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FACT CHECK: The Tulsa Police Department Did Not Endorse GT Bynum

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Mayor Bynum playing politics.


Published 08/17/2020 | Reading Time 1 min 26 sec 

By BWSTimes Staff 

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Police Department and the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police are two separate institutions. One is the law enforcement arm of the city and the other is a special interest group that represents a fraction of the police force.  

On Monday, August 17, 2020, Mayor GT Bynum — who is running for reelection for the City of Tulsa — made an ambiguous Facebook post purporting the Tulsa Police endorse him for reelection.

In the post, Bynum writes, “The most important job of the city government is to protect Tulsans. I am proud to stand with our public safety heroes, and am honored to be endorsed for re-election as Mayor of Tulsa by our Police and Firefighters!” 

This simply is inaccurate and quick frankly, unethical. 

The Tulsa Police Department nor the Tulsa Fire Department have endorsed Mayor G.T. Bynum, and we’ve made the corrections for the Mayor. 

A city’s civic institution that is supported by voters who pay taxes cannot endorse a political candidate for office. A union, however, does reserve the right to make political endorsements. Hence, the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police’s endorsed Mayor GT Bynum and not the Tulsa Police Department.

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The Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police has been the antithesis of empathy toward Black lives since its establishment during the Jim Crow era in 1935. This local FOP has too often been the agent that has been the protector of bad cops and the defender of white supremacist policies. The first chapter of the FOP was established in 1915. Their actions have led to decades of miss trust between the Tulsa Police Department and Tulsa’s Black community.

Mayor Bynum knows this and understands that Black Tulsans have too often felt on the opposite end of the FOP’s political practices. Hence, to Tulsa’s Black community, an endorsement from the FOP can be seen as a betrayal to Black Tulsans.

Moreover, the local FOP has a history of klan activity as multiple members have been directly linked to what many Black Americans see as a terrorist organization. Below are clips from the Tulsa Klu Klux Klan roster from 1928. 

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A photo of a 1928 Tulsa Klu Klux Klan roster lists the Chief of Police Captin Rees D. Moran. Moran became the Chief of Police a year after the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. 

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J.E. Lindsey was a registered klan member who worked for the Tulsa Police Department. 

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G.D. Martin was a registered klan member who worked for the Tulsa Police Department.

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E.H. King was a registered klan member who worked at the police station and was a Deputy Sheriff.

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M.C. Huff was a registered klan member who worked at the courthouse and was a deputy Sherrif.

The individuals, as well as countless other law enforcement, went on to form Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #93 in1935 in Tulsa, Oklahoma and they took their racist ideologies within them. 

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Mayor G.T. Bynum has proudly been endorsed by Police Lodge #35 and not the Tulsa Police Department, as that would be completely unethical.

Bynum seemingly tried to make his post appear as if the Tulsa Police Department endorsed him by leaving off the word ‘department’. Does he think Tulsans aren’t smart? Some Tulsans spoke against his inappropriate and deceptive actions.

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