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Tulsa City Council approves public hearings to discuss 2018 Equality Indicators

Posted at 2:34 PM, Mar 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 23:09:47-04

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsans can expect four meetings referencing the equality indicators. These will be hosted by a team of experts, but before each one the city will offer an hour-long hearing to allow people to speak up.

This followed passionate speakers at Wednesday's city council meeting, addressing the crowd with stories and song. Many said the plea for public hearings hits close to home.

"Terrance Crutcher was killed on the street that I grew up on. I was away in Florida doing work for a presidential candidate at that time. I knew then that I had to come back because I didn't know if my family members were safe," Greg Robinson said.

The community expects the meeting will address controversy around the report's data showing Tulsa's black community is five times as likely to be a victim of force by police. But law enforcement tell 2 Works for You that data is skewed, and the report looked at the entire population instead of just those arrested.

"You cannot have use of force used on you if you haven't had contact with a policemen. It's a primary part of it, policemen can't use force on you if you're not around them," Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police chairman Jerad Lindsey said.

Still, concerned citizens and police said a forum is needed for all sides to be heard, and for the city to make progress.

"In these hearings we think this will be an educational thing for the public. It gives the police department the opportunity to bring those numbers out and educate the public better because that's one thing we need to do better is communicate," Lindsey said.

The city is planning on four meetings in total, going over topics like arrests and the tie between race and use of force.

"Something must change. We have to have a city that is welcoming, that is safe for all of its citizens," Robinson said.

Councilors said when creating these meetings timing is everything, as the mayor moves forward with plans for his police oversight committee.

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