Rev. Jesse Jackson Attends Funeral of North Tulsa Shooting Victim
TULSA, Oklahoma - The first of three funerals for the victims in Tulsa's Good Friday shooting spree happened Friday morning.
The service for Bobby Clark, 54, began at 11 a.m. at the Crown Hill Chapel at 802 East Pine. Rev. Jesse Jackson, who met with local civic leaders later Friday, and will speak at a public rally on Saturday, is in attendance at Clark's service.
Reverend Jesse Jackson led the procession at the funeral for Clark. He is one of three black people gunned down on Good Friday.
Reverend Jackson told Clark's family and the rest of the crowd to turn their pain into power.
"There's an awakening," Jackson said. "Bobby is leading an awakening. He's leading an awakening from the grave."
Jackson was invited to Tulsa by black community leaders and ministers after police say two white men shot five black people, killing three of them.
The civil rights activist wants the FBI and Department of Justice to join the investigation.
"We cannot allow the new rays of hope that are in Oklahoma to be eclipsed by hatred and violence," he said.
Jackson commended Mayor Dewey Bartlett and Tulsa Police for quick arrests in the case. He also praised the district attorney for filing hate crime charges against the two suspects, Jake England and Alvin Watts.
"When people are walking the streets in very ordinary circumstances and they are victims of a ravage of revenge and hate-filled killings, it's threatening," Jackson said.
Jackson says this tragedy shows the need for reform in gun rights. He also thinks Oklahoma should make hate crimes felonies, instead of just misdemeanors.
"The community, black and white, must come together and use this crisis as an opportunity to rule out this evil that is such a threat to growth," Jackson said.
As he continues to meet with the community, Reverend Jackson says he wants to see more healing, not hurt, in Tulsa.
Reverend Jackson has scheduled a public rally for hope and healing Saturday at 6 p.m. at the First Baptist Church North Tulsa, located at 1414 North Greenwood.