NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – A Norman City Council member is being criticized for comments he made during a recent council meeting that some people are calling racist.
“We found that in the case of Norman PD, black people were still subjected to force 3.4 times as often as white people,” representatives from the Center for Policing Equity said.
It all started with a presentation from the Center for Policing Equity about a Norman Police Department study during a City Council meeting on Tuesday.
“Our Police Department is not afraid to put data out there to work with our community partners,” Norman PD Chief Kevin Foster said during the presentation.
Ward 3 council member Kelly Lynn then called the study “garbage.”
“Looking at FBI statistics, African Americans are way more responsible for murder, robbery, all kinds of violent crimes, way disproportionate to their percentage of population. The numbers are outstanding,” said Lynn. “This seems like a big waste of time to me.”
Ward 1 council member Brandi Studley then responded.
“I am a little bit shocked by council members Lynn’s comments. I find them to be extremely disturbing and racist and I don’t appreciate that, and I apologize to our black community members that just had to listen to that,” she said.
Mayor Breea Clark also responded to the comments on Twitter, saying, “The CM’s comments were wildly inappropriate & offensive, but I don’t have the power to censure Councilmembers & although vile, what was said is protected speech under the 1st amendment. With that said, I have zero issue publicly denouncing this behavior.”
“My youngest daughter is half black, and so to me, it’s like the comments that he made basically said because my daughter’s black, she’s more likely to be a criminal than my white children, and that’s how I took it and that’s how I felt,” Studley told KFOR on Thursday.
Lynn refused to speak with News 4 on camera but sent us these FBI statistics from 2019. FBI — Table 43.
He told News 4 in a statement, “Per capita, African-Americans commit documented crime in many areas way more than any other ethnicity. Such as 13% of the population responsible for well over 50% of murder. The study that was put forth to us didn’t include the higher crime rate by race, when looking at the rate of use of force.”
“To try to quote statistics from the FBI is just ridiculous. There are so many factors of why black people get arrested. We know that they’re falsely accused a lot of the times, especially in our country’s past history and in our current history,” Studley said.