On Monday (Sept. 14), the Tulsa, Oklahoma police department released body camera footage from a June shooting that left one officer dead. David Ware — a 33-year-old white man — is seen in the video shooting at Sgt. Craig Johnson and officer Aurash Zarkeshan, the former of which passed away from his injuries.
Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin had argued against the release of the footage, saying that the public shouldn’t be allowed to “see the execution of a police officer.”
“To me, it seems criminals have more rights than what you and I do — they have more rights than what our law enforcement officers do,” Franklin said in a press conference on Monday. “You would never be allowed, publicly, to see the execution of a criminal, yet today you get to publicly see the execution of a police officer. What kind of society is that?”
However, District Judge William Musseman disagreed with the chief and said the public deserved to know exactly what happened during the incident, as in accordance with the Opens Record Act.
Police stopped Ware for a traffic stop on June 29 in East Tulsa. According to Franklin and the video, the officers gave Ware several verbal commands to exit his car before opting to use non-lethal force — like pepper spray and a stun gun — against him. After a struggle, Ware grabbed his gun and fired multiple times at the cops. He was taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder.
On Twitter, multiple users have pointed out that while many Black men and women have died at the hands of police while being completely unarmed, Ware was safely taken into custody after shooting two officers.
“This is America. Jacob Blake shot 7 times because he was black. A white man named ‘David Ware’ executes [sic] 2 police officers, & hes apprehended peacefully without incident,” one person tweeted. “They probably stopped to get him a burger at McDonald’s.”
Others also compared the lack of outrage cop-supporters have seemed to show toward Ware’s case, as opposed to the recent shooting of two Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies.
“This is David Ware. Video has been released today of him shooting two cops and killing one,” wrote a Twitter user. “All those phony #BlueLivesMatter hypocrites have been totally quiet about this because they don’t give a damn about the lives of cops, UNLESS it can facilitate their antiBlack racism.”
Twitter users also remembered Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old Black motorist who was killed by a Tulsa police officer in 2016. Earlier this year, a Tulsa police commander was also “under review” after saying that cops were shooting Black people “less than we probably ought to be.”
See Twitter reactions — with one including the body camera video — to the shooting below.