TULSA - A group that represents a coalition of churches, non-profits, and elected leaders from across Tulsa has issued a call for inclusion and transparency in the hunt for a new police chief.
Mayor G.T. Bynum has already held a series of three town hall meetings to get public input on the process, but Greg Robinson with the group “Demanding a JUSTulsa” tells KRMG more can be done.
The group, he said Monday, wants “a national search for the best police chief possible, the naming of those finalists. And then, to have the community be able to speak with them, ask their questions, and provide that feedback to the mayor.”
Several elected leaders have joined with Demanding a JUSTulsa in calling for a broad search, and signed a letter sent to the mayor last Friday.
Here is the group's statement, issued Monday:
On Friday, North Tulsa elected leaders delivered another letter to Mayor Bynum on behalf their constituents, echoing calls from the community for the mayor to deeply and intentionally engage Tulsa citizens in the selection of the city’s next Chief of Police.
The letter, which has already been signed by over concerned 100 Tulsa residents, comes roughly a month after these elected leaders demanded citizen input be integrated into the selection process, calls on the mayor to (among other things) create a citizen selection committee to determine finalists, hold town halls with all candidates for public input and feedback and commit to hiring a police chief who will make creating an unbiased, equitable culture of policing their top priority. The letter also calls on the mayor to honor the demand of Tulsans to immediately end his contract between the city and A&E’s ‘Live PD’ television show.
In addition to submitting the letter, these North Tulsa elected officials and other community leaders will host a press conference outside of City Hall on the morning of Monday, January 13th at 11AM, reiterating the calls made in the letter.
“For the past two years, our constituents have asked you to respond to their legitimate concerns about policing. The police-involved killings of Terence Crutcher, Joshua Harvey and other unarmed persons of color and the lack of accountability for their deaths opened deep fissures of mistrust with the very police officers who have taken an oath to protect and serve them,” the letter to the mayor states.
“To mend these wounds, we and our constituents expect you to continue to hear and respond to their requests. To date, you have been responsive, and we look forward to a continued partnership.”