for the devastation caused by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. A hearing could decide whether a lawsuit against the city moves forward.
The plaintiffs include relatives of those affected by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The lawsuit claims the city and six others should be held responsible for what happened. Attorneys for the defendants will be challenging a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, a rally was held last night in Greenwood District in support of the lawsuit. Monday’s rally was a message to the city that the survivors and descendants will not be forgotten. It was a night of prayer and recognition while also celebrating the churches that remain standing from the massacre.
“We’re asking that the judge allows us to move forward in discovery, that’s first and foremost. We’re asking for a declaration that this, indeed, is a public nuisance. We’re asking for the judge to abate which means to fix,” attorney for survivors, Damario Solomon-Simmons said.
In a statement, the Justice for Greenwood Foundation said “when no legal action is taken against acts of racial terror, that gives permission for it to happen again.”
Tuesday’s hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. The court will decide whether to move forward or dismiss the lawsuit.
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