Tulsa police explain deadly force protocol; armed man killed in officer-involved shooting

TULSA -- Following a deadly officer-involved shooting in Midtown on Friday, many people are wondering if the officers followed proper protocol.

“The police asked him to stop and he wouldn’t stop,” sad witness Daniel Gray.

 Daniel Gray said he was standing near Utica street Friday night when shots rang out. He said he watched a homeless man get shot by Tulsa Police Officer.

“I saw the police following this guy, this homeless guy, up the street. The police were in the middle of the lane, the guy was up on the sidewalk. Then he tried to cross over and that’s when the police got out of his car and started tasing him twice, and then shot him 3 times,” said Gray.

  This cell phone video taken by a witness, shows how the shooting played out. Police said the suspect refused to listen to police after they asked him multiple times to put down his knife.

“We came upon him, he’s walking in the street, we get out of our car, we honk our horn, we tell him to stop, we tell him to drop the knife he doesn't do any of those things. He continues to aggress and be aggressive with the knife in the middle of the street, not normal behavior,” said Tulsa Homicide Sgt. Dave Walker.

  Sergeant Walker said police tased the suspect and when those efforts failed, an officer opened fire, hitting the suspect.

There’s a lot of people around, an innocent person does not need to be stabbed, we don’t need to be stabbed so at that point they decided there was only one option and that’s the lethal force,” said Walker.

   Gray said although he saw the man ignore police orders, he wishes the situation ended differently.

“The officer deserves to get what he gets, cause it’s not right to shoot a man if the man’s walking away,” said Gray.

  Officials said this is TPD’s 6th officer involved shooting this year.

Saturday, We the People released a statement on the organizations thoughts regarding use of force. Read the full statement below.

 Yesterday in Tulsa an officer involved shooting resulted in the death of a man. Details are still forthcoming and an investigation must be completed. That investigation should include whether use of deadly force was necessary. The Tulsa Police Department policy manual states "The use of deadly force is not authorized when its use would constitute a greater threat to innocent human lives than the actions of the suspect. Officers or employees must always be aware of the probable and possible result of their use of force. Officers or employees are never justified in using deadly force in a reckless manner disregarding the safety of themselves, other officers or innocent bystanders. Officers or employees must identify and acquire the specific threat before using deadly force."

With so many bystanders and occupied vehicles in the area was it in the best interest of the public to use deadly force in such a populated area? The individual's body will be tested but we also believe the officers involved should be tested as well. Most employers require tests after an incident occurs on the job. Our law enforcement departments should do the same. We also believe that this investigation should be completed by the state and not local law enforcement.

“WE THE PEOPLE OKLAHOMA” will continue to push for transparency and accountability from our public officials. Solutions that improve the relationship between the community and those who have vowed to serve the community must be the priority. We will continue to work on behalf of the citizens of the great state of Oklahoma because when concerned citizens make their voices heard positive changes are made.

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