OKLAHOMA – Images of protestors looting and rioting in Charlotte, North Carolina made the rounds Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
It’s a scene that’s played out in many cities around our country after deadly officer involved shootings.
But, protests in Tulsa have remained peaceful after the shooting of an unarmed black man there Friday night.
Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by Tulsa police officer, Betty Shelby.
Police said he was refusing to obey their commands after they came to assist when his car broke down in the middle of a Tulsa road.
Tuesday night, protestors gathered peacefully in front of the Tulsa Police Department.
It was a stark contrast to the riots in North Carolina.
Many in our community said the reason it has stayed peaceful in our state is churches have taken an active role.
“We’re angry. I mean, don’t get me wrong. We’re angry here in Oklahoma just like everywhere else, and we should be,” said Pastor Theodis Manning.
Manning is the pastor of the Divine Wisdom Worship Center in Midwest City.
He said, despite the anger, he’s encouraging his congregation to be peaceful.
He said answering violence with violence never works and churches all over the metro are taking a proactive stance.
“We got churches having town hall meetings with law enforcement and city and state officials, I mean, all over the city,” Manning said.
“Everything’s not perfect, but the efforts are being made,” said Clarence Hill, Jr. with Stronger Together OKC.
His group promotes peace, unity and seeking ways to ease racial tension.
“We have several what I call champions in our city who are doing great things on the ground level. It’s why Oklahoma City has not seen many flare ups,” Hill said.
On local radio station, 92.1FM, their morning open mic talk show devoted a lot of time to the situation in Tulsa.
“We try to provide an outlet for our listeners,” said Terry Monday with Perry Publishing and Broadcasting.
They said there are a good number of people who are fearful.
“With racial tension everywhere, it’s just kind of just festering, and it’s scary what could happen,” said radio host Nikki Nice.
The executive director of Black Lives Matter OKC, T. Sheri Dickerson, said they have a protest planned for Saturday in Tulsa but plan to keep it peaceful.