Tulsa Police

NPR

The Tulsa Police Department says they’re on track when it comes to testing rape kits out of a backlog of 3,000.

A $1.5 million Department of Justice grant awarded in 2018 was supposed to pay for processing up to 650, as well as accompanying investigations and victim advocacy services. Capt. Jillian Phippen, who oversees the special victims unit, gave the city council an update this week.

"To date, we’ve tested 454 of those kits, and by the end of this grant, which is September of this year, we will have tested the full 650," Phippen said.

A 24/7 psychiatric care center in Tulsa has added a dedicated police entry port and treatment beds to help law enforcement get people in crisis to appropriate help faster.

The Police One Stop is at Family and Children’s Services downtown CrisisCare Center. Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said up to now, officers have often been default mental health responders and have had to decide whether to take someone in crisis to jail, an emergency room or somewhere else.

A Tulsa Police officer has been indicted on federal gun charges.

U.S. Attorney Trent Shores announced Thursday 26-year-old Latoya Dythe faces charges for allegedly making a false statement to a firearms dealer. Shores said Dythe took cash from her boyfriend, 27-year-old Devon Jones, and bought a gun for him from Bass Pro Shops in April. She marked on a required form she was buying it for herself, a practice known as a straw purchase.

U.S. Army

The man accused of killing a Tulsa police sergeant earlier this year will go to trial June 7, 2021.

David Ware faces charges including first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill in the June 29 shooting that killed Sgt. Craig Johnson and wounded Ofc. Aurash Zarkeshan. It happened during a traffic stop in east Tulsa.

Ware entered a not guilty plea through his attorney at a Monday hearing, where prosecutors confirmed they will seek the death penalty.

Updated Oct. 28, 2:00 p.m.  

Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police Board of Directors Chairman Jerad Lindsey has died from COVID-19.

Tulsa Police announced Lindsey's death Wednesday morning. Lindsey reportedly went to the hospital last Wednesday with a very high fever.

Lindsey was 40 years old. He's survived by his wife, Jennifer, and two sons.

Google Street View

Woodland Hills Mall shut down for about an hour Friday afternoon after a report of shots fired, which turned out to be a gun going off in a man’s pocket while he was at the food court.

The incident happened around 2 p.m. Police said the man immediately left the mall.

There were no injuries, though some reports indicate the man shot himself in the leg.

While Oklahoma allows open and concealed carry of guns without a license, they are not allowed inside Woodland Hills Mall by owner and operator Simon Properties. 

Facebook / Tulsa Police Department

Dozens of supporters cheered and looked on Thursday at Tulsa International Airport as Tulsa Police Department Ofc. Aurash Zarkeshan, injured in a June shooting, stepped off a plane following months of rehabilitation at an out-of-state facility.

Zarkeshan was immediately greeted by Mayor G.T. Bynum, who hugged him and said, "Welcome home!"

On a TPD livestream of the event, Zarkeshan, who appeared physically healthy and in good spirits, addressed the camera and more than 1,000 viewers directly.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

A number of demonstrations are scheduled around Tulsa Saturday, with potentially thousands gathering for a prayer march with the Tulsa Police Department and separate rallies against white supremacy.

TPD and Sheridan Church are scheduled to lead a "Faith In Blue" march, a faith-based event in support of law enforcement, from John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park on North Greenwood Avenue to TPD headquarters. The march was originally routed down through the heart of the Greenwood District, but Chief Wendell Franklin said he got "unsettling news" that there may be counterprotests.

Tulsa’s top cop told state lawmakers on Thursday the department is working to improve its reviews of officers’ uses of force.

Chief Wendell Franklin said during an all-day interim study on race relations that TPD is training officers to serve on a use of force committee and discussing a separate method to review police shootings with Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado and the state attorney general’s office.

Franklin said there may be a way for citizens to be involved with those boards, but it’s unlikely they will play active roles.

Oklahoma House of Representatives

The Oklahoma House of Representatives Public Safety Committee spent most of Tuesday hearing from witnesses in two separate policing-related interim studies with two separate focal points: how best to support law enforcement, and how best to reform it.

Rep. Justin Humphrey (R-Lane), who chairs the committee, said his study was meant to identify ways in which the legislature can best support law enforcement officers and agencies.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Growing anti-police sentiment around the country could have a profoundly negative impact on the ability to recruit quality officers, police chiefs from two Oklahoma cities told state lawmakers on Thursday.

Facebook / Tulsa Police Department

Federal prosecutors have indicted a man for allegedly providing the gun used in the killing of Tulsa Police Sgt. Craig Johnson and the wounding of Ofc. Aurash Zarkeshan in June.

"Jakob Garland is alleged to have been the person who gave the gun to David Ware. He is alleged to have exchanged that gun for heroin," said Trent Shores, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Tomandandy-Wikimedia

Federal authorities announced a new initiative on Tuesday to help Tulsa crack down on illegal guns.

Modeled after the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Guardian, the 2150 Initiative will help the U.S. Attorney’s Office; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Tulsa Police work together to track down guns that have made it into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, like convicted felons and people with mental health–related prohibitions.

Facebook / Tulsa Police Department

Video footage of the shooting of two Tulsa police officers, one of whom died of his injuries, was released by the Tulsa Police Department Monday morning following a judge's order that doing so was in the public interest. 

Tulsa Police

Body camera video showing the June 29 shooting of two Tulsa Police officers will be made public Monday morning.

Tulsa County District Judge William Musseman said Thursday after watching the footage, he does not think its release will affect the prosecution of David Ware and Matthew Hall. Musseman did not extend a previous judge's order keeping the video sealed.

File photo

Attorneys continue to argue over whether video from the shooting of two Tulsa police officers should be released to the public.

David Ware and Matthew Hall appeared in court together for the first time Tuesday. Judge William Musseman said he will watch the footage and likely agree with prosecutors it is graphic and disturbing, but he also framed its release as when, not if, and plans to announce a decision Thursday.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

A grand jury returned a misdemeanor indictment against a Tulsa Police Department officer in connection with his shooting of a man during an altercation with a suspect in March.

According to a statement from Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler, the referral to present the case against Ofc. Aaron Russell to Oklahoma's Multicounty Grand Jury came after discussions with TPD Chief Wendell Franklin and the department's detective division.

The man charged with murder in the shooting death of a Tulsa Police sergeant and wounding of an officer will go to trial, but a judge has acknowledged there are inconsistencies between how police have described the encounter and what body cameras captured.

"We’re very happy that the judge said on the record that she’d seen the video and that there are contradictions between that arrest and book affidavit and what the video shows," said attorney Kevin Adams.

Matt Trotter / KWGS News

City of Tulsa officials say that people experiencing homelessness who have set up encampments on West Archer Street will not be pushed to move until the opening of an emergency shelter in the former Juvenile Detention Center on Gilcrease Museum Road scheduled for next week.

Matt Trotter

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin says violent crime is up in the city.

Franklin called a news conference Tuesday to give some of TPD's stats. He said compared to the same period in 2019, homicides in 2020 are up 14% to 19%, and assaults on officers are up 40%. Franklin said domestic violence calls involving strangulation are also high, though this year’s 446 so far weren’t compared to last year.

Tulsa Crime Stoppers

The Tulsa Police Department and Tulsa Crime Stoppers are discouraging Tulsans from giving cash to panhandlers, even as those experiencing homelessness may be more visible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There are thousands of organizations in this city with -- just wanting to help as much as possible," said TPD Maj. Mark Wollmershauser Jr., on a Tuesday virtual town hall organized by Tulsa Crime Stoppers also attended by city councilor Lori Decter Wright.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

At a Tuesday press conference at the U.S. Attorney's Office in downtown Tulsa, federal, state, municipal and tribal officials said they are all effectively working together to ensure public safety is not negatively impacted as jurisdictional questions are resolved following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma.

Facebook / Tulsa Police Department

Tulsa's 49th and 50th homicides of the year occurred over the weekend, each at the hand of a Tulsa police officer.

According to Tulsa Police Department public information officer Jeanne Pierce, on Saturday afternoon officers responded to a call of an attempted break-in at a "secure facility" near 2400 North Harvard Ave.

Pierce says upon arrival, officers found Jonathan Randell, 25, sitting outside.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Four people arrested at a Tulsa campaign rally for President Donald Trump, including a Tulsa teacher and a Norman City Council member, pleaded not guilty Thursday to misdemeanor obstruction charges.

The Tulsa Police Department has released body cam video of the arrest of protester Sheila Buck at June’s Trump campaign rally.

The hour-plus video starts with Officer Matthew Parker confirming with his supervisor Buck is to be arrested for trespassing. Parker then confers with a private security guard for the event just before Buck, who sat silently inside the event fence and was wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt, is pulled to her feet, handcuffed and led out of the fenced area in front of several reporters.

Tulsa Police Department

The officer who survived a traffic stop shooting in June, and the widow of the sergeant slain, are expressing gratitude for the support of Tulsans following the event.

"Thank you, Tulsa, for your continued love and support through my recovery," said Officer Aurash Zarkeshan in a video posted by the Tulsa Police Department. "I can't wait to be back home."

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

The Tulsa Police Department will be responding to complaints about Tulsa's new mandatory mask ordinance only if called by a property owner, Mayor G.T. Bynum and TPD Chief Wendell Franklin explained at a Thursday press conference. 

"Officers are not driving around town looking for somebody who doesn't have a mask on," Bynum said. "Instead, it empowers property owners to tell people that that's the ordinance and they need to have a mask on, and if not then they need to leave. If the person won't leave, then TPD can enforce the trespass ordinance that we have in place."

Tulsa Police

The Tulsa Police Department is on track to phase out its more than 40-year-old records management system late next summer.

TPD said it will allow them to collect more data to help recognize crime trends and could integrate with dozens of other area agencies’ systems to help with information sharing, but the upgrade will pose some challenges.

Matt Trotter

Presenting the results of a research study analyzing use-of-force by the Tulsa Police Department over several years to the Tulsa City Council, TPD Chief Wendell Franklin said that the public will have no say in the development of any new use-of-force policy.

"The question was if there was going to be community input allowed in our policy decision-making, and the answer to that is no," Franklin said, in response to a question from Councilor Lori Decter Wright.

A judge has ruled that the body camera footage from an incident in which two Tulsa police officers were shot, one fatally, will not be made public at this time.

Tulsa County District Court Special Judge David Guten in a Monday hearing denied a request from attorney Kevin Adams to release the video. Two weeks ago, Guten approved prosecutors' request to prevent release of the video for at least six months.

Pages