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By Nehemiah D. Frank
225 days have passed since former Tulsa Police Officer (TPD) Betty Shelby got away with murder. And today marks 387 days since G.T. Bynum assumed the role as Mayor of Tulsa.
At the 2017 Zarrow Mental Health Symposium, Mayor G.T. Bynum told attendees that most of the 77 recommendations form the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing he created would be implemented by year’s end.
Unfortunately, time is running out on the community policing dashboard. Purportedly, only 51-percent of the 77 recommendations for community policing is implemented, and 49-percent is ambiguously in the works of being implemented.
The possibility of gaining trust between Tulsa’s African-American community and TPD grows dimmer as the months pass and as the community tirelessly awaits real-change in how Tulsa police officers conduct themselves in the dealings with an ever-growing diverse city — which isn’t good for Mayor G.T. considering he received more than 85-percent of the African-American vote during the election.
Sadly, circling rumors unveiling that one of three few African-American police recruits — hired earlier this year — was treated unfairly and wrongfully terminated; further, another African-American, police officer now has restricted responsibilities. Both recruits – coming from the North Tulsa community.
The recent and disheartening information concerning diversity in TPD leaves north Tulsans heated, speculating the two, last incidents in TPD speaks to the prevalence of racism that continues to exists within the Tulsa Police Department between black and white officers.
Notwithstanding, the Open Records Request filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund further proves that the community is seeking, outside assistance as a result of the harsh and sometimes deadly treatment African-Americans receive from TPD.
Evidently, TPD’s and the Mayor’s response is too slow for the north Tulsa community. Hence, the North Tulsa Town Hall meeting taking place at the North Tulsa 36th Street North Event Center on Thursday, December 28, 2017. The event focuses on police reform, self-worth, and citizen rights.
The Terence Crutcher Foundation encourages members from the community to join the discussion in citizens rights and self-worth and to record their personal stories of police brutality so the ‘People’ can adequately document them.
Nehemiah D. Frank is the Founder & Editor in Chief of the Black Wall St. Times. Frank is also the Co-Executive Producer of the “Dominic Durant Sports Show.” Frank graduated from Harold Washington College in Chicago, IL in General Studies, and earned a 2nd degree in Political Science from Oklahoma State University. He is highly involved in community activism, a middle school teacher at Sankofa School of the Performing Arts, a blogger for Education Post, and dedicates most of his time to empowering and uplifting his community. Frank is a 2017 Terence Crutcher Foundation Honoree and has been featured on NBC, Blavity, and Tulsa People.