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Tulsa police major files lawsuit against media companies

Posted at 8:35 AM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 09:06:34-04

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa police major is suing several media companies for publishing comments he made in a radio interview in June.

Among the media companies are Comcast, NBC's parent company.

In an interview on Talk Radio 1170 with host Pat Campbell, TPD Major Travis Yates said data shows systemic racism "doesn't exist" and "all the research says we’re shooting African Americans about 24% less than we ought to be based on the crimes being committed.” These and other comments are what led Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum to call for Yates to make a clarification and apologize to Tulsans.

During the interview, Campbell reminded listeners, multiple times, Yates was not speaking on TPD’s behalf, but as a private citizen. Campbell and Yates touched on police brutality and the George Floyd case.

READ MORE: TPD major says comments were taken out of context

In the lawsuit, Yates claims some of his comments were taken out of context in headlines and is asking for more than $70,000 in civil relief. CLICK HERE to view the lawsuit.

In a statement to 2 Works for You, Public Radio Tulsa General Manager Rich Fisher said, "We have confidence in and stand by our reporting. Otherwise we do not comment on ongoing litigation."

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