New Group Calls For Tulsa Sheriff's Resignation, DOJ Investigation

Wednesday, May 13th 2015, 1:52 pm
By: News On 6

A group of Tulsa residents gathered for a rally in downtown Tulsa Wednesday calling for changes in the sheriff's office after the April 2 fatal shooting of Eric Harris.

Harris is the man shot by reserve deputy Bob Bates.Bates says he accidentally pulled his handgun instead of his taser during an undercover sting in Tulsa.

Special Coverage: TCSO Reserve Deputy Shooting Controversy

Wednesday's gathering was different than previous protests by a group called "We The People Oklahoma." Wednesday's event was organized by "The United League for Social Action."

Their rally came a day after Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz announced changes in training for deputies.

Still, the protesters took to Tulsa streets, calling for the one change he won't make - his position as sheriff.

The group's demands are fourfold and start with the one thing, they want the sheriff to resign, and their message of “Glanz Gotta Go” was on signs, shirts and even in songs.

Protest organizer Reverend Gerald Davis, with The United League for Social Action said he won't stop until Glanz is just that.

"I am not surprised the sheriff is not resigned yet because he's going by the playbook. Deny, deny and lie. Throw out people to fall on the sword," Davis said.

The United League for Social Action sent a letter to Glanz, asking for more transparency and accountability in the sheriff's office, mandatory racial training - including bias training and trauma care training - a Department of Justice investigation into the shooting death of Eric Harris and the sheriff's resignation.

"He has only one place to go, outside the door, a wave to the courthouse," said Davis.

The petition for a grand jury investigation of the sheriff was passed around at the protest.

A Tulsa County judge has approved the petition, but 5,000 signatures of Tulsa County residents are needed within 45 days.

Reverend Geoffrey Brewster lent his name to the cause.

"It's become very evident that there is mismanagement at the sheriff's office and it needs to stop from the top," he said.

Protesters aren't just criticizing what they call corruption in the sheriff's office, but also over-policing and racial discrimination.

Mana Tahaie with The United League for Social Action said, "Black lives matter. All lives matter. And we can't stand by while law enforcement behaves without any sort of check on their system."

Undersheriff Tim Albin resigned last month and Major Tom Huckeby will retire July 31st.

Friday, a spokesperson for Glanz said the sheriff plans to continue to serve the citizens of Tulsa with "the respect he's always shown them" until his term ends in 2017.