Tulsans Hold Rallies To Show Support For Law Enforcement
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tuesday, people gathered at two rallies to show support for every officer in uniform.
One group of about 25 people gathered at Hunter Park; it was among the first to publicly come out with unwavering support of Officer Betty Shelby.
Shelby is charged with first-degree manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher.
The group included active law enforcement, like Rogers County sheriff Scott Walton, and retired officers.
“I am a little disappointed that law-enforcement took as long as it did to come to the aid of Officer Shelby,” Walton said. “I just didn't see enough of people being vocal and supportive of her from the very first.”
They're concerned about what they consider to be a rush to judgment by the district attorney and say if this might be a case where use of a firearm was appropriate - with an uncooperative person who possibly reached into a vehicle when it was unclear if he was armed.
They said almost every officer has been trained to understand that that's a dangerous situation.
They hope to raise money for Shelby's legal defense fund and rally support for all officers who often have to make instant life or death decisions.
Mike O’Keefe said, “There are some real serious questions we have about this. This affects every law enforcement officer in the nation right now.”
Also on Tuesday, in downtown Tulsa, about a dozen people met for a Police Lives Matter rally at the Tulsa County Courthouse.
They want to show support for Tulsa police officers in light of the Terence Crutcher shooting.
Amanda Miller with Law Enforcement Supporters for Media Accountability, said, "Betty Shelby has been charged. People are still saying they want justice, this is justice - this is justice in the works. It's time to move the dialog forward and say we still support our police officers."
Organizers hope peace will continue during the different demonstrations across Tulsa