Tulsa Police Department major Travis Yates claims he was misquoted during a recent podcast appearance where he stated that officers are "shooting African-Americans about 24 percent less than we probably ought to be, based on the crimes being committed."
The most baffling part is Yates' misquote defense isn't even in regards to that callous comment you just read above.
In a statement obtained by KTUL, Yates claims that prior to that disturbing line, he mentioned some research from Roland Fryer, Heather MacDonald, and the National Academy of Sciences in an effort to somehow support his argument, but his remarks were diminished in the transcript by Public Radio Tulsa to "All of their research says."
You're probably going to return to that Idris clip in a little bit. Here's what he said leading up to that line.
"You get this meme of, 'Blacks are shot two times, two and a half times more,' and everybody just goes, 'Oh, yeah,'" Yates said. "They're not making sense here. You have to come into contact with law enforcement for that to occur.
"If a certain group is committing more crimes, more violent crimes, and law enforcement's having to come into more contact with them, that number is going to be higher," Yates continued. "Who in the world in their right mind would think that our shootings should be right along the U.S. Census lines? That's insanity. All of the research says we're shooting African-Americans about 24% less than we probably ought to be, based on the crimes being committed."
You're probably going to return to that Idris clip again.
Yates also believes that since the Minneapolis officers who killed George Floyd have been arrested and charged, the protests in pursuit of justice is done. "The officer was arrested the next day. They were prosecuted, they were fired," he said. "What are you doing? What do you mean, 'justice?' Justice at this point has been done."
While that may be true, the same can't be said for Breonna Taylor, Darrius Stewart, Tamir Rice, and many, many more. Yates vented about how systematic racism, and police brutality don't exist, saying, "This is what they're trying to say that all these changes need to come from: this is why we're protesting, this is why we're rioting. Because of systematic abuse of power and racism. That just doesn't exist."
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum called Yates' comments "dumb," and released the following statement:
"He does not speak for my administration, for the Tulsa Police Department, or the City of Tulsa," Bynum said. "His comments are under review by the Chief’s Office. And if he didn’t mean to make the statement in the way it has been received, he owes Tulsans a clarification and an apology."
The Tulsa Police Department released their own response in a statement that reads, "This matter has been referred to our Internal Affairs Unit. We want to make it clear the statements made by Yates are not a part of curriculum or training provided by the department."