TULSA — Mayor G.T. Bynum posted on Facebook to comment on recent incidents in Tulsa.
First, Mayor Bynum said, "Let's start with me."
In the post he addressed his comments made over the weekend on CBS News. When asked about Terence Crutcher's death, he said, "It is more about the really insidious nature of drug utilization than it is about race, in my opinion."
In his Facebook post, he said he realized he screwed up after receiving several calls from friends who repeatedly used the phrase, "I know your heart."
I did an interview over the weekend that hurt a lot of good people and has caused a lot of my allies in our work to address racial disparity to question my real commitment. I would hope that my work during 8 years on the City Council and 4 years in the Mayor’s Office would speak louder than one dumb and overly-simplistic answer to a complex question, but I understand if it doesn’t. My greatest fear - as a husband, a dad, and as a mayor - is letting down the people who count on me. I’m sorry for letting people down in a critical moment.
Mayor Bynum told 2 Works for you on Wednesday, "I do feel like I let folks down with that comment and making an overly simplistic answer and not being mindful in my remarks to the tragedy that occurred."
He also addressed an interview a TPD Major did that is getting national attention. The mayor said, "what [the Major] did say goes against everything we are trying to achieve in community policing."
He does not speak for my administration, for the Tulsa Police Department, or the City of Tulsa. His comments are under review by the Chief’s Office.
Bynum said if the sergeant did not mean to make the statement he did, "he owes Tulsans a clarification and an apology."
Bynum also addressed video of an incident involving two black teens and Tulsa police earlier this month.
In the video, two teens are walking along a street when a police car drives up. A Tulsa police officer grabs one of the teens by the arms, they appear to wrestle and the officer places the teen in handcuffs. The teens are heard telling the officers to "chill out." The handcuffed teen asks officers why he is being arrested and police say they were jaywalking.
Later, another officer places the other teen in handcuffs and instructs him to sit on the curb. At the end of the video, one teen is arrested while officers take the handcuffs off the other teen and instruct him not to jaywalk anymore.
In his post, Bynum said he wants every kid in Tulsa to feel safe walking down a street in their neighborhood.
No Tulsa kid should have to fear being tackled and cuffed for walking down the street. I viewed that footage last night more as a parent than a mayor. I know the officers in that unit focus on removal of illegal guns from the streets, but the goal of that work should be that families feel safe in their neighborhood. This instance accomplished the opposite.
The arrest is under investigation by the TPD Internal Affairs Unit at this time. The Tulsa Police Department is unable to comment on the arrest until the investigation is concluded.
Mayor Bynum said, "We can do better."
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