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Tulsa police officer faces trial for shooting accessory charges

Tulsa police Lt. Marcus Harper
The Black Record
Tulsa police Lt. Marcus Harper

A Tulsa police lieutenant known for advocating for transparency and for other Black officers faces trial this week for a criminal charge filed in 2021.

Tulsa Police Department Lt. Marcus Harper was charged in November 2021 with accessory to a felony. He and former officer Ananias Carson were accused of helping another officer cover up a shooting.

Harper's trial begins Tuesday.

According to probable cause affidavits, Harper and Carson went to officer Latoya Dythe’s apartment in August 2020 after her boyfriend’s brother drove her car to a shootout. Harper and Carson allegedly checked Dythe’s car and then told her boyfriend and his brother to get rid of the guns and leave town.

Dythe was convicted for lying to a gun dealer to buy a pistol for her boyfriend, who had a felony on his record at the time of the purchase.

The Craig, Mayes and Rogers district attorney's offices filed the charges against Harper and Carson. Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler has recused himself from the case.

Carson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor obstructing an officer in connection with the case in October.

Harper was previously supervisor of TPD’s major crimes unit and is married to City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper. He was the department’s Black Officers Coalition president. Harper and his wife also advocated for an independent oversight body to monitor TPD.

Harper was placed on leave without pay after the charges were filed.

Max Bryan is a news anchor and reporter for KWGS. A Tulsa native, Bryan worked at newspapers throughout Arkansas and in Norman before coming home to "the most underrated city in America." Several of Bryan's news stories have either led to or been cited in changes both in the public and private sectors.