Oklahoma City police officers have been told they can no longer stop a person solely because they are on the federal government's terrorist watchlist.
In an affidavit filed Wednesday, Oklahoma City Police Chief Wade Gourley said the department provided that training to officers in the agency's Springlake, Southwest and Hefner Divisions on Jan. 13.
A day earlier, according to a federal lawsuit, eight officers from those divisions stopped and detained Saadiq Long at gunpoint along an area highway.
Long, of Oklahoma City, claimed in the lawsuit that officers' apprehension of him on Jan. 12 marked the fifth time he had been pulled over by Oklahoma City police since late November.
During one of those stops on Dec. 30, Long captured video of a conversation he had with one officer, who told him he had been pulled over because his vehicle had been associated with someone listed on the FBI's terrorism watchlist.
Attorneys for Long, an Oklahoman who is a U.S. Air Force veteran and converted Muslim, filed his case in federal court in Oklahoma City last week. The lawsuit accuses Gourley and involved officers of violating Long's civil rights.
Gourley revealed the training took place through an affidavit he filed responding to the lawsuit. Gourley said the department had provided the same training to all other Oklahoma City officers as of Jan. 31.
"As of Jan. 31, 2023, OCPD has issued training to all officers regarding the legal and appropriate handling of Terrorist Screen Center contacts that specifies that neither Saadiq Long nor any other person listed on the 'Terrorist Watch List' should be stopped based solely on his or her presence on the list," Gourley wrote in the affidavit.
Representatives of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) and the CAIR Legal Defense Fund said Thursday they were pleased by what they learned through Gourley's affidavit.
"We ... hope that law enforcement agencies across the country will follow their example," said CAIR attorney Hannah Mullen. "However, neither this case nor our fight against these secret lists is over. After all the evidence comes in, we think the federal court will agree that simply being on the FBI's illegal list is no reason to pull someone over - let alone arrest them at gunpoint."
"The Oklahoma City Police Department should be commended for its decision to disregard the FBI's secret, racist list," agreed CAIR-OK Deputy Director Veronica Laizure. "We still have work to do to keep our Oklahoma City community safe from the dangerous consequences of the Islamophobic, racist watchlist practices."
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: OKCPD: Terrorism watchlist inclusion doesn't justify traffic stops