Tulsa Police Captain At The Center Of Two Downtown Demonstrations

Tuesday, August 30th 2011, 11:38 am
By: News On 6

Tara Vreeland, News On 6 and NewsOn6.com

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Two groups are facing off in downtown Tulsa Tuesday morning.

Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry has demonstrators carrying signs that say "Say No To Hate" and ACT for America demonstrators are taking a petition to City Hall supporting Tulsa Police Captain Paul Fields.

Fields was suspended for two weeks in June for refusing to order his officers to attend a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day event at Tulsa's Islamic Center.

6/14/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Police Captain Involved In Mosque Dispute Suspended For Two Weeks

The department said Fields violated two police department policies.

Read Capt. Paul Fields' Personnel Order #11-80

"No Islam would do what he was forced to do if he were asked to do it in a Christian organization," said Carl Knoernschild, ACT for America Supporter.

Fields was suspended without pay for two weeks.

"I see it as an anti-American thing… Islam's are here to take over," Knoernschild said.

Down the street in front of city hall, a silent protest.

"There are peace and justice minded people in Tulsa who don't agree with their discrimination and bigotry," said Mana Tahaie, Director of Racial Justice at the YWCA Tulsa.

The "Say No to Hate" Coalition says they stand in solidarity with their Muslim brothers and sisters.

ACT Director Guy Rodgers took a petition into City Hall with 51,000 signatures calling for the full reinstatement of Captain Fields.

Rodgers says he hasn't directly talked to Fields, but says his attorney told him he appreciates the support.

"It's about respect for the rule of the law. It's about the respects of a law enforcement officer who was given an unlawful order. That's what this is about," said Guy Rodgers, Acting Dir for ACT for America.

At the end of the protest, Say No to Hate swept the sidewalk saying it symbolized cleansing City Hall of hatred towards Islam.

After his suspension in June, Fields was transferred to graveyard shift. He did not have anything to do with organizing either event.

Mayor Dewey Bartlett says the City of Tulsa's legal department will examine the petition. He says the city is currently involved in a lawsuit with Fields and will not comment further.