Tulsa police release video of black teens arrested for jaywalking


Authorities in Tulsa, Okla., released footage on Tuesday showing two white officers handcuffing and arresting a black teenager they accused of jaywalking.

Police said an internal investigation had been launched about the incident, according to Tulsa World.

The two officers' body camera footage shows the policemen detaining two black teens seen walking in the middle of the street last Thursday evening, the Tulsa Police Department said.

Both videos last around 21 minutes and show at least one policeman pushing a teen onto the ground while he struggles and is handcuffed. 

The footage from one officer shows the beginning of the arrest, as he walks up behind one of the two and immediately grabs his arms to restrain him and place him in handcuffs while the unidentified teenager objects to the arrest. 

The two teens can be heard asking why they were being detained, and the officers tell them they were "breaking the law" and jaywalking.

After struggling with the officers, one of the teenagers is placed into the police vehicle while his friend tells him, "Chill out, bro. It's not worth it."

Tulsa police say they released the footage out of a "continued effort to be transparent with our community" and that "this arrest is also under investigation by our Internal Affairs Unit."

High Plains Pundit has reached out to Tulsa Police Department to request records of the arrest.

The released footage came the same day Tulsa police Maj. Travis Yates made a controversial comment that prompted swift pushback from Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum (D) amid the ongoing national conversation about police brutality and racial inequality.

"By the way, all the research on this says … we're shooting African-Americans about 24 percent less than we probably ought to be based on the crimes being committed," Yates said on a radio program Tuesday.

Bynum responded with condemnation in a Facebook post on Wednesday, saying, "I want to believe he didn't intend to say what he did, but what he did say goes against everything we are trying to achieve in community policing."
 
He also voiced disapproval of the arrest involving the two teens, saying, "I want every kid in Tulsa to feel safe to walk down the street in their neighborhood. No Tulsa kid should have to fear being tackled and cuffed for walking down the street."
 
The arrest comes amid sky-high tensions between city police forces and the communities they serve.
 
Lawmakers of both parties are working on legislation to reform police departments nationwide in the wake of massive protests following the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody after a now-former officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest. The protests, which have in some cases have turned violent, have themselves led to multiple alleged instances of police misconduct.
 
A week from Friday, President Trump plans to hold his first presidential rally in months in Tulsa, a move that has prompted sharply criticism from Democrats such as Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), who point to the city's infamous 1921 race massacre.

"This isn't just a wink to white supremacists — he's throwing them a welcome home party," Harris said Thursday, pointing out that the rally will be held on Juneteenth, a holiday that marks the end of slavery the US.

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