Bynum, Protest Organizers Announce Tulsa's Agreement with 'Live PD' Will End

Jun 2, 2020

Damario Solomon-Simmons (left) and Tiffany Crutcher were among the community leaders to meet Monday with Mayor G.T. Bynum and Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin.
Credit City of Tulsa

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and community leaders who organized Saturday’s "We Can’t Breathe" protest announced Monday the city will not renew its contract with the reality show "Live PD."

Community groups have decried the show for exploiting people in poverty and people of color. Bynum has resisted calls to end the city’s relationship with the show, saying he sees it as a way to show Tulsans what their police officers do on the job.

But after a three-hour meeting Monday, Bynum and community leaders — Tiffany Crutcher, Greg Robinson, Rev. Robert Turner and attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons — seemed to be on the same page.

"We agree that there ought to be that transparency, but we want it to be a nonprofit vehicle that doesn’t commercialize policing in Tulsa," Bynum said.

The sides also made progress toward implementing police reforms the organizers have been calling for. Over the next two weeks, Bynum’s office will lay out a process for setting up an Office of the Independent Monitor to review police internal investigations and uses of force, and discuss how to fund mental health services integrated into the police department.

Bynum will also meet with the family of Terence Crutcher about resolving their lawsuit against the city. A white Tulsa police officer shot and killed Crutcher in September 2016. His twin sister, Tiffany, said the reforms are part of the broader goal of bringing equity to north Tulsa.

"We want children in north Tulsa to have the same life expectancy as the children in south Tulsa. We want a quality grocery store in north Tulsa, just like we have in south Tulsa. We want to be policed the same way that they police in south Tulsa in north Tulsa, and I don’t think that’s much to ask," Tiffany Crutcher said.

Bynum warned implementing the OIM will take council approval and collective bargaining with the police union, which could lead to arbitration.

Additionally, Chief Wendell Franklin agreed to consult black community leaders about potential policy changes and to review recent uses of force.