Tulsa Police Chief says some violent crime is up

Cites troubling increase in assaults on officers and homicides

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin says there’s been what he termed a “phenomenon” happening in Tulsa and around the country in 2020, and it’s not good.

At a news conference today, he said Tulsa’s homicide rate is up between 14 percent and 19 percent compared to a year ago, depending on how the data is analyzed.

He says they can’t find one reason for the homicide increase.

“They’re all over the map, they’re all over the board. We have not pinpointed exactly why that’s occurring,” Franklin said.

Chief Franklin is also troubled by a sharp increase in the number of assaults on police officers, up a whopping 40 percent compared to last year.

He speculated that the Covid-19 pandemic may have “knocked everything off kilter.”

He says a number of dramatic events during the year have taken an emotional toll on the officers in his department, including the fatal shooting of Tulsa Police Sgt. Craig Johnson and the severe wounding of Officer Aurash Zarkeshan.

He also cited the search for two toddlers who tragically drowned and the civil unrest during recent protests.

But he said the show of support from the thousands of Tulsans who lined the streets during a procession for Sgt. Johnson was therapeutic for officers.


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