An Oklahoma woman wearing an "I Can't Breathe" t-shirt outside Tulsa's BOK Center, the venue for President Donald Trump's first rally since March, was arrested Saturday even though she had a ticket to the event. Tulsa police said they removed Sheila Buck from the area upon the request of Trump's campaign staff. Buck was dragged from the scene, which was broadcast live on MSNBC.
One officer leaned down to tell Buck she was in an area considered a "private event area." She refused to leave on her own, so the police officers picked her up by the arms and took her away from the location before handcuffing her. "I have a ticket," Buck told one officer. "We're going to put handcuffs on you," the officer replied.
"Somebody has to do this."
A peaceful protester is arrested outside the location President Trump's rally will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/Nj23OgyOvX— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 20, 2020
"They're arresting me! They're arresting me," Buck told the media cameras as she was handcuffed, reports BuzzFeed News. "I've done nothing, I have tickets to this thing." An MSNBC reporter said Buck was not blocking access to the event. She later told MSNBC the officers said she was trespassing and violating a law. She said she went to the rally alone and was not a member of any organized group.
Later, the Tulsa Police Department shared photos of Buck's arrest on Facebook and confirmed she was arrested at the behest of the Trump campaign. "There is some confusion about the area Ms. Buck was arrested," the statement reads. "Ms. Buck was in an area that is considered a private event area and the event organizer, in this case, the Trump Campaign, can have people removed at their discretion." According to KTUL, Buck was booked for obstruction.
Dr. Casey Jordan, who told BuzzFeed News she has been friends with Buck for 20 years, said Buck is a retired art teacher who worked with "at-risk" children. Buck is not a member of any activist groups, but is "just sick of police overreaction," Jordan said. "Sheila is one of the most strong-headed, independent thinking people I’ve ever met," Jordan explained. "This is something Sheila would have woken up today and decided to do." Buck is still in police custody and being "evaluated," according to Jordan.
"I can't breathe" became a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter protesters against police brutality and racism. When Eric Garner died in police custody in Staten Island, New York in July 2014, he yelled "I can't breathe" while an officer held him in a chokehold. George Floyd also complained he could not breathe when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes, killing Floyd on May 25.