Crutcher Part Of National Dialogue On Policing
Dr. Tiffany Crutcher has been on a mission to push for police reform ever since her brother Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by ex-Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby in 2017. Legal challenges arising over her twin brother’s death have been fruitless. However, Crutcher has been nothing less than a crucible for police reform regarding the use of violence.
Few argue there are times the danger associated with police work can at times escalate into violence. Then, there are times when violence is not needed, and when the subject is a person of color it often becomes routinely violent. In the case of Terence Crutcher, he was not wanted for any crime, had not been charged with a crime and did not attack investigating officers before he was shot in the back by ex-police officer Betty Shelby. Shelby was cleared of all charges. She resigned rather than be assigned to desk duty. Her personal friend, Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton, brought her on to serve as a reserve officer. She was later promoted to full time status. This is important because there are some in the law enforcement community who support her actions and the protocol for using lethal force is such that there appears to be little justification for murdering a citizen. That is why Dr. Tiffany Crutcher presses on for real reform.
Crutcher was in Washington D.C. to offer her support for police reform. Crutcher was pushing for changes in federal regulations regarding what constitutes use of force. As it stands now, it is pretty loose and open to interpretation. While there is support in the progressive community, there appears to be a lack of courageous resolve among lawmakers. The standard for reckless disregard for human life is so high it is rarely used to decide whether a federal intervention is needed.
It was learned at the hearings that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is still waiting for the Department of Justice to implement the “Death in Custody Reporting Act.” The bill was passed in 2013 and has yet to be put into action. Other prospective bills continue to gather dust from a dearth of attention.
America continues to hire law enforcement personnel to deal with crime in a stern way. Policemen by design mete out punishment in investigations, and arrests with little consequence. As far as some of them know, violence to suspects is just part of the job. Unfortunately, the violence is often lethal and there are no consequences for their actions.
The Oklahoma Eagle continues to support the Crutcher family for our shared desire for real police reform. Until then all Americans especially people of color, will continue to die unnecessarily.
The Answer Is Fix Langston Not Remove Langston
As usual, what seems like a grand idea to remedy a problem is really another ploy to ignore the history of and reason for the problem. In this case, the Langston University (LU) and Oklahoma State University (OSU) plans for the future are not only different but only one is promoted as essential. Basically, OSU is advancing a plan to remove valuable degree programs from LU, a historically black university and give them to OSU and possibly Oklahoma University (OU) to make the educational experience richer and more profitable for the two giant universities. There are no plans for the future of Langston and that is nothing but wrong.
There would be no campus to squabble over if there was no Langston and it was brought to Tulsa to fulfill its urban mission. In 1983 LU, OSU, OU and Northeastern State University (NSU) formed University Center at Tulsa (UCAT). That is etched in granite and for moral and logical reasons it should not be challenged nor trampled over because of money woes among their larger and more powerful higher education brothers.
There is now a narrative to paint Langston as a poorly run, and ineffective university incapable of providing a quality education in Tulsa. And why should a university like Langston stand in the way of a stand-alone four-year university?
The urban mission created by a federal lawsuit to segregate higher education in Oklahoma also provided a unique educational experience for mature and working students needing a degree to compete in the workplace. Greater educational opportunities in Tulsa is of course not a bad idea. However, punishing Langston is wrong-headed and could be challenged in court. Is there another way?
The state could fix what is wrong with LU and create a wonderful educational experience in Tulsa. It’s not Langston’s fault OSU and OU are trying to say they are too big to fail. To be sure higher education has not received the infusion of funds public schools have enjoyed in recent years. This is not to overlook or ignore LU’s problems, however, in their hour of need, the solution should not be to decimate the historic black university.
Activists Call For Deputy To Be Fired For Uttering Slur At Tulsa Eatery
We The People Oklahoma, a group that has in recent years pushed for police reforms in Tulsa, have now called for the firing of a Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) deputy after they say she uttered the “N” word while addressing African Americans at an area IHOP restaurant. The group said the deputy displayed “egregious behavior,” in using the slur that was recorded on cell phones.
The deputy who so far hasn’t been identified was working off-duty at the IHOP. The sheriff’s department in a written statement said, “The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office has a no tolerance policy, which prohibits language and/or conduct relating to a person’s race, color, nationality or other legally protected status. The TCSO has been made aware of a Facebook video featuring one of our deputies using a racial slur. Our internal affairs division is investigating to determine what disciplinary action is appropriate. The employee in the video regrets her comments, as they do not accurately represent who she is as a person, nor the values of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.” It is questionable the county can say with any certainty the language did not represent the deputy’s values.
IHOP is also investigating the incident and said that kind of language does not belong in their restaurant regardless of the situation. It will be interesting to see what happens. Hopefully, the response is quick and decisive.
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