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Jared Lindsey Tulsa FOP Board President
Published 07/19/19 | Reading Time 3 mins 54 secs
Analysis | By Nehemiah D. Frank
The first Fraternal Order of Police lodge, lodge 93, was established west of the Mississippi in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1937, 16 years after the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The culture of governmental and non-governmental institutions across the nation, particularly in the south, was that of anti-blackness.
Black police officers employed in the Tulsa Police Department were likely not lodge-members until after the sunset of the Jim Crow Era. If lodge-members invited black police officers to the table, those black police officers more than likely were never in a position to produce positive change for their community — which is why the Tulsa Black Officers Coalition exists in the City of Tulsa.
The origin of their anti-other excluding mentality, although slowly dissolving, through the years, but not entirely eradicated, traveled down through the decades into today.
Since the establishment of Tulsa Police Lodge 93, there has yet to be a person of color nor female to serve as president of the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police (Tulsa FOP), nor as president of the Tulsa FOP Board of Directors. Both full-time positions are paid for by the City of Tulsa on the taxpayer’s dime.
The nature of marginalized communities who often suffer disproportionately from negative encounters with the police who are represented by police unions such as the Tulsa FOP creates a paradox that they can’t escape.
Those taxes employ and ensure that Jared Lindsey, the current chairman of the Tulsa FOP Board of Directors, has the City of Tulsa’s financial support to influence, aggravate, and even manipulate the policies that affect the lives of those disproportionately and adversely affected by police brutality.
A portion of the marginalized group’s tax-dollars is paradoxically allocated to oppress them by way of Lindsey’s right-winged lobbying efforts at the Oklahoma State capital and his local conservative political recruitment attempts to find Republican candidates, who support ineffective policing policies and political positions that adversely affect Tulsa’s African American community, to run against those who are seemingly anti-toxic policies that harm the general public.
Lindsey’s personal, political attitudes are, therefore, seemingly against all efforts that would aid in the eradication of racial disparities in officers use-of-force within the Tulsa Police Department.
He moves as a biased politician, a sorer of division and makes bridging relationships and community trust between officers and people of color difficult.
The complexity of Jared Lindsey’s position aids in the stagnation of community policing efforts in the City of Tulsa and harms the process in bridging trust between the Tulsa Police Department (TPD) and the community; whereby the TPD is, also, a part of the community and neither party should be treated as ‘other’ as Jared Lindsey often tries to do to boost FOP support from the political right.
Lindsay rarely considers the perspectives of African Americans living in Tulsa and how his irresponsible actions make them feel as constant outliers in the very city, where they pay taxes and 98-years after the Race Massacre and 55 years after the passing of the Civil Rights Act.
Unhappy with our published article of Chief Chuck Jordan’s statement, where he is quoted saying, “Nobody in the FOP is a good cop,” in a phone call, Jared Lindsey emailed me for a meeting.
Jared Lindsey: “I would like to know if Chief Jordan, actually, said those things, ahh, because he’s saying that he didn’t say those things and those are taken out of context. And I have that in writing, and I can show it to you.”
Paying attention to precisely what a person says is crucial in interpreting their intentions. During my conversation with Lindsey, he stated, “He didn’t say those things, and those are taken out of context,” which raised a red flag. Because if the Chief didn’t say those things, it’s impossible for them to be out of context.
Jared Lindsey: “I would assume every interview I’ve ever done has been tape-recorded, and I would expect that you guys take that same precaution. Is there is any way that I can hear what he said so that I know that when I go have these conversations with him, I know that ‘This is what you said [refering to Chief Chuck Jordan], own it or retract it’.”
Lindsey’s phrasing of the words “own or retract” particularly stuck out because it places the Tulsa FOP board president in a position of authority over the Tulsa police chief. This is problematic because it underscores the immense amount of power the FOP president seemingly has over Tulsa’s police officers and their chief, all while getting paid at the taxpayer’s expense and representing a union.
Jared Lindsey: “Can I hear that in exchange for — I’ll show you what he’s put in writing? If I can hear that than I can show you what he said.”
Lindsey’s particular choice of the word “exchange” gave me pause and made me think of a corrupt politician.
I asked Mr. Lindsey if I could see the Chief’s written statements.
Jared Lindsey: “Well, sure, I guess. But, I would like to hear that to see if these are false.”
Immediately after this particular statement, I instantly thought: What would his strategy be had I told him there wasn’t a recording?
Would he then try to delegitimize The Black Wall Street Times as we are a black-led and ran organization?
I am of the opinion that Lindsey met with me to find a means to discredit our organization because he didn’t like what the Chief said on our phone call and what he has previously stated back in 2017, “And I will tell you again, the union is not representative of our police department,” — Chief Chuck Jordan.
Lindsey’s attempt and strategy are one I am all too familiar with. His approach is from the assumption that African American narratives are often false and must be proven with mountains of non-black evidence as if our statements are questionable by the very nature of our blackness.
White systems of oppression have historically used racialized stigma as a means to discredit and delegitimize black experiences.
Hence why Black activist and their allies pushed for the use of body cameras because our black voices weren’t legitimate enough.
I, therefore, took offense to his assumptions that we, as Black journalist, don’t have journalistic integrity at The Black Wall Street Times.
The last question I asked Mr. Lidsey was, “Is this about politics?”
He responded after a long pause, “I don’t know?”
If Lindsey thinks Chief Jordan’s leadership is questionable, perhaps the leadership style he should be questioning is his own because Tulsa is focused on coming together not growing apart.
Nehemiah D. Frank is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Black Wall Street Times, an educator, TEDx alum, blogger for EdPost, and Community Advisory Board Member for the Tulsa World.