Opinion

City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper supports good cops, not crooked ones.

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City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper supports good cops, not crooked ones. Why? Becuase her husband is a cop and she would never put his life in danger because she loves him. 


City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper is a public servant, representing District 1 for the City of Tulsa and a proud, active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is a Tulsa Native who graduated from Thomas Edison High School in 1989 and graduated from Jackson State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1993. Hall-Harper earned her Masters of Science Management from Southern Nazarene University-Tulsa in 2013 and completed the Leadership North Tulsa Development Council program. Hence, she can only be described as a highly intelligent and educated woman, whose sole objective is to leave a positive impact on her community and city. 


By Founder and Executive Editor Nehemiah Frank 

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Harper  

Tulsa, Okla. — In north Tulsa, the Harpers’ are known for their generosity. Mrs. Harper serves as District 1 Councilor for the City of Tulsa and for the Tulsa Health Department. Her husband, Marcus Harper, is a Sergeant for the Tulsa Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit. 

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The dynamic duo is the type of African-American power couple you see in the movies. In addition to their ambitiousness and stalwartness, as professionals and as a couple, their ability to rub elbows with the everyday man and woman is indeed genuine and authentic. 

In the past, they have led neighborhood cleanups and community cookouts before she became the District 1 Councilor and they will host them following her, what the community is hoping will be, years of service.

Last summer children from the city library’s Summer Reading Program enjoyed an afternoon cooling off in the Harpers’ personal-residential pool an for the those who completed their reading program, well they got a chance to toss a pie in her face. 

20690472_10212046871199349_4891878143248027461_oIn fall of 2017, when Vanessa asked her constituents to speak-up regarding the proliferation of discount-box stores in their community of North Tulsa, citizens from her district, as well as others (of every color and creed), showed up in droves for the councilwoman. Hence, Hall-Harper is a District 1 favorite and has lots of support from across the city. She is best-loved for her transparency, activism, and no-nonsense politics. Her spirit carries the type of political astuteness that mirrors the perspicacious deeds of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a kind of leadership that hasn’t been seen since Oklahoma Civil Right’s Activist and teacher, Clara Shepard Luper. 

Death of Terence Crutcher and Questionable Evidence During Betty Shelby Trial 

On the onset of the Betty Shelby Trial’s outcome, Vanessa Hall-Harper remained on the side of justice. She, like so many other Americans, witnessed another unarmed, African-American male’s murder at the hands of a police officer on live, national television. However, this unfortunate occurrence took place in her community of Tulsa, Okla. 

What’s worse, the man murdered was her coworker’s cousin and her sorority sister’s twin brother, Terence Crutcher; and like Dr. Tiffany Crutcher was Terence’s twin, Vanessa also has a twin brother.

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Photo credit| PhototType: Justin Tyson 

Hall-Harper attended the Betty Shelby trial to support her coworker/friend and her sorority sister hoping for a positive outcome; needless to say, from the communities standpoint and from a large majority of the American perspective, justice was not served. Even President Donald Trump said that Betty was in the wrong. 

During the trial, questionable evidence had been presented to the jury. The lingering discourse of race pervaded the atmosphere throughout the courtroom but was hardly mentioned, but on the outside-looking-in, race permeated every social media platform, national airway, and dining room conversations across the country. 

African Americans and allies, against social injustice, inquired as to why Betty Shelby was granted the opportunity to walk Homicide Sgt. David Walker through an overdramatic, and quite frankly, theatrical 40-minute interview, by which Walker knew would present well to the media and jury.

18527130_2095660340449615_3753738626154244800_oThe Betty Shelby video showed a traumatized, middle-aged seemingly fragile and delicate white-female police officer, who carried a deadly weapon, and somehow became the victim of Terence Crutcher when in fact Terence became the murdered victim of the one who pulled the trigger — Betty Shelby.

Spectators questioned, had she been coached? Did Sgt. Walker coach Betty Shelby before they went on camera? Is their surveillance in the Gilcrease Division Headquarters that could reveal the time-lapse of their movements before she did the interview with him? 

img_7504Furthermore, attendees of the trial believed the window had been tampered with, as it presented lower in the courtroom than it did in the video. Moreover, items in some of the pictures were present, yet in other pictures, items had been rearranged or not in the pictures at all. A video steal-shot showed a falling Terence Crutcher, whose forearm apparently, but barely slipped into the window — because it was so high — this after Betty fired two bullets into his right side piercing his lungs. Terence literally drowned in his own blood. 

Laying on the dashboard near the window was Terence Crutcher’s wallet. 

Perchance he tried reaching for his wallet to present his identification to Betty in hopes of alleviating his distress. However, Officer Shelby never gave him that chance. 

