By Steve Pomper
Since last year, the National Police Association (NPA) and other local and national media have covered the inexplicable case of an Oklahoma DA who insists on prosecuting veteran Blackwell Police Department Lieutenant John Mitchell—for doing his job.
The DA is prosecuting the police supervisor despite his having placed his life in danger one early morning last May to protect his community. Lt. Mitchell, while driving, managed to deploy his rifle and shoot an armed woman who’d been careening through town in a pickup truck, firing her gun (meaning she had two deadly weapons) out the window at property and people (including cops and her own mother). The shooter died at the scene.
Strangely, seven months after the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) found Lt. Mitchell had acted appropriately, local DA Jason Hicks decided to second-guess the investigators. He impaneled a grand jury, evidently presented only evidence biased against Lt. Mitchell, and convinced a jury to charge Lt. Mitchell with Second-Degree Murder.
From the folks who know him best, they describe Lt. Mitchell as a dedicated public servant, active community member, and devoted family man. In fact, in the months since he stopped the active shooter, a professional organization and a local newspaper have honored this good man. The latter award, presented in January 2020, was to name Lt. Mitchell Blackwell’s 2019 Best Law Enforcement Officer.
Lt. Mitchell’s preliminary hearing is fast approaching. It will be held on Tuesday, February 18th, at 9:00 o’clock a.m. at the Noble County Courthouse, 300 Courthouse Drive, Perry, Oklahoma 73077. Supporters are asking all those who can to attend the hearing to give Lt. John Mitchell some encouragement. They also ask that people concerned for Lt. Mitchell and all cops who could become victims of a misdirected prosecutor contact DA Jason Hicks. His email is email@example.com.
Let him know this is not how America treats law enforcement officers who risk their lives to serve and protect the people of their communities.