OKLAHOMA CITY–In response to the announcement that the Tulsa Police Department and the Tulsa County Sheriff’s office will lead their own investigations into the killing their officers committed on June 9, the ACLU of Oklahoma made the following statement:
The following statement is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director:
“We have serious doubts about the capability of Tulsa Police Department (TPD) and Tulsa County Sheriff’s (TCSO) office to investigate this morning’s killing in an unbiased and honest manner. Even if one only considers the last last two years of disturbing conduct in both of these departments, it is absurd to ask the residents of Tulsa County to trust a system that has demonstrated a clear pattern of immoral and unethical behavior to investigate itself. That conclusion might be different if today’s killing were an isolated incident, but it is not. Indeed, both the TPD and TCSO have a track record of dehumanizing and killing people they are supposed to protect and serve. Equally distressing is the Tulsa Police Department’s recent history of giving its officers inappropriate and preferential treatment when investigating their use of deadly force.
We call on TPD and TCSO to turn over the investigation to an independent investigative entity and to cooperate fully with that independent investigation. Failure to do so will continue to erode the already fragile trust that exists between Tulsa’s law enforcement and many of the communities they are sworn to serve.”