Community Gathers For Prayer Vigil In Solidarity With Tulsa Police Officers

Wednesday, July 1st 2020, 9:31 pm
By: Erick Payne

TULSA, Okla. -

Hundreds of people gathered to pray Wednesday night as a show of support and solidarity for Tulsa Police and the families of the two officers.

The Thin Blue Brotherhood Foundation said they originally planned this rally to celebrate law enforcement.

The gathering took a much more somber tone after Sgt. Johnson and Officer Zarkeshan were shot earlier this week.

The area in front of the BOK Center was packed Wednesday night, some people were even in tears as they shared personal stories about the two officers.

Officers and deputies from several departments joined the crowd as the community prayed for the two officers who were shot, their families and all law enforcement officers.

One speaker said, "These guys have sworn an oath to do these things for us, and we owe them the respect and we need to support the officers for doing the hard work they need to do"

The Thin Blue Brotherhood Foundation says they want to show law enforcement that Tulsans support the men and women in blue.

Sergeant Craig Johnson died from his injuries. Officer Aurash Zarkeshan is still in the hospital, in critical condition.

Another member of the crowd said, "Jesus please protect our police officers in our city, please wrap them in love"

Tulsa Police officers like Darrell Ross shared personal stories of Sgt. Johnson.

"He was a good man, he was a family man, he was an honest man. He taught me that some days you have to be stern, you have to be tough, and some days you have to understand, you have to listen and learn and pray,” said Ross.

Others spoke about Officer Zarkeshan.

"That's something that my friend Officer Zarkeshan and I have in common. He's not from here, he dropped everything to move here and serve the citizens of this city," an officer said.

Many are stressing the importance of uniting and showing all law enforcement officers support during such trying times.

"They cannot serve us if we do not support them," one crowd member said.

Tulsa police say Sergeant Johnson's funeral will be at 1 p.m. Thursday July 9 at Victory Christian Church.

The funeral will be open to the public, and masks will be provided.