Judge lets Tulsa Race Massacre reparations lawsuit proceed

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May 12, 2008
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OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma judge ruled Monday that a lawsuit seeking reparations for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre can proceed, bringing new hope for some measure of justice for three survivors of the deadly racist rampage who are now over 100 years old and were in the courtroom for the decision.

Tulsa County District Court Judge Caroline Wall ruled against a motion to dismiss the suit filed by civil rights attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons in 2020. The Tulsa-based attorney said after Wall announced her ruling that it is critical for living survivors Lessie Benningfield Randle, 107, Viola Fletcher, 107, and Hughes Van Ellis, 101.

“We want them to see justice in their lifetime,” he said, choking back tears. “I’ve seen so many survivors die in my 20-plus years working on this issue. I just don’t want to see the last three die without justice. That’s why the time is of the essence.”
The packed courtroom, which Wall noted may have been over capacity, erupted in cheers and tears after she handed down her ruling.
Solomon-Simmons sued under Oklahoma's public nuisance law, saying the actions of the white mob that killed hundreds of Black residents and destroyed what had been the nation’s most prosperous Black business district continue to affect the city today. The lawsuit also seeks reparations for descendants of victims of the massacre.

Judge lets Tulsa Race Massacre reparations lawsuit proceed (msn.com)















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