Meeker is a town of about 1,000 people. It would be accurate to call it a quiet town.But a sign warning drivers about a speed trap has made a lot of noise lately, after a federal lawsuit was filed by the owner. James Goad claims Meeker police came after him after he put it up.
"The sign, I thought was kind of humorous," said Meeker Police Chief Sam Byrd.
Byrd and the department say they did nothing but enforce the law after Goad got upset when police were running radar in his parking lot.
But in a lawsuit filed in federal court, Goad says after the sign was put up, he was followed by police, who first accused him of not wearing a seat belt. When that was disproved, he claims they tried ticketing him for rolling a stop sign.
Goad, who owned a pawn shop, filed a "citizen's complaint" against the officer, who was disciplined for losing his temper.
Shortly after, according to the complaint, the same officer started looking into Goad's background, who found a felony arrest from 1996. Using that information, they arrested Goad for running a pawn shop after being convicted of a felony, which is illegal in Oklahoma. That charge was later dismissed.
Attorney David Slane says the sign is legally protected speech and the issue should've stopped there.
"If the police are using their office, their color of law as policeman as a personal vendetta to get someone or to get even, or in this case, retaliation for complaining, then that may add more fuel to the fire," Slane said.
But Chief Byrd isn't buying it. He says everything that happened was lawful, and the department didn't do anything wrong.
"No one from my department or from the town ever talked to them about the sign, ever asked them to move the sign, said anything derogatory about the sign, or anything else," Byrd said.
Byrd says he hasn't been served with the lawsuit just yet and can't answer specifically about all the claims, but insists his department is on the up and up.
Click here to view all documents associated with the lawsuit.