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Investigator, OSBI disagree on arrest tactics

Kyle Eastridge has criticized Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for not pressuring prosecutors to file charges, but agency officials say they can't risk turning allies into enemies.
BY KEN RAYMOND Modified: July 26, 2010 at 8:29 am •  Published: July 25, 2010

Kyle Eastridge and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation endured a brief, uncomfortable marriage.

Eastridge, a former homicide detective with 25 years of experience, chafed under OSBI's secrecy and restrictions. He said he did not feel welcome.

"Agents didn't want me meddling in their cases, even though my efforts advanced their cases," he said. "That philosophy is outdated. To take sole possession of a murder case is absurd. It takes a lot of people to close a homicide case."

Eastridge criticized OSBI agents, as well, for letting district attorneys decide when and if suspects should be arrested.

Typically, law officers make arrests when they have established probable cause. A district attorney then decides whether to file charges against the suspect.

Unpopular decisions could affect a district attorney's chances of re-election.

"There is no statutory requirement in Oklahoma for law enforcement to have approval of a district attorney to make an arrest, and it's that way on purpose," Eastridge said. "It's a checks and balances system. It's to prevent politicians from deciding when we have to make an arrest."

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