After Controversial Clip, Mayor Announces Termination Of ‘Live PD’ Contract

Monday, February 13th 2017, 7:49 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The Tulsa Police Department is cutting ties with a reality show that follows gang officers out on patrol.

The announcement comes after a video posted online shows an encounter with a man who said he's being wrongly accused of gang ties. The police department didn't say anything about canceling the contract until after the controversial clip got some attention.

It took the clip on Facebook to draw out news that Tulsa was backing out of a reality show featuring the gang squad.

The cable show 'Live PD' has been in Tulsa police cars for several months, relaying almost-live action of what they do.

At times, it's captured textbook moments - like the arrest of a man with a gun when no one was hurt.

But, the focus on gangs and north Tulsa wasn't always welcome.

“We've always been against that because, what you're doing, you're exploiting citizens,” said Marq Lewis with We The People Oklahoma.

A clip from last week shows a black man claiming he's being racially profiled by a TPD officer - accused of being in a gang because he's wearing blue.

The clip got sympathetic attention online, renewing complaints TPD targets minorities.

Lewis said, “It's something we hear every day that happens in marginalized communities.”

The Frontier: Police chief: Decision made more than a month ago not to renew contract with controversial TV show

Mayor G.T. Bynum and Police Chief Chuck Jordan both turned down our requests for interviews, but, Jordan told our partner, The Frontier, "We vetted it as best we could. It was a new concept. It was something we were interested in. We just didn't like the way it represented Tulsa and the police department."

In December, Bynum was along with police and the Live PD cameras at a car crash.

Now, he said he's not a fan of the show and it was his online post that revealed TPD was backing out of the show.

2/13/2017 Related Story: Tulsa Mayor: Police Department Terminates Contract For 'Live PD'

Meanwhile, the man in the video is getting some praise.

“I commend that person for actually standing up,” Lewis said. “That's something we teach citizens. He felt it was his right to not be profiled, to not to be racially profiled.”

Tulsa police homicide officers have cameras from another show following them, but it is not live and has not attracted the same controversy.