2018-05-03 ne-dafopdebate797 (copy)

Ben Fu takes part in a Tulsa County district attorney candidates forum at the Tulsa FOP Lodge on May 2. JOSEPH RUSHMORE/for the Tulsa World

Emphasizing a need to regain the trust in the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office, the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police announced on Monday its endorsement of candidate Ben Fu for the lead attorney position.

“The perception of an endorsement like this is that Ben is going to be our buddy or friend,” said Tulsa FOP Lodge 93 chairman Jerad Lindsey, who explained the organization did not endorse any candidate during the last election cycle four years ago.

“We do not expect that kind of relationship. We see the district attorney as being a check and balance. We just want someone, not only for law enforcement officers, but for regular citizens, to look at the totality of the case before making a decision going forward.”

The FOP chairman criticized incumbent District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler for “not looking at all the facts and all the reports that come in before making a determination instead of working on the fly.”

Fu, a Republican candidate, is challenging Kunzweiler and Tammy Wescott in the GOP primary. Jenny Proehl-Day is the lone Democrat in the race.

The endorsement, Fu said, signified what he called “a thirst for change in the law enforcement community.”

“Although they (Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police) don’t stand for all law enforcement, they stand for a good portion of all of our officers,” Fu said. “As the lead law enforcement officer in the county, the district attorney has to support the police and has to have a working relationship with them.”

In a statement Monday following the police union’s endorsement of Fu, Kunzweiler said: “I make decisions based upon the law and the facts. You can trust that no one particular group will influence my decisions. I think the citizens of Tulsa County have seen that I am not swayed by popular opinion or political pressure.”

Kendrick Marshall

918-581-8378

kendrick.marshall@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @KD_Marshall

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