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The Tulsa City Council will begin the public discussion on the city's Equality Indicators report by taking public comments on Wednesday. Tulsa World File

City councilors will receive comments and suggestions from the public Wednesday in preparation for the fourth special meeting on the city’s Equality Indicators reports.

The topic will be the role of race and gender in adult arrests in Tulsa.

Wednesday’s council meeting is set for 5 p.m. in City Council chambers at City Hall, Second Street and Cincinnati Avenue. Councilors will receive comments for one hour, with speakers limited to three minutes.

Councilors will use the public input from Wednesday’s meeting to help formulate questions for the Equality Indicators special meeting on Sept. 25.

That meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Second St. No public comments will be taken there.

City councilors earlier this year agreed to examine four of the key findings in the Equality Indicators reports, including several that point to racial disparities in police practices.

The reports measure dozens of equality indicators, not just those related to public safety and law enforcement, that compare “outcomes of groups likely to experience inequalities, such as racial minorities, to groups less likely to experience them, such as whites,” according to the reports.

The indicators are scored on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 representing complete inequality and 100 representing full equality.

In 2018, the city scored well below 50 in both the Race and Adult Arrests and Gender and Arrests indicators.

The 2018 report states that blacks were arrested more than twice as often as whites, followed by Native Americans. Asians had the lowest overall arrest rate.

The report also states that Tulsa’s female arrest rate is 20.7 per 1,000 arrests, compared to the national female arrest rate of 7.7 per 1,000 arrests.

The city showed improvement in both indicators in the 2019 Equality Indicators report.

Tulsa police and the union that represents officers have contested some of the assertions in the Equality Indicators reports, including the use-of-force figures.

The previous Equality Indicators special meetings focused on racial and gender disparities in police arrests of juveniles; racial and gender disparities in police use of force; and minority and gender underrepresentation in the Tulsa Police Department.

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Kevin Canfield



Twitter: @aWorldofKC

Staff Writer

Kevin Canfield has covered local government in Tulsa for nearly two decades. He also has reported on downtown development, zoning and community planning.

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