Tulsa County District Judge Caroline Wall closed the lawsuit filed in 2020 by survivors of the massacre, Lessie Benningfield Randle, Viola Fletcher, and Hughes Van Ellis, who are over 100 years old.
Judge Wall justified the arguments of the defense in the case and decided that the three plaintiffs were not individually adversely affected by the massacre in question.
The three plaintiffs will be able to appeal the decision, but will not be able to sue again in state court.
Randle, Fletcher, and Van Ellis filed a lawsuit against Tulsa city government and local and state departments in 2020, hoping to see “justice” while they were alive for the Tulsa Massacre they witnessed.
Based on Oklahoma public law, the lawsuit argued that the impact of the killing of hundreds of blacks in Tusla and the destruction of the country’s most prosperous black business district still remained.
Fletcher, 109, the oldest survivor of the Tulsa Massacre, will publish a memoir next month about his life story in the shadow of the massacre.
1921 Tulsa Massacre
On May 31, 1921, 19-year-old black Dick Rowland, who worked as a shoe shiner in Tulsa, was detained for harassing a white girl in an elevator.
Upon the spread of the news in the city, hundreds of white men who came to the police station to lynch Rowland and the black groups who came to protect Rowland, 12 people lost their lives and the events got out of control.
Crowds of armed white rebels, with the cooperation of the police and the National Guard, attacked businesses and neighborhoods, particularly the Greenwood business district, which was then black. During the night, hundreds of businesses and homes were looted and set on fire.
It was reported that local authorities hastily buried them, banning funeral ceremonies without keeping any official record of those who lost their lives in the events where more than 300 black people died.
The city government and insurance companies did not compensate for the damage to the burned and plundered black businesses and homes, and the Greenwood commercial district, known as the Blacks’ Wall Street, was wiped out from the city.