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Justice for Greenwood Foundation submit investigation request to Department of Justice

Day two of the second excavation in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Graves Investigation
Posted at 11:28 AM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 16:18:35-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Justice for Greenwood Foundation, along with living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and others, have submitted a request to the United States Department of Justice to take action under the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007 to investigate the incident.

A portion of the letter announcing their decision reads that something must be done with more accountability, as well as full public transparency, in concerns in the Mass Graves investigation.

Some of the reasons they list for filing the request to the DOJ include:

  • The Massacre descendants and remaining survivors are concerned about the City of Tulsa's and the State of Oklahoma's process in handling the remains and conducting a meaningful investigation.
  • They believe the investigations should not be investigated by the City of Tulsa in hopes of remaining impartial to the judgment of how the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre occurred and finding the Mass Graves.

An excerpt from the letter addressed to Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, reads:

"A DOJ investigation will give survivors and descendants long-sought-after answers and shine a light on “the good, the bad, everything,” which will help heal wounds of Tulsa’s Black community that even a century’s time has been unable to remedy. More broadly, it will convey to all Americans that all Black lives matter to the United States government, no matter how long ago they were lost, and no matter how long their stories have remained buried along with their bodies.

For over 100 years, the survivors of the Massacre and their descendants have gone without a single ounce of justice. Now, in the year of the Massacre’s centennial anniversary, we hope to change that, which is why we are calling on the DOJ to bring the power of the federal government to Tulsa to help heal these century-old wounds by conducting a meaningful and objective investigation into the Massacre and answer questions that have for so long gone unresolved."

Along with the remaining living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre signing the letter, some of the other notable names include:

  • Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative
  • Vanessa Hall-Harper, District 1 Tulsa City Councilor and Tulsa Council Chair
  • Rep. Monroe Nichols (D-Tulsa)
  • Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, a Massacre descendent and president of the Terence Crutcher Foundation

Read the Full letter to the DOJ here.

The DOJ confirmed Wednesday that they received the letter.

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