By Contributor David Harland
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is actively implementing a policy of racial profiling by interpreting a person’s hands being in the air as probable cause for drug searches.
In a traffic stop on January 5, 2018, Rev. Dr. Eric Gill was told to exit his vehicle. When he did, he put his hands in the air as a caution. Immediately, the officer yelled “now, why do you have your hands up, that means you have drugs! Do I need to search the car!?”
Captain Paul Timmons was quoted in defense of this OHP policy, saying “it kind of raises a red flag to law enforcement officers, people get out and instantly throw their hands up.”
But Rev. Dr. Gill didn’t have drugs in his car. Instead, his wife and eleven-month-old child waited and watched as he stepped out of the vehicle.
Tulsa, Okla. — In the birthplace of local activism and mass movements in Tulsa, Our Revolution’s local chapter held its first body-meeting at the Rudisill Regional Library.
Unlike smaller organizations throughout the city, Our Revolution Tulsa is a subset of the national party, which was started by US Sen. Bernie Sanders. The social-democratic, political-action organization’s goals are to revitalize American democracy, empower progressive leaders, and elevate political consciousness to the everyday man and woman in this country.
Citizens are crying out for better policing practices across the city. On Thursday, December 28, 2017, the Terence Crutcher Foundation hosted a community town hall meeting at the 36th Street North Event Center. The evening was filled with speakers advocating for change in policies and police-officer relations with north Tulsa residents. Dr. Tiffany Crutcher was poised, eloquent, and calm whenever she spoke at the town hall. She recounted how she and her family have been treated since her brother, Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by Betty Shelby, and the subsequent trial, and she spoke of community relations with TPD and the goals of the Terence Crutcher Foundation. At the end of the town hall meeting, the audience viewed a video from the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) addressing statements that District One’s city councilor, Vanessa Hall-Harper made against TPD and Betty Shelby. Hall-Harper claimed that the FOP participates in a culture of corruption, and she refused to back down whenever she was questioned about her comments. The FOP member in the video stated that he did not understand why Mrs. Hall-Harper holds those beliefs, and that is one of the biggest problems dividing the police and the FOP from the community.
When you talk about transforming a narrative and changing a narrative, that is not something that you get to say and then just watch happen. It is a day by day, decisions by decision battle that you have to have internally with yourself, you have to have with the students in your classroom, and you have to have with the families that are bringing these students into our building every day.
In the DA’s closing argument of the second trial, Steven Kunzweiler began with a 5-minute tribute of the defendant, Shannon Kepler, praising his 24 years of service. Truly, it sounded like the DA was reading from the closing argument of the defense. These are the words of the prosecution – spoke to the jury – just prior to deliberations? You have to wonder, where is his heart?
A thunderous boo during the National Anthem at Cowboy stadium in Arlington, TX reminded us of the Colosseum. 80% of the players are black and the majority of the crowed white demanding the players just play football and publicly disapproving their first amendment rights.
With ‘race’ being an inescapable factor in the conversation of justice in America, it is irresponsible to omit the racial demographics of those incarcerated. On the Department of Corrections website, there is no place where you can see the total numbers of incarcerated individuals by their race, despite this information being available on each individual’s profile, along with height, weight, hair color, and eye color.
It is on us, as individuals, as communities, and as a country, to determine whether our brilliant black and brown children will be forced to continue to walk in the shadow of their oppressors; in the shadow of white supremacy.
Most people don’t know that Tate Brady was present during the massacre of 1921…Tate Brady was also a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the General Secretary of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, was also a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. As we see, the history runs deep in this city and truth should be told.
Actually, no but I knew deep down with the Centennial of the (1921 Tulsa/Greenwood Massacre) coming soon, that something would take place. How can we reach 100 years of the massacre and Tulsa still honors Tate Brady?