Statement from Sen. Kevin Matthews, Vice Chair of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus, concerning the fatal shooting of Eric Harris by Tulsa County reserve deputy Robert Bates on April 2. The incident took place in Senate District 11, which Sen. Matthews represents.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the Harris family and our community following this unfortunate tragedy. I will be meeting with local leaders including representatives of the clergy, law enforcement and the City of Tulsa to help in whatever way I can. Sen. Anastasia Pittman, who is Chair of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus, and I met with the National Black Police Association earlier this week to discuss this incident; and I’m meeting with the attorney representing the Harris family this afternoon.
In the coming days, the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus will be discussing our grave concerns regarding these types of deaths that continue to occur as a result of African American male interaction with law enforcement. Something must change and we will do all we can to figure out a way to stop these types of senseless deaths in our communities.”