Muskogee Leaders Stress Solidarity With Police After Officer-Involved Shooting
Sunday, January 18th 2015, 10:16 pm
News On 6
A day after a police officer shot and killed a man outside a wedding in Muskogee, members of the community are standing with police while the investigation continues.
We told you on Saturday that police responded to the Old Agency Baptist Church after reports of an armed man threatening to kill his girlfriend.
Officers said Terence Walker, 21, ran away when he was being patted down for weapons.
Police said Walker dropped something and picked it up, turned toward the officer, so the officer shot and killed Walker. Police also said they recovered a loaded gun at the scene.
The investigation into the shooting is now in the hands of the OSBI.
1/17/2015 Related Story: Man Dead In Muskogee Officer-Involved Shooting
In Muskogee, ahead of Monday's Martin Luther King Day Jr. parade, community leaders are asking for calm in the aftermath of the shooting.
At the MLK Center in Muskogee, leaders are hoping the community doesn't use Monday's parade as a venue to protest the shooting.
In a show of unity, community members are standing with police after an officer shot and killed Walker outside a wedding ceremony.
Immediately following the shooting at the church, community leaders showed solidarity with police and hoped to ease tensions in the community.
"It was really a situation that we wish we could avoid, but we couldn't avoid it,” pastor Michael Webber said. “It has happened, so now we have to stand together in unity and trust that the proper steps, measures are taking place.”
MPD Sgt. Michael Mahan said communities across the country have been torn apart after officer-involved shootings.
Mahan said it is not the case in Muskogee.
"I think as you look around today, you see that an event that has, in so many parts of this country, torn communities apart,” Mahan said. “That indeed today when I look around me, it has brought this community together. Before we came out here, I sat in a room with these gentlemen, and we all prayed together. What we're doing here is coming together."
Youth pastor David Ragsdale agreed: "It's never about being on different sides of the police; that's not what it's about. It's about getting understanding and being on the same page."
Leaders want the MLK parade to be a day of peace, not protest.
"I feel it would be kind of disrespectful to come with picket signs about what happened yesterday, because that was yesterday and the police are handling,” youth pastor Isaiah Sullivan said. “Tomorrow is for Martin Luther King, let's respect that."
Mayor Bob Coburn added, "We're excited for tomorrow. We hate what happened what yesterday. How would we not be in grief over that? But we have to move on to the celebration tomorrow and let the OSBI do the investigation into the facts of what happened.”
Parade line up for starts at 11 a.m. in Muskogee.
The community just broke ground on a $4.5 million MLK Center last week.