The McCurtain Gazette has voluntarily dismissed its Open Records Act lawsuit against the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Department and sheriff Kevin Clardy, court records show.
The newspaper had repeatedly sought records, body cam footage, etc. from the sheriff’s department after the March 2022 death of Bobby Barrick.
More than year later and a lawsuit filing by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, representing the newspaper, the sheriff’s office finally turned over all the items requested.
The body cam footage included Barrick begging for his life and saying he feared the sheriff’s department was going to kill him.
Barrick’s family recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the sheriff’s department, and is using the recently released body cam footage as part of its evidence.
The Oklahoma attorney general recently said those seeking records in Oklahoma should not have to resort to lawsuits to get public records, and he has appointed an attorney to assist the public in seeking such records.