OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma BlLegislativeack Caucus chair and vice chair today released statements in response to Governor Kevin Stitt’s roundtable on race, which aired Sunday night.
“The panel selection should have been more broad to offer more insight on these issues,” said Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus Chair State Rep. Regina Goodwin. “Gov. Stitt referred to the death of George Floyd and said, ‘We do not want this to happen in Oklahoma.’ This has already happened in Oklahoma. Elliott Williams, a black man with a broken neck, died in custody; an unarmed Terence Crutcher, was murdered by a police officer and both incidents were videotaped among numerous other incidents of innocent Black people being murdered.
“The governor also asked ‘What can elected officials do?’ For years, the Black Caucus collectively has created bills related to law enforcement reform only to meet disregard and rejection from leadership. I have personally filed legislation addressing hate crimes, police body camera usage, and excessive police force. None of these bills were heard on the House floor.
“The Black Caucus, along with leading community police reform advocates and activists, are engaged in creating policy. Beyond conversation, we need good legislation to be implemented.”
Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus Vice-Chair Rep. Jason Lowe echoed Goodwin’s words by calling for a broader conversation.
“In Oklahoma, we have a deep bench of academics, civil rights leaders, activists and elected officials who could have led the governor and panel in a difficult, yet extremely important conversation,” Lowe said. “Instead of a substantial meeting on inequity, we had a superficial show of solidarity.”