State Rep. Expresses Concern Over Excessive Force By Tulsa Police

Wednesday, October 16th 2019, 2:11 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A State Representative says Tulsa Police continue to use excessive force against black Tulsans, when it's not needed and that they are not activating their cameras as required.

State Rep. Regina Goodwin points to two cases in 2019 to illustrate times when common stops escalated into confrontations, with officers using force.

She detailed a traffic stop from January, possibly over a woman driving without headlights, that turned into a confrontation; another in June where a man watching a police traffic stop says he was thrown off his motorcycle and there's no video of that because the officers didn't have them on.

Goodwin, backed by some north Tulsa leaders, and a former police chief, said black Tulsans rightfully fear any encounter with police.

"What happened right before those moments that some officer thought it was in his power, or abuse of power that someone should be slung to the ground and punched, thrown from a motorcycle, at what point in the protocol does it say you don't have to have your bodycam on, to record that interaction with the public?” said Goodwin.

Goodwin says she can't get clear answers from police, but Tulsa Police say they are investigating video issue from the motorcycle incident, but are not getting any cooperation from the victim, who still hasn't filed a formal complaint.

Police issued the following response:

On July 20, 2019 officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of 4500 S. Peoria Avenue. While the officers conducted the traffic stop one of the backing officers conducted a secondary stop of a motorcyclist who was continually driving slowly by.

The secondary traffic stop came into question by the driver through State Representative Regina Goodwin, who was not present during the traffic stop. Chief Chuck Jordan ordered an investigation on August 22, 2019, regarding the apparent failure of two officers not utilizing their body worn cameras.

On September 26, 2019, the commander of the internal affairs unit reached out to State Representative Goodwin informing her that an investigation was active concerning the apparent failure of the “officers to utilize their body cameras during this incident”, and to request the assistance of the driver involved. There was no response from the driver.

On October 2, 2019, the internal affairs sergeant assigned to the incident contacted the motorcyclist who declined to make a complaint into any actions of the officers. On October 3, 2019, State Representative Goodwin arrived at the Main Station of the police department with the driver of the motorcycle. They were met by an internal affairs sergeant who again asked if they would like to file a complaint, but again the offer was declined and a statement was made that they were only seeking to obtain video of the traffic stop.

As of today’s date internal affairs investigator have not received any cooperation from the driver, but the investigation will still continue.

The Tulsa Police Department has multiple ways to make a complaint, and makes every effort to conduct a thorough internal investigation into any allegation whether we have cooperation from a complainant or not. This incident is an active investigation that will, as any complaint, get the complete attention from the police department.

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