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Resisting arrest citation against Wister woman dismissed

An Oklahoma woman whose arrest by Wister's police chief caused a stir when a video of it was posted to YouTube said she will continue to fight for justice even though there are no charges pending against her.
BY VALLERY BROWN vbrown@opubco.com Modified: December 21, 2010 at 4:10 pm •  Published: December 21, 2010

— A woman whose arrest by the town's police chief caused a stir when a video of it was posted to YouTube said she will continue to fight for justice, even though there are no charges pending against her.

At an appeals hearing Friday, Le Flore County District Judge Danita Williams dismissed a ticket and vacated the judgment of a Wister municipal judge, who found Brenda Martin, 51, guilty of resisting arrest by then-Police Chief Chris Ford.

Wister is a town of about 1,000 residents southwest of Poteau in Le Flore County.

“The court made the right decision,” Martin said. “I feel like it was the first step toward justice.”

State law requires tickets and citations to include specific facts supporting the criminal charge. In this case, the ordinance allegedly violated wasn't properly written on the ticket, said Martin's attorney, Jeff Mixon.

“It was a defective ticket and didn't cite the original issue,” Mixon said.

Mixon said there is no such ordinance in the town for “resisting arrest” as it was cited on the ticket. While it is a crime to use force or violence against an officer, it isn't referred to as “resisting arrest.”

Mixon downplayed the idea the case was won on a technicality.

“The evidence would have shown she wasn't guilty,” he said.

Martin has maintained she went to town hall to lodge a complaint about how the police force was handling an investigation into the death of one of her friend's sons.

“The chief was in a bad mood when I walked into that office, and he took it out on me,” Martin said.

This latest decision means all of the complaints against Martin that arose during her July 13 visit to town hall have been dismissed.

A municipal court judge in October dismissed a profanity charge against Martin.

“She used barnyard language while she was there, but that's not profanity,” Mixon said.

State law describes profanity as swearing that uses the name of God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost to curse a person.

Martin said Monday she filed a complaint with acting Police Chief Randy Liles to initiate an investigation into whether Ford acted violently when he arrested her in July.

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