Tulsa Group Meets To Discuss Police Encounters, Positive Changes

Monday, October 24th 2016, 10:24 pm
By: News On 6

Recent police shootings brought a group of Tulsans together Monday night.

The Black Flower Society hosted the forum at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame with a panel comprised of attorneys, a former police chief and policy experts.

Organizers hope people in the audience can take the information talked about and spread it to their families and communities.

The video of Officer Betty Shelby shooting and killing Terence Crutcher has fueled several demonstrations, dialogues and discussions like the one Monday night.

Special Coverage: Terence Crutcher Police Shooting

Now, the Black Flower Society hopes the community can move beyond the noise and help educate people about dealing with police.

"We want these people to be messengers, to go back into our community and churches, social organizations and deliver the message," said Heather Nash with the Black Flower Society.

On the panel was a civil rights attorney; one of his biggest messages for people who face encounters with police was - don't argue the legalities of the stop in the street, save it for the courtroom.

Also on the panel was Pastor Barbara Shannon, a friend of the Crutcher family.

"Start small if you have to. Start small. Let's see what we can do to make this better. Not just talk about it," she said.

Former Police Chief Drew Diamond said Tulsa can start right now with more community policing programs.

"It's not magic, it's work. It's organization transformation, community engagement, problem-solving. There's a 30-year body of work now to do that. Other cities are doing that. And the other city's that do it the officers are safer, the communities are safer," Diamond said.

The Black Flower Society also said voter education and registration is a key part of creating change in the community.

The group's next event is November 17th at the Rudisill Library.