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Greg Robinson (left) addresses large crowd on Brookside at #WeCantBreathe protest on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Dr. Tiffany Crutcher (right) lost her twin brother Terence Crutcher to police brutality in 2016. Betty Shelby, the officer who killed Terence, is employed in Rogers County.
Published 06/01/2020 | Reading Time 2 min 4 sec
By BWSTimes Staff
TULSA, Okla. — On Saturday, thousands of Tulsans gathered peacefully across the city calling for change. Their one request was that Mayor Bynum agree to a meeting with the same community members who have been calling, fighting and working for change for years. Instead of meeting that simple request, Bynum chose to inaccurately call the peaceful protest an “act of intimidation”.
Both Saturday and Sunday’s, non-violent protestors calling for change had their lives jeopardized when vehicles were weaponized against them on the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. A truck drove through a diverse crowd of people on I-244 near Greenwood. This horrendous moment left people injured and hospitalized.
Tulsans, especially Black Tulsans, are tired. They are angry. They are scared. And they are simply calling for better — for a chance at true collaboration with their leaders. Nevertheless, that call is going unheard.
The group that organized the #WeCantBreathe protest Saturday was not the group that organized Sunday’s protest.
They do not condone any acts of violence that took place on Sunday from outside instigators who are not a part of the community or the fight for Black lives. However, it is abundantly clear that righteous anger is not subsiding and that Mayor Bynum has a responsibility and an opportunity to lead Tulsa through this trying time by coming alongside the community that is simply asking for him to listen.
At Monday’s press conference, leaders will again call for a meeting with the Mayor to address for the following demands:
Initiate the police oversight he promised with the implementation of a strong OIM modeled after Denver
Settle the cases against the city for the families of Terence Crutcher, Joshua Barre and Joshua Harvey families
Initiate a greater investment in mental health training and supports in TPD practices through a decreased investment in efforts utilizing force.
Immediately end the city’s contract with LIVE PD
Community organizers believe it is time for city leaders to come alongside the people, who — through their hurt — are continuing a diligent and united call for reform, change and something better.