Saying it appreciates Mayor G.T. Bynum for accurately describing an interaction between residents of a Tulsa apartment complex and police that led to allegations of race-based harassment during a City Council meeting, the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police is encouraging the public to refrain from making what the group believes were inappropriate claims against its officers.
“Mayor Bynum spoke up on behalf of our members,” Mark Secrist, Tulsa FOP Lodge 93 president, said in a statement. “We appreciate the mayor’s accurate description of what occurred during a ride-along with the Special Investigations Division. The SID team works under dangerous circumstances to get illegal guns off the street, and prevent future homicides in Tulsa. …
“Although we don’t always see eye-to-eye with Mayor Bynum, we are happy he was there and able to present the facts. We hope the public takes notice.”
The response came a day after residents, including activist Tiffany Crutcher, became engaged in a contentious discussion over police practices with Bynum following a City Council meeting about Tulsa’s Equality Indicators reports on police use of force.
During the exchanges that stemmed from an encounter at the Town Square Apartments, 1614 E. Young St., on Tuesday night, officers were accused of harassment, with one person going as far as to describe the incident as an act of terrorism.
Those claims, said Secrist, were “grossly misrepresented.”
“During the meeting, speakers called our officers terrorists and accused them of harassment,” Secrist said. “Mayor Bynum just happened to be there to witness the incident in question and was able to present the facts, explaining our officers acted professionally, even when they were accused of racially biased policing for no reason. …
“What’s even more troublesome — these accusations are coming from people with standing in their respective communities, and the accusations are found to be grossly misrepresented and not based on fact. It’s very unfortunate for our entire community.”