With Protests Across the US, Thousands of Tulsans Participate in Demonstrations for Black Lives

Jun 1, 2020

Demonstrations against police killings of black men and women spanned the weekend in Tulsa, wrapping up sometime before 2 a.m. Monday.

Hundreds, maybe thousands, came out for a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally that started in Greenwood early Sunday evening. The crowd marched through downtown, going onto the north leg of the Inner Dispersal Loop near Detroit Avenue, which was shut down by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol for about two hours.

Witnesses said a man driving red pickup pulling a horse trailer put a handgun on his dashboard and told demonstrators to get out of the way before driving through the crowd. The incident was captured on video posted online. Two people were taken to the hospital with "minor injuries," according to OHP.

Rally organizers posted on Facebook that going on the highway was not part of the plan and was led by "activists" who took charge.

By about 9:30 p.m., the crowd had marched to Brookside. Police say they received calls of people throwing bricks at cars and vandalizing businesses.

Video captured by All Souls Unitarian Church Senior Minister Marlin Lavanhar showed a crowd at 36th Street and Peoria Avenue kneeling and chanting at police in riot gear, but some toward the back of the crowd began throwing objects at officers.

Police used at least two rounds of pepper balls and an irritant gas overnight to disperse the crowd. Witness accounts accused white participants or outside agitators for escalating the situation.

A separate protest Saturday in Brookside also drew hundreds of people, who marched peacefully.