In Tulsa, Where Race Relations Are Raw, A White Mayor Feels The Heat

www.nytimes.com

By Graham Lee Brewer and Manny Fernandez

 

Mayor G.T. Bynum finds himself on the defensive over the presidential campaign, the coronavirus pandemic and the uproar over police abuse.

 

On what has become a solemn date in Tulsa, a group of Black leaders met with Mayor G.T. Bynum on the first of June. It was the 99th anniversary of one of the deadliest race riots in American history, when a Black neighborhood in the city was destroyed by a white mob in 1921.

Those gathered at City Hall to applaud the mayor’s commitment to police reform included a community organizer named Greg Robinson II and the twin sister of Terence T. Crutcher, an unarmed Black Tulsan who was shot and killed by a white police officer in 2016.

In a matter of weeks since the City Hall meeting, though, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Crutcher’s sister, Tiffany Crutcher, have turned into two of the mayor’s fiercest political rivals, as Mr. Bynum has lost support among many Black residents.

Mr. Bynum, a white moderate Republican, apologized for telling a national news outlet that the death of Mr. Crutcher, who had his hands in the air through much of the confrontation with officers, had more


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