Muskogee Celebrates Peaceful MLK Day Following Officer-Involved Shooting

Monday, January 19th 2015, 9:07 pm
By: News On 6

Martin Luther King Jr. festivities remained peaceful Monday in Muskogee as community leaders pleaded for people not to protest after a deadly officer-involved shooting over the weekend.

Officer Chansey McMillan had been with the department for almost three years when he shot and killed 21-year-old Terence Walker Saturday. It is McMillan's second officer-involved shooting in less than a year.

Police say Walker had a gun and had threatened to kill his girlfriend who was attending a wedding ceremony. Video showing the moments after the shooting has been posted on social media.

Police say Walker ran away from them when he was being checked for weapons in the church parking lot. The cell phone video shows other Muskogee officers responding after McMillen shot and killed Walker. Police say the officer was checking Walker for weapons when he ran from the officer.

The officer then says he saw the man reach for an item that had fallen to the ground. They say after Walker picked up the item, he turned around with it, and that's when the officer fired his gun.

1/19/2015 Related Story: Muskogee Police Identify Officer Who Shot, Killed Man

Walker died at the scene. Police say they recovered a loaded gun.

"Can we please go back towards the building and let them handle their job?" one bystander says in the video.

Immediately after the shooting, local leaders worried that Monday's MLK parade might be used as a venue to protest the shooting, so they called for calm along today's parade route. That message resonated with the community.

"What do not need any adversity to shine, but we can show that we are a strong community and we can stand together," said Pastor Michael Webber.

"This is all neighbors, this is what it's all about," said Muskogee resident Bill Honeycutt.

Monday's parade remembering the civil rights leader served as a day to reflect on how the community is unified and standing with local police.

"We need to understand that the police get their job as far as what's concerned, and I think we just need to join together and keep the peace - keep the peace," said Brenda Lee, a parade spectator.

Sergeant Michael Mahan with the Muskogee Police Department says the department is making an effort to stay transparent and share as much information as possible about the investigation.

"We've seen a lot of types of deals like this that have torn communities apart, we're not seeing that here we don't want to see that here," Mahan said.

"You want to let people know that we're going to be very open and honest, and we want to have a chance to be heard and explain exactly what happened," he said.

While the community waits for the OSBI to release its findings, they celebrate the life of a man who dreamed everyone could live together in peace and equality.

"It's a celebration; it's not a conflict of anything - it's just a celebration," said Viola Leffall Thompson, parade goer.

"We're on Martin Luther King St. in Muskogee, Oklahoma - January 19th, 2015 and it's another day," she said. "We've all woke up to another day to move on."

Police say they hope to eventually release the body cam video from the officer who shot Walker. We have learned that McMillen was involved in a shooting in July of last year.

We reported then that McMillen shot a man after police say he stabbed another man, stabbed himself and then came at officers. The Muskogee County District Attorney later ruled McMillen and the other officers were justified in that shooting.