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Tulsa Police Union Chair Dead from COVID-19

Updated Oct. 28, 2:00 p.m.  

Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police Board of Directors Chairman Jerad Lindsey has died from COVID-19.

Tulsa Police announced Lindsey's death Wednesday morning. Lindsey reportedly went to the hospital last Wednesday with a very high fever.

Lindsey was 40 years old. He's survived by his wife, Jennifer, and two sons.

In recent years, Lindsey emerged as a vocal critic of police oversight proposals from Mayor G.T. Bynum. Lindsey also pushed back on Bynum's decision not to renew the city's contract with the reality TV show "Live PD" after discussions with Black community leaders.

In a Wednesday Facebook post, however, Bynum referred to Lindsey as a friend whose work was driven by his love for his fellow officers.

"We had been making plans for the work we would do together over the next four years to make Tulsa the best city it can be for those courageous men and women who risk their lives to keep Tulsans safe. That work — his work — will continue," Bynum wrote.

Lindsey had been a Tulsa police officer since March 2005. He became vice president of the state FOP in August.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, TPD Chief Wendell Franklin said the news came as a surprise and the department was in mourning.

"This really hits home, the fact that we lost an officer to this," Franklin said. "I hope this changes the opinions of some and changes the actions of people."

"People need to understand that this is not a joke," Franklin said. "This pandemic, this virus that's out there, is killing people."

"We protect this community with badges and guns, but we all can protect this community by wearing face coverings [and] practicing social distancing," Franklin said.

Franklin said 39 officers, including Lindsey, were in quarantine as of Tuesday, and that contact tracing is being done to determine anyone who may have had contact with him.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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