Race Relations and Policing in Tulsa: Where Should We Go from Here?
Last night, a jury here in Tulsa acquitted one Betty Shelby -- a white Tulsa Police officer -- who had been charged with first-degree manslaughter after she shot and killed an unarmed black man named Terence Crutcher last September. Some people in this community feel that justice has been served, while others feel, as was stated by Rev. Joey Crutcher, the victim's father, after the verdict came down: "I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder." Where does Tulsa go from here? There is a long history of difficult race relations in this city; that history (as anyone hailing from Tulsa will admit) is basically as old as the city itself. But, given that history, and given, also, last night's "not guilty" ruling, what are the best -- that is, what are the most productive and most promising -- steps that Tulsa should take going forward? Our two guests on ST address this question: Drew Diamond is a nationally known expert on community policing (as well as a former Tulsa Police Chief) and Marq Lewis is the organizer of We The People Oklahoma, a locally based social justice and civil rights group.