It often feels like police officers can slap handcuffs on black youth just as easily as they get out of bed in the morning. In Tulsa, Okla., recently released body camera footage shows one black teenager being arrested and another being handcuffed by two police officers for committing the horrific, absolutely heinous crime of…*checks notes*...jaywalking.
In the videos of the June 4 incident, the two teenagers can be seen walking down the middle of a road together before they are approached by an officer on foot and a second in a squad car.
Once the officers reach the teenagers, one officer can then be seen forcing a teenager onto his stomach to handcuff him, while holding him down with his arms and knees. The second teenager is also handcuffed, but doesn’t struggle and remains standing.
The teenagers can both be heard repeatedly asking the officers why they are being detained and handcuffed and the teenager being held accuses the officers of targeting him be because he is black, saying “you want to see me in jail or dead.”
One of the arresting officers responds by telling the teens they were breaking the law by jaywalking.
As the officers then unsuccessfully try to place the struggling teenager in the front seat of their squad car, the teen yells, “Call my momma!,” threatening to beat the officer holding him if he gets out of his handcuffs.
The second teenager can be heard repeatedly telling his companion, “Chill out, bro. It’s not worth it.”
While the first teenager remains inside the caged squad car, the second teenager is eventually released from his handcuffs and instructed on how to avoid jaywalking going forward.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum posted a lengthy statement to Facebook Wednesday regarding the incident saying, “At a time when I see so many men and women in the Tulsa Police Department working to the limits of endurance to do the right thing, this has been a hard week. This is a moment in our city when every word you say can work to hurt or to heal, and several of us are falling short.”
“I want every kid in Tulsa to feel safe to walk down the street in their neighborhood,” he continued. “No Tulsa kid should have to fear being tackled and cuffed for walking down the street. I viewed that footage last night more as a parent than a mayor”
Speaking of words that “can work to hurt,” let’s not forget that, just two days before the footage of the teens’ encounter with police was released, Tulsa Police Department Major Travis Yates took his racist white ass on The Pat Campbell Show to declare that systemic racism in policing “just doesn’t exist” while, in the same fucking conversation, he said that Tulsa police are “shooting African-Americans about 24 percent less than we probably ought to be.”
Tulsa is also the city where y’all’s president is planning a campaign rally on Juneteenth, which, in all likelihood, will double as a pander-to-my-favorite-blacks-o-thon. One can only wonder if he’ll be addressing black teenagers being handcuffed for jaywalking in the city where systemic racism apparently “just doesn’t exist.”
According to the Tulsa Police Department, the department’s Internal Affairs Unit is currently investigating the first teenager’s arrest, CNN reports.