(Update: In late 2019, Keith Sweeney was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in state prison.)
Sgt. Keith Sweeney, the Oklahoma City Police Department officer charged with murder Tuesday, launched a clothing line in 2016 called No Easy Days that “takes extreme pride” in creating items “synonymous with the Warrior Mindset.”
On its About page, Sweeney’s website promotes the Warrior Mindset: “This brand is designed for anyone who chooses to live this Warrior Mindset and intended to meet their high and exacting standards.”
While many designs feature patriotic fitness branding, No Easy Days markets several items and accessories that celebrate violence and guns. The company sells multiple “Stay Fit Stay Dangerous” clothing pieces that feature a barbell crossed with a rifle. The phrase is a prominent hashtag in the company’s social media postings.
A veteran and reservist of the U.S. Navy, Sweeney is listed online as the “owner/operator/designer/printer” for the company, and his wife, Sarah, is referenced as “the real boss.” Sarah Sweeney is a personal fitness instructor who has competed in bodybuilding. Reached by Facebook message seeking comment for this story, Sarah Sweeney said, “I decline to comment.”
No Easy Days Tactical LLC is incorporated in the state of Oklahoma, and Keith Sweeney is listed as the registered agent.
‘I’m your Huckleberry’
Other items for sale on Keith Sweeney’s website include shirts that say “Pick your distance” and show men grappling next to two pistols and two rifles. Sweeney wore one of those shirts during a 2016 KFOR TV interview to promote a dead-lifting event that spread awareness about military veteran PTSD and raised money for Envision Success, a Norman organization.
No Easy Days also sells decals on its website, including one of a peace sign inside a hand grenade.
Another decal displays an armed military member’s silhouette and contains the phrase “I’m your huckleberry,” a quote Val Kilmer uttered in the movie Tombstone moments before shooting a man in the head.
For $6.50, shoppers on Sweeney’s apparel site can buy a circular patch that features targeting crosshairs on a skull surrounded by the words “Speed, Surprise, Violence of Action,” a phrase associated with U.S. Army Delta Force operations.
On Oct. 9, 2016, Sweeney posted a photo of himself wearing the patch on his police ballistic vest.
It’s one of numerous posts Sweeney made featuring the hashtag #WarriorMindset, a phrase referenced across websites focusing on military and law enforcement issues. The hashtag #StayFitStayDangerous also appears in many social media posts, either on Sweeney’s personal accounts or on the No Easy Days accounts.
‘I will fucking shoot you’
‘I will fucking shoot you’: Body cam footage shown by William W. Savage III
Sweeney was charged with second-degree murder for shooting 29-year-old Dustin Pigeon five times Nov. 15 after Pigeon had called 9-1-1 to indicate he was suicidal, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said Tuesday.
Prater will also present a jury with an option to convict only on first-degree manslaughter, saying Tuesday that the murder charge would carry between 10 years and life in prison while the manslaughter charge would mean four years to life in prison.
Nov. 15 body-camera recordings from two other OKCPD officers indicate Sweeney was the third officer to arrive at the tense scene, which ended with one officer firing a bean-bag shotgun slightly before Sweeney fired his pistol.
Sweeney yelled, “I will fucking shoot you, get on the ground,” moments before opening fire on Dustin Pigeon, who was carrying lighter fluid and a lighter.
‘It might be relevant’
Reached Thursday, Prater said he could not elaborate on his reaction to Sweeney’s No Easy Days branding.
“I can’t make specific comment about it at this time, but it might be relevant in the prosecution of this case,” Prater said.
A call to the law office of OKC attorney Gary James confirmed that James is representing Sweeney, but a receptionist said James was traveling and would be given the message seeking comment on the case.
“This man is innocent of these charges,” James was quoted as saying Wednesday by The Oklahoman. “He believed that the man had a knife and until you’ve stood in a police officer’s shoes … no one knows what they would do.”
James’ receptionist was told he could return NonDoc’s call seeking comment at any hour.
Keith Sweeney founded Veterans Recovering Through Fitness
On the No Easy Days website, Sweeney notes that he and two veteran friends created the organization Veterans Recovering Through Fitness, which a Guidestar report indicates received its 501(c)3 status as a charity.
“No Easy Days Apparel is the current primary funding source of VRTF,” Sweeney wrote on the site. “We are proud to spend our revenue creating this venture to help Veterans.”
The Veterans Recovering Through Fitness Facebook page was unavailable as of Thursday evening.