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Two Tulsa police officers were arrested Tuesday after charges were filed for their alleged concealment of a gang shooting that took place last year.
Lieutenant Marcus Harper and Officer Ananias Carson both face one count of accessory to a felony after the fact in relation to an August 2020 shooting investigation.
The investigation is related to former Tulsa Police officer Latoya Dythe, who pleaded guilty and was convicted in federal court in April of this year for illegally buying a gun for her boyfriend, who was later accused in a felony crime.
Affidavit describes charges
According to a TPD affidavit, former officer Dythe called officers Harper and Carson and asked them to come to her residence after the gang shootout took place. The shootout allegedly involved the little brother, Jonathan Jones, of Dythe’s boyfriend. Jones was driving Dythe’s vehicle and a shooting took place leaving bullet holes in Dythe’s vehicle.
Ms. Dythe said both Officer Carson and Lt. Harper entered her car and spent time inside the vehicle, the affidavit said. Ms. Dythe told investigating officers that she did not observe Officer Carson or Lt. Harper remove anything from inside her vehicle.
After Officer Carson and Lt. Harper left Dythe’s residence, patrol officers arrived about three hours later to investigate the shooting.
“At no point did former Officer Dythe tell the patrol officers that Carson or Harper were at the scene prior.”
According to the affidavit, Carson and Harper were made aware of the shooting that had taken place, as well as the gun used in the shooting being present.
Two days after the shooting, Lt. Harper submitted an Interoffice Correspondence regarding his contact with Ms. Dythe at her apartment.
“Lt. Harper advised he observed two bullet strikes in the roof of former Officer Dythe’s car. Lt. Harper stated former Officer Dythe had told him a friend of her boyfriend was driving the car when it happened and she did not know what to do in this situation.”
During the investigation in April, Dythe’s boyfriend was interviewed about Carson and Harper’s involvement the night of the shooting.
Police Chief speaks out
“Mr. Jones advised he told Officer Carson and Lt. Harper that the guns used in the shooting were in the room with them at the time, and about their involvement. Mr. Jones stated that Lt. Harper told Jonathan Jones that he needed to get rid of the weapons that were used in the shooting and to leave Tulsa.”
“Lt. Harper also told Mr. Jones, Jonathan Jones, and Ms. Dythe not to tell anyone they (Carson and Harper) had been at the apartment. Mr. Jones stated Officer Carson and Lt. Harper were aware that other police officers were on the way to Ms. Dythe’s apartment and both wanted to be gone before they arrived.”
Officer Carson and Lt. Harper were placed on paid leave for about a year since the shooting, but have since been put on unpaid leave following the charges and arrests. Lt. Harper bonded out of the Tulsa County Jail on Tuesday.
“The public has a right to trust law enforcement,” Police Chief Wendell Franklin said during a press conference. “The men and women of this Police Department also have the right to be able to trust the integrity of the officer standing next to them as they deal with an ever-difficult job on a daily basis.”