We the People Oklahoma to discuss Tulsa Police policy in wake of officer involved fatal shooting

Posted at 3:55 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-20 15:51:59-04

TULSA - We the People Oklahoma held a press conference this week to discuss police policies following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in north Tulsa.

All of the signs outside the Tulsa County Courthouse Monday afternoon had the same message. They were seeking peace, equality and something no one can give: Terence Crutcher's life back.

The press conference was in response to the officer involved shooting that left Terence Crutcher, 40, dead after a traffic stop near 36th Street North and Lewis Avenue on September 16.

Marq Lewis with We the People-OK, among others, took to the microphone to discuss the things they would like to see changed.

"After watching the video, I just sat there on my couch and just cried," We The People Oklahoma organizer Marq Lewis said.

Lewis pointed to the Tulsa Police Department not understanding the demographics of its community by assigning an officer, Betty Shelby, who lives in a community with a small percentage of people of color, to north Tulsa.

"We are seeing what happened countless times over and over and over again that we've seen here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We don't need to leave here in order to have our own Trayvon Martin or Mike Brown experience. It's here," Lewis said.

He also called for accountability and transparency with the department.

"We need accountability. We need transparency, and we need it today. Right now. We need for them to arrest Betty Shelby, right now. Not tomorrow. Not the next day, but right now," said an impassioned Lewis.

We the People are also calling for Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler to recuse himself from the case, and for state attorney general Scott Pruitt to take over.

More than fifty people gathered around to hear what the community activist group had to say. Everyone attending had the same purpose, justice for Crutcher.

"Hands up, 20 feet away from the police and the dude in the helicopter saying he looks like a bad dude," Terence Crutcher's friend Tony Ball said. "I don't know how he looks like a bad dude from 150 feet up in the air."

Also speaking at the presser were former Tulsa police chief Drew Diamond and State Representative Regina Goodwin.
"Racially biased policing, driving while black, driving while brown is a reality in Tulsa, Oklahoma," Former Tulsa Police Chief Drew Diamond said. "Any of you who say it's not, are white."
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan wants the public to know that they will work to seek justice on behalf of Terence Crutcher's family.

MORE ON THE STORY: Twin sister, attorneys hold presser | Police, Mayor, District Attorney and City Councilors discuss the shooting investigation | Officers identified in fatal shooting on Sept. 16 | Police Chief describes events leading up to the shooting

We the People Oklahoma is also the group that petitioned for a grand jury that led to the resignation of Tulsa's sheriff of nearly 30 years. They say they'll continue to fight Crutcher's honor, starting with those in black and blue.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Download our free app for Apple and Android and Kindle devices.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook