Wendell Franklin

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

Facebook / Tulsa Police Department

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.

Facebook / Tulsa Police Department

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

Tulsa Police Department

Two Tulsa Police Department officers are in critical condition, "fighting for their lives," following a shooting during a traffic stop early Monday morning, officials say.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, TPD Chief Wendell Franklin identified the officers as Sgt. Craig Johnson, a 15-year veteran, and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan, who completed police training only last month and had been on patrol for just six weeks.

Twitter / @TulsaPolice

With local officials repeatedly stressing the message that mask-wearing is crucial to slowing the spread of COVID-19 -- and even considering making it mandatory and enforceable by law -- the head of the Tulsa Police Department says officers don't always wear masks because covering their faces can interfere with their jobs.

"The reason why you don't always see our officers wearing masks is because they need to have that facial expression," Chief Wendell Franklin told reporters at a Wednesday press conference at police headquarters.

Twitter / @TulsaPolice

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum on Wednesday had choice words for Tulsans who refuse to follow public health guidelines during the current rise in coronavirus infections.

"If Tulsans are not willing to take that kind of responsibility to protect one another, then don't be surprised when you see your numbers increase," he said, after describing how few people he sees wearing masks in the city. "We have a responsibility to protect each other through this, through responsible behavior in our daily lives."

Oklahoma National Guard

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — As many as 250 Oklahoma Army National Guard soldiers are being activated to help provide security during President Donald Trump’s campaign rally Saturday in Tulsa, authorities said Wednesday.

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said the guardsmen will be used as a “force multiplier” to help secure safety zones around the downtown BOK Center where the rally is to be held.

The guardsmen will be unarmed but will carry shields, batons and pepper spray in case they need to protect themselves, said Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Geoff Legler.

Tulsa Police Department

Following another public relations black eye, as footage of an incident in which Tulsa police officers handcuffed two Black children in north Tulsa for allegedly jaywalking aired on national news networks, the Tulsa Police Department has issued a new statement on the incident.

Fox News Channel

The high-ranking Tulsa police officer who came under international scrutiny last week for his comments that systemic racism in policing "just doesn't exist" and that, based on his reading of research, American law enforcement officers shoot Black Americans "about 24% less than we probably ought to be based on the crimes being committed," appeared on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Friday.

Facebook / Broken Arrow Police Department

Please see this editor's note about a photo change on the story.

Updated June 10, 7 p.m. to clarify a quote and link to a study cited.

Discussing nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, a white Tulsa Police Department major said Monday systemic racism in policing "just doesn't exist."

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.