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Tulsa police sergeant is placed on restrictive duty after making insulting comments about protesters


By Andy Rose, CNN

A Tulsa, Oklahoma, police supervisor was placed on administrative duty Thursday after an audio recording revealed the sergeant making inappropriate comments about police brutality protesters during a training session.

The comments were made earlier this month during a Citizens Police Academy meeting, where residents can learn more about policing operations and procedures, the Tulsa Police Department said in a written statement Wednesday night.

“During this training session, the Supervisor expressed several personal opinions that are not acceptable for any Tulsa Police Officer to present as representatives of the Department,” the statement said.

The audio recording was provided by an attendee to CNN affiliate KJRH. In the station’s copy, the police supervisor called their response to protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd “like spanking a bunch of unruly kids.”

The sergeant is also heard using an ableist slur when referencing protesters, saying, “When the anti-police riots started and they hit Tulsa, this is not Oregon or Seattle. If you act retarded here, we will smoke your ass.”

Tulsa was one of numerous cities that saw large demonstrations after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in 2020 ignited nationwide protests against police brutality.

Earlier in the session, the officer can be heard saying, “Left versus right, white versus black, that’s all crap — all crap. It is people who love this country and are willing to follow the law and make changes to the law against people who hate this country and want it to look more like the old Soviet Union or China.”

At the end of the recording provided to KJRH, the man said, “Nothing is more dangerous to America than a liberal White person.”

Tulsa Police has not named the person heard on the recording.

“The Sergeant’s comments do not reflect the values of this department,” Police Chief Wendell Franklin tweeted Wednesday. “I have placed the Sergeant on restricted duty while the circumstances of the incident are investigated.”

Franklin’s statement indicated that other police officers who were present could face discipline.

“If the investigation reveals any police personnel failed in their duties, they will be held accountable,” he said.

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