Tulsans Pack Room, Discuss Improving Community, Police Relations

Monday, July 11th 2016, 11:15 pm
By: News On 6

Several hundred people came together in Tulsa Monday night to figure out how to put an end to the senseless deaths like what we saw in Dallas last week.

Initially, organizers expected maybe 30 people would show for the Tulsa Talks Forum on Police Violence, so they were surprised by the turnout.

From wall to wall - sitting and standing - Tulsans showed up for the Tulsa Talks Forum on Police Violence to say enough is enough.

"We're in a relationship that does not work," said Jamal Ail with the Nation of Islam.

Community members say the relationship between the black community and police is flawed and the massive group of people and panel were there to fix it.

Organizer DeVon Douglass said, "We wanted to come together as a community, first; have something drafted for them and then disseminate the information when it comes to any type of confusion. We wanted to all be together and act as one voice."

Anytime violence similar to that which has erupted recently involving the deaths of police and the public, community talks become the norm; but with this talk, organizers want action.

Douglass said, "What we want to have is an action plan from the people to our law enforcement officers, so if this happens again there is no lack of communication we are on the same page."

To reach that action plan, the crowd separated into five groups - community policing, unlawful stops, police training sensitivity, independent investigations and implementing policy.

Each group wrote down ideas.

"What I'm really interested in is policing our own neighborhoods. Understand this, we've had 400 years of being inferior to a superior," Ali said.

The plan is to take the input from the community, organize it and present it to law enforcement.

There weren't any police officers on the panel for a reason; first, so they wouldn't become a target of criticism, and second, to give the group time to compile ideas to give them.

Another event will be organized over the next week or two; it'll be called Tulsa Acts.