Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan says his comments in a recent newspaper article about race were taken out of context.
On Monday, "We The People Oklahoma" called for an apology from the chief after comments he made about the city's racial climate in the Tulsa World.
On Tuesday, Chief Jordan issued a response:
"My comments were taken out of context. I have stated in the past and I believe that past societal issues are a factor in criminal behavior, as are other issues including poverty and education. I believe that when we as a society address those past issues along with current poverty and educational issues we all will see a more peaceful society in which we live," Police Chief Chuck Jordan states in his release.
"My use of the term 'that community' immediately followed a statement that read, “I suspect we have a socioeconomic factor as far as arrests," the police chief stated.
"I think you have a portion of the community that is somewhat disenfranchised, and a portion of the community that is not at the same economic level,” said Jordan. He said the term “that community” referenced the impoverished and economically deprived community.deprived community.
Wednesday, in his news release, Chief Jordan says "anyone who so desires can find Bureau of Justice statistics that have shown for decades that there is direct correlation between socio-economic factors and crime. We do not use those statistics to point a finger at any segment of our society but we do use them to address crime trends that plague our citizens. We see the same dynamic in all sectors of our community in reference to poverty and crime regardless of racial makeup."
The chief added, "Leaders on both sides of the race issue have correctly maintained that we all need to sit down and have the difficult conversations. I could not agree more."
"My words were not intended to divide and I am disappointed that my words are being used out of context in an attempt to do so."
Read his statement here: