Tulsa Police

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.

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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.


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.

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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.

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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.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma judge is reconsidering whether to release a video that shows two Tulsa officers being shot during a traffic stop.

David Anthony Ware, 32, had a not-guilty plea entered on his behalf Thursday on four charges, including first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill in connection to the June 29 fatal shooting of Tulsa Police Sgt. Craig Johnson, 45, and the shooting of Officer Aurash Zarkeshan, 26.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum on Friday said there is no conflict between City Hall and the Tulsa Police Department, following a statement from TPD saying they would be seeking a legal review of the mask mandate ordinance passed by the city council and signed by the mayor.

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A Tulsa police officer is currently hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a Tulsa Police Department spokesperson.

Eight members of the department in total have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and 54 have been placed under quarantine, according to TPD Public Information Officer Jeanne Pierce.

Pierce said it is not known where or how the hospitalized officer contracted the virus.

"We will continue to wear masks and social distance when possible," Pierce wrote in an email.

Tulsa Police

Tulsa Police Department Sgt. Craig Johnson was laid to rest on Thursday.

After a service at Victory Church, a procession carried the 15-year veteran's body to the grave site at Floral Haven.

The service and burial were closed to reporters at the request of his family, which includes a wife and two children.

Johnson died June 30 after being shot multiple times during a June 29 traffic stop for what police say were expired tags. He had arrived at the scene to offer backup to rookie officer Aurash Zarkeshan, who was also shot multiple times.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A man suspected of killing a Tulsa police officer had threatened to kill the officer during the man’s run-in with local police years prior, according to police records.

David Anthony Ware, 32, is being held in the Tulsa County jail on multiple charges in connection to the fatal shooting of Tulsa Police Sgt. Craig Johnson, 45, in June and the shooting of Officer Aurash Zarkeshan, 26.

A man in jail for allegedly driving another man from the scene of the shooting of two Tulsa Police officers attempted to hang himself.

Tulsa County jail staff found Matthew Hall unresponsive on the floor of his cell early Tuesday evening with a sheet tied around his neck.

Medical staff were able to resuscitate him.

Hall is accused of driving David Ware away from 21st Street and 89th East Avenue on June 29, when Ware allegedly shot TPD Sgt. Craig Johnson and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan during a traffic stop for expired tags.

Tulsa Police

A Tulsa police officer seriously injured in a June 29 shooting continues to improve.

The Tulsa Police Department said Tuesday afternoon Officer Aurash Zarkeshan is now breathing on his own, able to communicate with his family and is strong enough to stand.

Zarkeshan and Sgt. Craig Johnson were both shot multiple times and in the head during a traffic stop. Johnson died the next day.

The accused shooter, David Ware, is being held without bond on charges of first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill.

KWGS News File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A crash that injured three Oklahoma troopers on motorcycles during a procession for a fatally shot Tulsa police officer started when one of the troopers struck the rear bumper of a SUV on the shoulder of the road, authorities said.

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) — One of the two Tulsa Police Department officers who were shot during a traffic stop has died, authorities said Tuesday.

Police Chief Wendell Franklin said Sgt. Craig Johnson died Tuesday. He said Johnson was shot multiple times during the Monday attack, including one shot that was “critical.”

Franklin described Johnson’s death as a “tremendous loss” to the police department.

Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police

Citing no evidence, the head of Tulsa's local police union claimed in a statement that a "national anti-police narrative" played a role in the shooting of two Tulsa police officers during a traffic stop early Monday morning.

"As I've spoken with police overnight and into this morning, we can't help but see the work of the national anti-police narrative here," says Jerad Lindsey, chairman of the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police, in the Monday statement