by David Oldham, of ConstitutionalGounds.com
Tulsa Police Chief and Tulsa County DA caught lying to community
In the early morning hours of June 29, 2020 two Tulsa police officers were shot during a traffic stop. One died a day or so later, and the other remains in hospital. The shooter fled the scene. The shooter was identified as David Ware.
The same day, city officials, Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum, Tulsa PD chief Wendell Franklin, Tulsa County DA Steve Kunzweiler, and the US Attorney for NE Oklahoma Trent Shores held a press conference to inform the public about the incident and gain the public's help to locate Ware. The immediate narrative was that this was a cold-blooded shooting by a former felon who should have submitted to lawful orders, and that the police were heroes defending the community. They warned that if Ware would do this to police, that he was a danger to all of society. They expressed their contempt for Ware, and their near reverence for the police officers, in no uncertain terms. They called on the public to turn Ware in.
The police chief said in the press conference that the stop had been for an expired temporary paper tag, and that the officers decided to tow Ware's car. Ware, who had cooperated with police, disagreed with their claim of authority to take his car.
The reaction from the media was likewise entirely contemptuous toward Ware, and worshipful toward the police. Based on a police report used in court about the contents of the body and dash cam videos they reported that Ware had “stood over” the officer who died and “shot him three times,” after he was down and not a threat. There were media promoted processions for the deceased officer over the next couple of days. And all the of the local, government propagandist media promoted and covered the funeral and accompanying procession. Only positive statements and pictures could be found to have been used for the police, while only negative terms and photos were used to describe Ware.
A new court motion by Ware's counsel claims that the Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin and the TPD, as well as Tulsa County District Attorney and his office lied to the court and disseminated a false narrative to the community beginning in that first press conference. They want the body and dash cam videos released. In the motion, they detail a different set of events than was originally proclaimed and state that it is a fair representation of the video. The government does not want the video released, even though they have openly described what was on the video. The defense motion claims that their description was “gross mischaracterizations and/or lies about the case…” They include contentions that not only was Ware tazed and sprayed with pepper spray, but also that one officer kicked or stomped him in the groin.
In a response to the defense motion, the state responded by admitting that the statement about Ware standing over and shooting him three times was errant. They point to a supplemental report filed which explains some of the inconsistencies. We ask readers to read the two motions filed on July 20, 2020 at this link, https://www.oscn.net/dockets/GetCaseInformation.aspx…
Constitutional Grounds has been outspoken about the subject of licensing, saying in no uncertain terms that it is unconstitutional. Similarly, we have been outspoken in calling for full due process before any property is seized, unless it is by warrant and needed as evidence for actual crimes (4th and 5th Amendments, US Constitution, and the identical wording in Article 2, Sections 7 and 30, OK Constitution). Despite the language of both Constitutions, the OK legislature passed a law which not only allows for licensing, but also calls for the immediate impounding of vehicles deemed to be over 90 out of date. Courts have repeatedly upheld this illegal law. With that being the case, just where does a person go for redress for the violation of their rights?
It is our contention that the police were wholly at fault for the events which happened on July 29, 2020. Ignorance is no excuse before the law, and especially so for those sworn to uphold it. Did the police protect Ware’s rights and property that night? Or, were they engaged in unconstitutional acts which were intended to deprive him of his property without any due process?
Even other commenters, who regularly disagree with CG on our constitutional contentions, have noted that the police abused their authority, TPD policy, and the statute concerning the towing of cars for license violations. They now agree that it may well be that the shooting was mere self defense. Of course, these contentions will have to be worked out in court.
Is not self defense allowed in such cases if the perpetrators are not police? Might not a similar action be portrayed by the media as Attempted Car Jacking Goes Awry, Criminals Shot?
- David Oldham, founder & director of Constitutional Grounds