Tulsa Police Chief's Comments Have Some Asking For Apology
TULSA, Oklahoma - We The People Oklahoma is calling for an apology from the Tulsa police chief after comments he made about the city's racial climate in the Tulsa World.
The quotes causing some to be upset center around his response to court data that seems to show black people in Tulsa get arrested two-times as much as non-black people - and it's his word choice that has some crying foul.
A Tulsa World article indicates black people are being arrested twice as much as non-black people.
"When you have 15 percent of the population that are being arrested twice as much as 65 percent of the population, that is a problem," said Marq Lewis with We The People Oklahoma.
When pressed in the article, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said "I suspect we have a socioeconomic factor as far as arrests…I think history has proven that we're going to have more crime problems from that community."
"A lot of people who are African American will interpret that with a racist connotation," said Lewis.
While he and Tulsa FOP Chair Jerad Lindsey think Jordan could have spoken better, neither think he meant any racial connotation.
"Could it have been worded better? Absolutely," Lindsey said.
But Lewis thinks the numbers show poor people, specifically black people, are targeted.
"Say it's social economics but I think it's targeting," he said.
Adding if the numbers are true, where are the solutions?
"We spend more time trying to collect data and not implement the data that we do have to actually curb the problem," Lewis said.
But Lindsey thinks the chief's comments shows progress.
"He's recognizing some issues and I think that's a monumental step," he said.
The issue being that poverty is the common denominator, saying no one part of society will fix race relations.
"You can't just fix criminal justice, you can't just fix poverty, you can't just fix education," Lindsey said.
We tried to call Jordan for comment but was told he was at home and very sick.
Lewis said he wants to see Mayor G.T. Bynum speak to the numbers and a solution; he also wants an apology from Jordan.