News & Politics

Oklahoma dads file federal lawsuit after family home is burned to the ground

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News9.com – Oklahoma City, OK

Randy Gamel-Medler, his husband and their 7-year-old adopted African-American son moved to Hitchcock, Oklahoma in August 2016. Roughly a month later, Gamel-Medler was threatened by a town trustee at a town council meeting after he learned that Gamel-Medler, a white man, had a son who is African-American, according to the complaint. “What’s going to happen when your house burns down and we don’t send out the fire trucks?” Meradith Norris, a defendant in the lawsuit, asked. Town officials ignored the police report Gamel-Medler filed.

In May, Gamel-Medler was assaulted by defendant Jonita Pauls Jacks, who called him a “f****** queer” and threatened his son, saying that she was going to grab his son and “rip his n***** head off and sh** down his throat.” The town deputy sheriff refused to allow Gamel-Medler to file a police report and chalked up the incident to free speech.

On May 28, the complaint describes an incident in which Gamel-Medler called the sheriff’s office to report a burglary after he heard glass breaking in his garage. He then called the fire department to report a fire in his garage. But the fire department, which is located one block from Gamel-Medler’s house, failed to arrive in time to save his home. As his house burned, four of the defendants, including Mayor Edsall, looked on, according to the complaint.

Gamel-Medler quit his job and moved his family out of Hitchcock.

Nine defendants are named in the lawsuit – including Rick Edsall, mayor of Hitchcock and Tony Almaguer, sheriff of Blaine County.

via NBC News