OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Following a weekend of protests that dissolved into tense situations with Oklahoma City police officers, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt is speaking about what can be done to provide equality to all members of the community.
On Monday, the Oklahoma City-chapter of Black Lives Matter announced a series of demands from city leaders.
One of the first demands is an apology.
“An apology from Police Chief Wade Gourley and Mayor David Holt and the immediate resignation of Gourley, whose lack of leadership resulted in aggressive actions by the police towards peaceful protesters, escalating tensions and resulting in violence that could have been avoided,” a news release from the group read.
Mayor Holt says that although he is in a position of power in the city, he has no authority over the police force.
In fact, he says that there are criminal penalties if he were to try and get involved with police matters.
Although he doesn’t have authority over the police force, Holt says that Oklahomans can still do more.
“These are really tough issues, but people like me, a white guy from northwest Oklahoma City, we first have to listen and we have to understand that this isn’t just about George Floyd. I mean, we should all be outraged at what happened in Minneapolis, but this is a nexus with a whole lot of other issues that tie back to unrealized dreams from the 1960s civil rights movement. It’s easy to pat ourselves on the back and be happy that we abolished Jim Crow laws or that overt acts of racism are shouted down in a public square. But the outcomes are still not equal because the opportunities are still not equal. If you are born and raised at N.E. 23rd and MLK, you are gonna have a shorter life span. You are going to realize less economic success, less educational attainment than somebody like me who was raised at N.W. 122nd and Rockwell. And we’ve gotta unpack why that is, and I think people like me have got to listen and we have got to accept that there are injustices still. And how can we at the government level, the individual level work through that? And it’s a long list of things that we need to do, and many of us are about that work but we’ve gotta always stay dedicated to it and redouble those efforts and this weekend is just a reminder of that,” Holt said.