Heartbreak and outrage against the Minneapolis police officer now charged in the killing of George Floyd stretched nearly 800 miles to the doors of the Oklahoma City Police Department Friday morning.
“Really, I'm tired of it. I'm just done,” Felix Linden said. “I really just don't understand how this can be the country that I live in.”
Linden stood in front of the Oklahoma City Police Department alone with a sign reading, “Say his name. George Floyd.”
“We can't be afraid to say their names,” Linden said. “They deserve to be treated like humans and humans have names. It's the first gift you were given when you were born and just what you take with you for the rest of your life.”
Linden has three children, an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree. He’s been a public-school teacher for 10 years.
“But none of that matters when all you see is a black man,” Linden said. “When all that matters is my skin that you see, and so if who I am doesn't matter, nothing matters.”
Ninety-nine years ago this weekend, fires were burning in Oklahoma as a white mob terrorized Tulsa’s Black Wall Street for 18 hours, killing an estimated 300 African Americans.
“Have we even gotten justice there?” Linden asked. “No, we haven’t. So, if we can't get justice 99 years ago how are we going to get justice today?”
The Oklahoma City Police Department said in a Facebook video, they have been reaching out to local community leaders and are constantly reviewing and updating their policies.
“Training in our department is heavily focused on de-escalation and our desire is for our officers not to be involved in use of force,” Police Chief Wade Gourley said.
“My parents’ generation fought for us to not have to do this stuff,” Linden said. “That's what is the saddest part, they fought for us to not have to worry about stuff like this anymore.”
A Black Lives Matter protest is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Northeast 36th Street and Kelley Avenue.
“I don't want nothing to happen to my kids. So, I'm doing this for them and for everybody else who has a kid who might be afraid,” Linden said. “I'm out here for you - whether you're out here for me or not.”