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Travis Yates, a Tulsa Police Department major, claims that he was misquoted during a recent podcast appearance after stating that officers are “shooting African-Americans about 24 percent less than we probably ought to be, based on the crimes being committed.”

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 while trying to support his argument–but his remarks were diminished in the transcript by Public Radio Tulsa to simply say, “all of their research says.”

Here’s the controversial discussion from the podcast:

“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.”‘

Taking things even further, Yates also thinks that since the officers who killed George Floyd were already arrested and charged, the protests in pursuit of justice should be 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.”

*deep, heavy sigh*

Luckily, some people in Oklahoma have some sense, with Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum calling Yates’ comments “dumb,” and releasing a statement calling for his apology:

“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 also released their own response, saying, “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.”



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