Mayor David Holt responding to OKC Black Lives Matter demands

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt is responding to demands from OKC’s Black Lives Matter group.  

The group met Monday afternoon on the steps of OKC City Hall.  

“We demand an apology from police Chief Wade Gourley and Mayor David Holt,” Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, executive director of Black Lives Matter of Oklahoma City, said.

Mayor Holt quickly responded, agreeing to meet with leaders of BLM.  

He also told KFOR Monday morning that he would not second guess the actions of police.

“I do think our police have done everything they can to try to find some kind of reasonable approach here,” said Holt.

The group says their top demand is the immediate resignation of OKC Police Chief Wade Gourley.  

Holt says he simply has no control over the police chief.  

“In the Oklahoma City form of government the mayor does not have unilateral authority over police…I would be under criminal penalty if I tried to do that,” said Holt.

Black Lives Matter leaders are also asking that all OKC officers go through de-escalation training.  

KFOR asked OKCPD if they planned on responding to the demands and as of Monday, no response had been given.  

Chief Gourley did release a video last Friday in response to George Floyd’s death, detailing the de-escalation training that already exists.

“We review all instances of using of force our officers are involved in and have a very good track record of doing that…Training in our department is heavily focused on de-escalation and our desire is for our officers not to be involved in use of force,” said Gourley.

The group also asked Mayor Holt to commit to building a grocery store in northeast OKC. Holt says that is a demand he’s already been working on.  

“It is moving along. It is certainly still on track…I am fully committed as mayor and it’s been a high priority for me,” Holt said.  

Holt tells KFOR he’s already planned a meeting with Black Lives Matter leaders for Tuesday, June 2.  

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