Lastly, it was revealed and presented by a medical examiner in court that Terence was hearing and visually impaired in his right ear and eye. And with the helicopter flying overhead it would have made it extremely difficult for Terence to hear from his left ear and see Betty with his right eye.

Vanessa like so many others found it strange when Betty Shelby was acquitted of all charges for the death of Terence Crutcher. No weapon had been found in Terence’s vehicle. Mrs. Hall-Harper witnessed her friends and community’s spirit break the day Betty Shelby got away with murder.  

Crooked Ass Cops, the FOP, and Political Adversaries  

Two and a half seasons have passed since the trial of Betty Shelby, and a full year and a half has passed since Terence’s death. Now, “has-been” politicians are trying to politicize on the emotional-wounds of a broken family and shattered community, with the apparent objective of tearing down the current City Councilor so they can pursue their personal aspirations of becoming District 1 City Councilor. 

Rather than work with the current city councilor on improving the conditions for north Tulsa constituents, they would rather attacker her – a black woman – a black woman who was recently attacked by the Fraternal Order of Police and Roger’s County Sheriff – the county that hired Betty Shelby. These “has-been” and newcomers were nowhere to be found during the marches or protest against the killing of unarmed black men in their, own, community, they weren’t at the Betty Shelby trial nor the Terence Crutcher Foundation Gala launch, we haven’t seen them at school-board meetings for the pandemic of failing schools sweeping the district – where Black kids are at the bottom, nor the launch of the new community school-Greenwood Leaders Academy, etc. 

How This Got Blown Out of Proportion 

1st – Joe Williams former city councilor for District 1 seemingly presented the bait in the form of a Facebook post, when he could have called the city councilor directly to inquire about an accusation. Vanessa was simply responding to a Facebook post; however, that information was false, so she responded, but somehow nearly a month later the focal point of the conversation became a phrase  she used describing a section of the TPD as “crooked ass cops.” Vanessa merely responded to what she, and so many other people, had witnessed during the Betty Shelby trial, which was a possible cover-up.

2nd – The Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) screenshot Vanessa’s Facebook response to Joe Williams post and the FOP made a disturbing video of it criticizing Vanessa’s phrases and using it as a means of professional agitation as to rally support for questionable police officers and a gimmick to get new recruits to join the FOP.  

3rd – After the FOP video surfaced at a Terence Crutcher Foundation Event, Sheriff Scott Walton from Roger’s County wrote a damaging rebuke that may have put the councilwoman’s life and family in danger.

4th – Jerry Goodwin even criticized Vanessa Hall-Harper stating that she shouldn’t use such language to describe TPD and has recently met with the FOP. We’re not sure what their conversation entailed. However, we will let you know if he chooses to be transparent with us. Jerry Goodwin is planning to run against Vanessa Hall-Harper for the District 1 City Councilor seat later this year. 

The Strategic Sheriff Scott Walton 

Roger County’s Sheriff Scott Walton understands the full-dominance of his white-male privilege and is willing to use it when it comes to his benefit.

Sheriff Walton’s unscrupulous critiques evidently weren’t meant to appease the ears and hearts of black Oklahomans nor its indigenous tribes.

What the Sheriff doesn’t want to admit is that African-Americans and the indigenous people have consistently been the victims of such police and county sheriff scandals since this nation’s beginnings. He is afraid to look himself in the mirror and ask the simple question, are we [the institution crafted by the hands of our forefathers, the system meant to keep whites in a position of supremacy, power, and privilage] the problem?

Walton’s inflammatory remarks are purposefully meant to spark and ignite rage into the same base that elected Trump to the White House.

How could a Facebook post cause so much commotion?

How could a simple phrase “Crooked a$$ cops” invoke so much rage that Sheriff Scott Walton felt the need to take to the pin and write a letter of disapproval — simultaneously and metaphorically pouring gas on a fire that had gone out nearly a month ago.

This isn’t the first time Sheriff Scott Walton has used his platform for political gain. 

We know you’re apart of the good ole boys club, and therefore thoroughly enjoy practicing your antiquated and rather militaristic policing/sheriff tactics as to keep alive your sinful legacy.

Let me be clear! We don’t hate cops; we just dislike bad ones. And history has revealed that there, in fact, are crooked a$$ cops everywhere.

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The Roger’s County Sheriff has had a history using his platform against the Crutcher Family and citizens from District 1. 

Rogers County Sheriff Publicly Gives Opinion Before Trial: Institutional Racism at Work, We Want to Hear From You

Rogers County Sheriff Publicly Gives Opinion Before Trial: Institutional Racism at Work, We Want to Hear From You

Who’s On Trial, Terence Crutcher or Betty Shelby? 


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Nehemiah D. Frank is the Founder 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 his second 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 protecting, empowering, and uplifting his community. Frank is a 2017 Terence Crutcher Foundation Honoree and has been featured on NBC, Blavity, and Tulsa People.

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