CAIR-OK, Other Groups Call for Fair Investigation into Shooting of Unarmed Black Man in Tulsa

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 9/22/2016 – The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) today joined more than 20 other organizations in a letter to the City of Tulsa and the Tulsa Police Department calling for a fair and transparent investigation into the shooting death of Terence Crutcher.

Joint Letter to Tulsa Mayor, Chief of Police

Crutcher, a 40-year-old father of three, was fatally shot by Officer Betty Shelby when his car stalled in the middle of a two-lane highway. The case has sparked national outrage as video footage from dashboard cameras and from a police helicopter show Crutcher, unarmed, being shot as he stands with his hands up.

Earlier this week, CAIR-OK issued its own call for such an investigation and welcomed the U.S. Dept. of Justice investigation into the shooting. The Attorney General announced Thursday that Officer Shelby would be charged with first degree manslaughter, which carries a minimum sentence of four years.

SEE: CAIR-OK Seeks ‘Fair and Transparent’ Probe of Police Shooting Death of Terence Crutcher
http://www.cair.com/press-center/press-releases/13778-cair-ok-seeks-fair-and-transparent-probe-of-police-shooting-death-of-terence-crutcher.html

SEE: Tulsa Police Officer Charged with Manslaughter
http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/22/us/tulsa-officer-charged/

“Our joint letter calls for a fair and transparent investigation into the shooting death of Mr. Crutcher, full cooperation with the Justice Department’s findings and recommendations, and the development of some better training and higher standards for community officers,” said Veronica Laizure, CAIR-OK civil rights director. “While we welcome the charges against Officer Shelby as proof that she will be held accountable for her actions, we also hope that steps will be taken to prevent such regrettable loss of life in the future.”

The letter, signed by a variety of interfaith and social justice organizations, also notes that Oklahoma consistently has one of the highest rates of police killings and that victims of such encounters are most likely to be poor, mentally ill, black, and/or Native American.

“Oklahoma is at the center of an epidemic of police violence in America,” Anna Facci, Operations and Events Coordinator, said. “More than one-quarter of the Oklahoma Muslim community are black. We cannot and will not overlook the interlocking struggle of all minority communities.”

SEE: The Counted: People Killed by Police in the US
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR Oklahoma Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure, 405-430-9877, vlaizure@cair.com; CAIR Oklahoma Operations and Events Coordinator Anna Facci, 918-269-7924, afacci@cair.com, CAIR Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani, 405-248-5853, asoltani@cair.com

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