Tulsa County District Court Judge Caroline Wall has ruled against a motion to dismiss a lawsuit seeking reparations for the Tulsa Race Massacre.
Per Complex, an Oklahoma judge has ruled that a lawsuit seeking reparations for the Tulsa Race Massacre can move forward.
Based on a report from the Associated Press, Tulsa County District Court Judge Caroline Wall ruled against a motion to dismiss the suit on Monday (May 2) – the three remaining massacre survivors were present in the courtroom. Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons acknowledges the importance of securing justice while the three remaining survivors are alive. Viola Fletcher, 107, Lessie Benningfield Randle, 107, and Huges Van Ellis, 101 are the last of the survivors.
“I’ve seen so many survivors die in my 20-plus years working on this issue,” Solomon-Simmons said. “I just don’t want to see the last three die without justice.”
Solomon-Simmons led attorneys to file the suit in September 2020, noting the long-lasting effects of the 1921 attack. The suit was filed under Oklahoma’s public nuisance law and named the City of Tulsa, the Tulsa County Sheriff, the Tulsa Metro Area Planning Commission, and more. An estimated 300 Black residents of Tulsa were killed during the 1921 terrorist attack. The massacre also saw violent white mobs destroying businesses and homes in the Greenwood area of Black Wall Street.
It’s unknown what will happen next with the suit at this time, but per a report from Reuter, the suit “seeks financial and other reparations,” including a 99-year tax holiday for descendants of the victims. A KJRH-TV report noted that only a portion of the suit will move forward. Solomon-Simmons has yet to comment any further.