The House of Representatives adopted a resolution Thursday praising the work of law enforcement officers and the cooperation of Tulsa citizens after last week's killing spree on the city's north side.
But one lawmaker said he's disappointed that the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are coming to Tulsa to talk about the slayings.
“I hope that you and the rest of the black caucus will discourage these guys, who tend to thrive on traveling the country and playing on people's emotions, not to do that in this, and leave this up to the local people who have done such a good job in handling this,” Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove, told Rep. Jabar Shumate, the author of Senate Concurrent Resolution 35.
Jackson is to meet with north Tulsa ministers and elected officials Friday and hold a public rally Saturday at First Baptist Church North Tulsa. Jackson has said the shootings were a pattern of attacks on blacks across the nation and that the federal government needs to investigate. Sharpton is speaking Sunday at Greater Union Baptist Church.
“That is not anything that we are coordinating,” said Shumate, D-Tulsa. “We can't control where people go. It's a free country. Our focus has been on trying to bring justice to these families and we've worked with local law enforcement to do it.”
Sending a message
Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, said the resolution is unnecessary and most lawmakers don't really know the details of what law enforcement officers have done that merit the Legislature's honoring them.
Shumate said, “This is just a good way to send a message that we are very thankful of the cooperative efforts, very proud of our law enforcement.
“Most know that in this case, on Good Friday, our law enforcement moved very, very quickly to bring justice for these families,” he said.
The Good Friday shooting spree left three dead and two injured. The suspects, Jake England, 19, Alvin Watts, 33, were arrested days later and have since confessed to the shootings, according to police documents.
Shumate said the shootings were “a shocking event that caused widespread fear in the community, and the quick action of local law enforcement officials brought a swift resolution to the event that ended citizens' fear.”