Courtesy of the Tulsa World
Editor’s note – this article has been updated for better clarification. 07/19/19
Published 07/17/19 | Reading Time 3 mins 53 secs
Editorial | By Nehemiah D. Frank, Deon Osborne, and Cormell Padillow
TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa’s Chief of Police, Chuck Jordan, denounced the city’s major police union as not being reflective of most Tulsa police officers in an 11-minute phone call to Nehemiah Frank, founder and Editor in Chief of The Black Wall Street Times on Wednesday, July 15 at 1:35pm.
On the call, Chief Chuck Jordan discredited the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), declaring, “Nobody in the FOP is a good cop.” He said that the average lodge meeting has around 30 members, which is consistent with his October 2017 statement at the 23rd Annual Zarrow Mental Health Symposium at the Cox Business Center, where he was quoted saying, “The average lodge meeting has 25 people, maybe, to 30.” Other Tulsa Police Officers have confirmed the same, that Tulsa FOP meetings at lodge 93 aren’t very packed and that most of the members are former and retired TPD officers.
Chief Jordan further added how he disapproved of the FOP’s political actions and distasteful gathering at the John Hope Franklin Park of Reconciliation prior to the jury’s verdict during the Betty Shelby trial.
Chief Jordan also told The Black Wall Street Times that the FOP isn’t currently seeking an opponent to run against Mayor GT Bynum, seemingly discrediting the Mayor’s concerns from last week’s city council meeting where the Mayor is quoted saying, “There are people actively seeking opponents against me because I won’t back off the Office of Independent Monitor (OIM).”
Moreover, according to the TulsaWorld, the FOP thanked the Mayor saying, “Mayor Bynum spoke up on behalf of our members…We appreciate the mayor’s accurate description of what occurred during a ride-along with the Special Investigations Division (SIC). The SID team works under dangerous circumstances to get illegal guns off the street and prevent future homicides in Tulsa...Although we don’t always see eye-to-eye with Mayor Bynum, we are happy he was there and able to present the facts. We hope the public takes notice.”
Either way, there is pressure he must address coming from the Black community. Since 2017, many social justice organizations and activists believed the mayor did not keep his word on solving racial disparities in policing.
Mayor Bynum has been seemingly playing a game of appeasement to the FOP, prioritizing the small union group over Tulsa’s Black and Brown community members.
Black and Brown Tulsans should not be made to feel like pawns in Tulsa’s political arena.
The FOP has been caught making a racially insensitive Facebook post.
The FOP’s voice is frequent and given disproportionate credence on the subject of racial disparities in policing. They are not voted into power by the people of Tulsa. They are an entity that represents few Tulsans, yet they have a direct line to our mayor.
In January, the FOP sent a letter threatening a lawsuit against GT Bynum because they wanted negotiation powers in the OIM. In the letter, FOP attorney James Moore indicated that “implementing any changes to policing policy, including the creation of the OIM, must first be brought to the FOP as a part of their forthcoming bargaining agreement.”
The FOP has actively, and apparently successfully, worked to bully Mayor Bynum. Although it seems they also have a close relationship.
Mr. Lindsey, former president of the FOP, commented on the letter going public. He stated the letter sent to the Mayor’s office “was not meant for the general public.” Furthermore, “he and the [police/FOP] union look forward to engaging in dialogue and bargaining with Bynum as we have countless other times, as is required by law.” The FOP has a lot of power that it is undeservingly throwing around.
According to Chief Jordan in 2017, “The union is not representative of our police department.”
The FOP’s views are not representative of the Tulsa Police Department (TPD); they have bullied and coerced Mayor Bynum. TPD has made no formal commentary regarding the Mayor’s statement’s last week nor regarding the FOP’s response. Notably, TPD has yet to ever release a formal statement in agreement or disagreement with the FOP’s statements.
Editor’s Note – Article updated for more clarity.