Tulsa Police Try To Control Vandalism During Monday Night's Protests

Tuesday, June 2nd 2020, 8:28 pm
By: Reagan Ledbetter

TULSA, Okla. - Tulsa Police officers have been working the front lines to stop vandalism after they said peaceful protests turned violent.

Officers have used pepper balls and tear gas to control vandals in both Brookside and near 71st and Memorial.

Police have repeatedly said, they support peaceful protesting, but when it comes to protecting property and lives, they've had to bring in their specialty units.

Tulsa Police officers carrying shields, batons and pepper ball guns have spent many long hours on the front lines during recent protests.

"We have officers taken out from the detective division, patrol division, and the training division,” said Officer Danny Bean.

After peaceful protests turned unlawful, police deployed both their special response team and special operations team.

These two teams are specially trained how to deal with large crowds and riots.

"If it becomes violent or criminal, we are going to take those actions to protect the property. We are not going to let them get damaged or let criminal activity happen right there in front of us."

The special response team is made up of officers from all over the department.

Police said all officers have the basic training to use pepper ball guns, but SRT officers have advanced training.

"They're out there to protect. To protect citizens and the property. They are protecting the protestors, protesting peacefully,” said Bean.

Officer Bean said when TPD has to call upon Special Response Team members, it pulls them away from their normal duties.

"If we have those officers out of their normal assignment, sometimes we have to keep our manning level to where we need them, we'll have to hire officers that are off duty to come and fill their spots,” said Bean.

Police said the last two nights, the violence started after dark, so they just ask everyone to go home to keep everybody safe.