Discussion of the city’s Equality Indicators reports continues Wednesday.
The City Council will receive public comments at 5 p.m. in the City Council chambers at City Hall, Second Street and Cincinnati Avenue. The topic will be minority and gender underrepresentation in the Tulsa Police Department.
Councilors will use the comments and questions they receive at Wednesday’s meeting to formulate their own questions for panelists at the Aug. 14 special meeting on the subject.
That meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Liddy Doenges Theatre at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Second St. No public comments will be taken there.
Next week’s Equality Indicators special meeting will be the third of four such meetings scheduled by councilors to explore the findings of the 2018 and 2019 Equality Indicators reports.
The reports state that racial disparities exist in police practices, an assertion disputed by the Police Department and its officers’ union.
The 2018 Equality Indicators report states that blacks were five times more likely to be victims of officer use of force than Hispanics and twice as likely as whites to experience force by police.
This year’s report found that blacks were three times more likely to experience officer use of force than either Hispanics/Latinos or whites.
Deputy Chief Jonathan Brooks has said previously that use-of-force incidents are rare in Tulsa. In 2017, for example, police responded to nearly 280,000 calls and used force 274 times — 0.1% of the time, Brooks said.
City councilors agreed to hold public meetings on the Equality Indicators reports earlier this year after a group of local residents joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in demanding the special meetings to examine the findings of the 2018 report.
The first two Equality Indicators special meetings focused on racial and gender disparities in police arrests of juveniles and on racial and gender disparities in police use of force.
Mayor G.T. Bynum and Tiffany Crutcher have a discussion after an Equality Indicators meeting