Tulsa Shooting Suspects Charged With Murder and Hate Crimes
The two men arrested for a series of shootings of African Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have been charged with murder and hate crimes.
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Prosecutors brought murder and hate-crime charges on Friday against two white men arrested in the shootings of four black men and a black woman, three of them fatally, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a week ago.
Black lawmakers in Oklahoma and civil rights leaders, including the Reverend Jesse Jackson, have pressed authorities to bring the hate-crime charges against Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 33, to acknowledge their racial motive for gunning down unsuspecting victims before dawn on April 6.
Shortly before the killings, England had lamented on his Facebook page that two years had passed since his father was killed by a black man, to whom he referred with a racial slur.
Police have described the shootings as random because the pair of self-employed laborers did not know any of their victims. One witness said the gunman simply pulled his pickup truck to the side of the street and asked for directions before opening fire.