House democrats said they have filed five police reform bills this month, none of them made it to the floor.
House Bill 2915, which would forbid officers from using lethal chokeholds, has failed to make it to the floor for a second time.
“It’s disappointing, I’m hoping that there are going to be more voices that continue to apply pressure and demand these types of change and hopefully Oklahoma will want to change the Oklahoma standard,” said Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, the Executive Director of Black Lives Matter OKC.
Another bill would have required officers to work with community leaders during their racial sensitivity training. Representative Mauree Turner said Tulsa and Oklahoma City have some of the highest rates of officer-involved shootings and it is time to find out why.
“Think about how race, ethnicity, plays a role and those demographics of folks who are predominantly killed, predominantly policed,” the District 88 Representative said. “To say that someone who works in the community continuously, who does this work continuously, cannot step in and do that with law enforcement is to deny that we have a problem.”
They said these conversations are not easy, but they are important especially for the communities they represent.
“My hope is that we are also encouraging our colleagues across the aisle to stand with us in that fight. It is also about empowering the people who put us here because our fellow folks across the aisle didn’t vote to keep us here, our communities do,” said Turner.
We reached out to House Speaker Charles McCall who did not want to comment. Other House Republicans have not responded to our request for a comment.
Other bills that did not get to the floor: