TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa police lieutenant and officer pleaded not guilty in a shooting cover-up investigation on Tuesday.
The Tulsa Police Department announced charges last week against Lt. Marcus Harper and Officer Ananias Carson in connection with the cover-up of a shooting on Aug. 24, 2020.
Harper and Carson are each charged with one count of accessory to a felony after the fact Both officers are on leave without pay following the announcement. They had been on leave with pay during the initial investigation.
"The public has a right to trust law enforcement," Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said during last Tuesday's news conference. "They should be able to trust us."
According to an affidavit, Jonathon Jones, the brother of Dythe's boyfriend was driving her car when he exchanged gunfire with other people outside the Kwick Stop near 61st Street and Peoria on Aug. 24, 2020.
Jones then drove the car with two bullet holes in it to her apartment where she and her boyfriend Devon Jones met up with him. Dythe allegedly called Harper and Carson who came out and looked at her car and sat inside it.
"Ms. Dythe didn't observe [Harper] or [Carson] remove anything from inside her vehicle but assumed that's what they were there to do," the affidavit says.
All three officers along with Devon and Jonathon Jones went inside the apartment where they told Harper and Carson the details about the shooting.
According to the affidavit, Harper and Carson told the others not to tell anyone that they had come out to look at the car. They also told Devon and Johnathon Jones to get rid of the guns involved in the shooting and leave town to avoid contact with TPD.
Two other officers came back to the apartment that night to get an official police report when Dythe lied to them about the details of the shooting, meanwhile, Carson came back while off-duty and helped with the search of the car where no shell casings were found inside.
After several interviews with both of the accused officers and those involved in the shooting, investigators say Harper and Carson both took steps to cover up their involvement. It wasn't until search warrants of Dythe's phone and home that Harper admitted to coming to her apartment the day of the shooting.
Carson didn't tell investigators "key information" about the shooting investigation including Harper's involvement. The affidavit says Carson deleted "large portions" of his cell phone data before it was seized;
"You can't violate laws just because you carry and badge and a gun," Franklin said Tuesday. "This community won't stand for that. And this nation will not stand for that."
Harper is married to Tulsa City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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