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.
Oklahoma City – Today Oklahoma State Conference National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) calls for a meeting with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Commissioner concerning the treatment of Dr. Reverend Eric Gill, Youth Minister at Metropolitan Baptist Church, and former Basketball Coach at Heritage Hall School. Dr. Gill is approximately 5’6”, 170lbs and physically not seen as an immediate threat to anyone.
When did putting your hands up – a universal sign of surrender – become a message of “having drugs?” This is a prime example of Betty Shelby’s irrational behavior when she killed Terence Crutcher. According to the Tulsa Police officers, they stated that he looked like a “Big Black BAD DUDE.” With his hands in the air, according to Betty Shelby, Mr. Crutcher was reaching for a gun, and no one thought to question whether his hands being next to the car window was simply a reflection. “It is evident why so many law enforcement officers are acquitted when encountering African-Americans who they say are a big bad black dude no matter their height or weight.” Said Anthony R. Douglas, President Oklahoma State NAACP.
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.
Dear, Sheriff Scott Walton, of Roger’s County Oklahoma,
Am I sure you have heard of Robert Edward Lee? I am for certain!
And it is self-evident, Oklahomans believe Lee is such a great and esteemed personage that they dedicated a school to honor his life, right, in the heart of the city of Tulsa on September 16, 1918.
I am confident that you are well aware that Lee wasn’t a patriot of the United States of America but was, in fact, a traitor, a Benedict Arnold. He was a self-proclaimed rebel who committed the worst crime against his, own, nation and who now represents a shameful and disgraceful past to the very breath of the soul for what our living U.S. Constitution is founded upon – Freedom, Liberty, and Justice for all.
You see, Lee was born one-hundred years before Oklahoma’s territory became a state. At this time, our country was young and filled with immoral, immature, and inconsistent ideologies. During this era, racism and white supremacy pervaded and reverberated in the very heartbeat of our democracy.
Then, when God’s enlightenment began to resonate out of the voices of abolitionist, echoes of reason and logic became the light and liberty of this Union.
However, rejecting the light as Satan did himself, Robert and his white, predominately male, demon-ridden thugs decided to remain in the darkness.
As Chief Chuck Jordan has continued to lack discernment, good judgment, or acknowledgment of a culture of violence of which he is the leader.
“They tackled me over a huge oil tank & continued to choke me out until I collapsed.”