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Gov. Stitt joins TPD to celebrate bill that limits release of video showing officer deaths

TPD_Stitt_senate_bill_968
A photo of Governor Kevin Stitt joined by state and local leaders including members of the Tulsa Police Department for the ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 968. Taken from TPD's Facebook page on September 28, 2022.

Governor Kevin Stitt visited Tulsa earlier this week for the ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 968 which limits the public's access to videos showing the death of a law enforcement officer.

Before the death of Sergeant Craig Johnson, the Tulsa Police Department said it'd be nearly 25 years since a TPD officer had been killed in the line of duty.

Sgt. Johnson died after being shot multiple times by David Ware during a traffic stop in June 2020. Ware has since been sentenced to death.

Officer Aurash Zarkeshan was also shot multiple times and was critically injured.

To this day, he said he still hasn't watched the video because he doesn't ever want to relive that night.

"I've said it before, but I'll say it again," Zarkeshan began. "I don't want to see my friend be killed."

While police footage of the incident helped to convict Ware, Tulsa Police Chief Franklin said there are still some things people don't need to see.

"It's very troubling to see his video out there where people are able profit from it and see it over and over and over again," Franklin explained.

Wendell said it will be up to a judge to decide whether or not to release future videos depicting an officer's death.

Before making her way to Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS News Director Cassidy Mudd worked as an assignment editor and digital producer at a local news station. Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates across the country.