Black Tulsa Officer Sues, Says He Was Forced To Attend MLK Parade

Wednesday, July 27th 2011, 7:37 pm
By: News On 6

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Tulsa police captain is suing his major, the police chief and the City of Tulsa, saying he was ordered to attend the Martin Luther King, Jr. parade because he's black.

Captain Walter Busby has been on the department for about 30 years. He says the department violated his civil rights.

Busby says he was ordered by Major Walter Evans to attend the Martin Luther King, Jr. parade last year, even though he didn't want to. Busby says he felt his participation would make it look like he agrees with how the department treats African American citizens, but he does not. 

The suit says Major Evans said it was embarrassing that so few African American officers participate in department-sponsored events such as the annual awards banquet, the Memorial service and the MLK parade.

It claims Major Evans told Busby, "The fact that we both share the same race as Dr. King and that the parade is held in the African American community is consequential."

Captain Busby says he asked for the day off, but Major Evans refused, so Busby attended the parade as ordered - under protest.

Captain Busby says after he filed a complaint with the City's human relations department, he was assigned an undesirable shift and given his worst job evaluation ever.

This is not the first time Captain Busby has sued the department. He was instrumental in the Black Officers Coalition lawsuit that turned into a consent decree and Department of Justice oversight for the department a decade ago.