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Chief Says Comment was "Taken Out of Context"

Brad Gibson/KWGS
Police Chief Jordan talks to reporters

A comment made by Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan in a Tulsa World article is drawing the ire of some North Tulsa leaders. The article dealt with Blacks being arrested more than people of other races. In the story, Chief Jordan was quoted

“I suspect we have a socioeconomic factor as far as arrests. I think you have a portion of the community that is somewhat disenfranchised, and a portion of the community that is not at the same economic level. “I think history has proven that we’re going to have more crime problems from that community. I think that’s a societal problem that I absolutely think we need to fix. I’m a firm believer that if we are able to level the playing field economically, a lot of this other stuff is going to go away.”

We the People Oklahoma leader Marq Lewis feels that is offensive. Lewis believes Blacks are targeted by police and thus more arrests. He doesn't feel the crime rate is high. Lewis wants the  Chief to issue an apology.

Today, Chief Jordan released the following statement:

"In response to the news release by We the People Oklahoma regarding statements attributed to me. My comments were taken out of context. I have stated in the past and I believe that past societal issues are a factor in criminal behavior, as are other issues including poverty and education. I believe that when we as a society address those past issues along with current poverty and educational issues we all will see a more peaceful society in which we live. My use of the term “that community” immediately followed a statement that read, “I suspect we have a socioeconomic factor as far as arrests," the police chief said. "I think you have a portion of the community that is somewhat disenfranchised, and a portion of the community that is not at the same economic level.” The term “that community” referenced the impoverished and economically deprived community. Anyone who so desires can find Bureau of Justice statistics that have shown for decades that there is direct correlation between socio-economic factors and crime. We do not use those statistics to point a finger at any segment of our society but we do use them to address crime trends that plague our citizens. We see the same dynamic in all sectors of our community in reference to poverty and crime regardless of racial makeup. Leaders on both sides of the race issue have correctly maintained that we all need to sit down and have the difficult conversations. I could not agree more. I would submit that we also have to have equally candid and sometimes difficult conversations about crime in our community. Again, this is not about pointing fingers, this is about addressing crime. Solutions to crime problems may very well include improving infrastructure, education, health care, community policing and economic development. Part of the solution will also be enforcement. It will take an honest and forthright partnership between the community and the police department to resolve these problems. My words were not intended to divide and I am disappointed that my words are being used out of context in an attempt to do so. "