TULSA, Okla. — Governor Kevin Stitt deployed the National Guard to help the Tulsa Police Department control protests Monday night.
Large crowds gathered near Woodland Hills Mall to protest the death of George Floyd who died in police custody.
National Guard is on the ground and embedded with @TulsaPolice .— Tulsa Police Department Chief Franklin (@TPD_Franklin) June 2, 2020
Businesses are attempting to recover from a pandemic and now owners must face destruction of their property? There is no logic in destruction. It is unacceptable! If you are vandalizing and destroying property you aren’t helping anything.— Tulsa Police Department Chief Franklin (@TPD_Franklin) June 2, 2020
Everyone has the right to PEACEFULLY assemble. When projectiles are thrown and property is destroyed @TulsaPolice will not allow such actions to continue in our city.— Tulsa Police Department Chief Franklin (@TPD_Franklin) June 1, 2020
The group of protesters started forming around 7:30 p.m. near 71st and Memorial. Around 9 p.m., there were reports of breaking glass and police began using pepper spray and tear gas to clear the crowd.
Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin told 2 Works for You numerous protesters had been arrested. As of Monday morning, a total of three people had been arrested.
In a tweet, the Tulsa County Public Defenders said that it is offering to help protesters who are taken into custody.
Tulsa County Defenders are present at every bond docket to assist people at formal bond hearings. If you know someone who has been arrested at a demonstration or protest and want to reach out to a defender contact Janay Clougherty at 918-596-5556 or text her at 918-212-4860.— Tulsa County Public Defenders (@TulsaCountyPD) June 2, 2020
Police are urging people to leave the area. Memorial Drive is closed in the area.
We have both north and south traffic blocked from 63rd and Memorial into the 71st and Memorial intersection.
— Tulsa Police (@TulsaPolice) June 2, 2020
Some protesters said they showed up to the demonstration, because they read this protest would happen on social media.
There were also posts warning rioters would burn the mall down.
Because of that, Woodland Hills Mall as well as surrounding businesses closed early Monday. All entrances to the mall are blocked with large garbage trailers.
Despite all that preparation, protesters said they are also here to stand against the recent acts of violence.
“Not exactly to protest or loot, we’re here for anybody who got hurt or is in any danger," said Johnathan Buchanan, a protester. "Any of the people we’ve seen that have been backdooring their way in past the protesters and bullying the police.”
2 Works for You reached out to Mayor G.T. Bynum's office about the demonstrations in Tulsa. Bynum said he supports the governor’s decision to activate the National Guard.
In a tweet, the mayor praised Tulsa police for protecting the crowds right to protest while also preventing property damage.
Another night of protecting both free speech and private property. The men and women of the @TulsaPolice Department are doing a great job maintaining that balance.— G.T. Bynum (@gtbynum) June 2, 2020
2 Works for You ended our live coverage of the protests at the request of Tulsa police.
Authorities believe the media's presence is causing protesters to continue to act out, according to SOT Team Commander Captain Eckert with the Tulsa Police Department.
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