URGENT NEWS ADVISORY
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe Receiving 'Protection' from State and Local Law Enforcement, Watchdog Charges; Formal Ethics Charges Sought After Surveillance Drone Shot Down
OKLAHOMA – U.S. Senator James Inhofe – chair of the powerful Senate Environment Public Works Committee – is apparently receiving "protection" from numerous Oklahoma state and local law enforcement officials regarding the senator's illegal activities involving pigeon shoot fundraisers, charged a national animal protection watchdog today.
SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness) reported Oklahoma officials and local Sheriff's Dept. refused to intervene, even after a surveillance drone recording criminal acts at a live pigeon shoot fundraiser for Inhofe last Friday. SHOOT DOWN VIDEO: https://youtu.be/kLYmfx6h0SQ The video shows extensive damage to one of Angel's motors, where the electronics were visibly blown away. Other damage has seen been found.
SHARK said it's now focusing on federal ethics and election law violations by Inhofe. SHARK last week filed(Inhofecruelty.com) state and federal ethics, tax evasion and other complaints based on Inhofe's 2014 fundraiser where 1,000 pigeons were killed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDbN36abT0k
"Inhofe tried to hide the shoot's location, but we found it he or someone in is party shot out drone out of the sky. We set up legally on the side of a public road and then sent up our drone, called the 'Angel,' to film the shoot," said Steve Hindi, president of SHARK. "We flew two successful flights and landings where we filmed the birds being hand-thrown into the air and then shot. When we went up a third time, someone at the Inhofe fundraiser took a high-powered rifle and shot the Angel. There was significant damage."
Hindi said it was unquestionable that it was deliberate because the shotguns being used to shoot pigeons didn’t have the range to hit the Angel. He also recorded the sound of rifle fire after the pigeon shoot was over.
"This was a criminal act where damage to personal property was caused by someone using a firearm, and we called 911 from the scene. When the 911 operator called back, she said that the sheriff stated it was 'not a crime' to shoot down a drone and that they would not come out," explained Hindi. "The sheriff either doesn't know the law, or he is corrupt and deliberately lying to protect a US senator. Either way, a crime was committed where damage was done to personal property, and local law enforcement is ignoring it."
SHARK contacted Oklahoma Public Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson last week and asked for state police to monitor the Inhofe fundraiser because local law enforcement could not be trusted; Inhofe's staff even bragged how local deputies worked for the fundraiser in 2014. After the shoot down Friday, SHARK asked Thompson to investigate the senator's culpability in the rifle attack, as well as state animal cruelty law violations by Inhofe. Thompson has not responded.
SHARK is amending its ethics complaint against Sen. Inhofe for the illegal and dangerous discharge of a firearm with his knowledge and potential consent. The complaint will be delivered to the offices of all the members of the Senate Ethics Committee.
"We will continue to put pressure on the members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics to hold Sen. Inhofe accountable. If they don’t take action against him, then they will have shown that senators are the privileged few who do not have to obey the law all of the rest of us," said Hindi.