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Union Backs Oklahoma City Police Chief After Black Lives Matter Calls For His Resignation

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma
A person holds up a first aid sign at a Black Lives Matter protest on Sunday, May 31, 2020.

The Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police declared their support for city police chief Wade Gourley Tuesday after Black Lives Matter activists demanded the chief's resignation.

The police union believes Gourley didn’t do anything wrong in his handling of the police response to protesters demanding reform. The union president, John George, says police were justified in using tear gas, rubber bullets and other weapons against protesters.

The Oklahoma City Chapter of Black Lives Matter denounced the vandalism committed after its official protest ended Sunday. The group also said it didn’t condone throwing objects at police. Union officials say the vast majority of protesters were peaceful.

George condemned the actions of the Minneapolis police officer who knelt on the neck of George Floyd before the man died.

The union president says Oklahoma City police work hard to use appropriate force, discipline officers who step out of bounds and maintain positive relationships with community members.

Black Lives Matter activists say city police disproportionately use more violence against black residents and they have made a list of demands for police reform.

Quinton Chandler worked at StateImpact Oklahoma from January 2018 to August 2021, focusing on criminal justice reporting.
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