"In 1889 the celebrated Oklahoma Land Rush, 150,000 white settlers scramble to claim the choicest. Savage lynchings, Ku Klux Klan terrorism and Jim Crow legislation kept Negroes out. Later the heirs and successors of white settlers were to discover billions of dollars of petroleum resources on these lands." (Theodore Cross' book, 'The Black Power Imperative', pp.122-23.)
As Black Americans struggled to find success in Tulsa, Oklahoma, they managed to erect a thriving business community to care for their residences. In 1921 came the Tulsa Race Riots when whites burned the segregated black business district of Greenwood, reportedly killing 300 black citizens.
Meanwhile, the LaFortune family became one of Tulsa's most prominent white families active in the petroleum industry, philanthropy and civic affairs. Robert A. LaFortune served as the city's street commissioner from 1964 to 1970 and as mayor from 1970 to 1978. His grandfather - Joseph LaFortune Sr., gave millions for medical research, an athletic dorm at the University of Tulsa and a high school football stadium.
Today, Tulsa County district Judge William "Bill" LaFortune, a Republican, served as the 34th mayor of Tulsa 2002-2006. His uncle served as mayor of Tulsa in the 1970s and his nephew, G.T. Bynum, is the current mayor. However, Judge LaFortune may have cost the life 37-year-old Khalid Jabara last year.
"Prosecutors allege that Stanley Vernon Majors murdered Jabara after Judge LaFortune ignored prosecutors and allowed Majors to be released from jail while awaiting charges of running over Jabara's mom.
Majors lived next door to the Jabara family and was under a protective order at the time of both attacks. The order came after a history of threats and racial slurs. In Sept. 2012, prosecutors charged Majors with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, leaving the scene of a collision involving injury, violating a protective order and public intoxication after he alleged hit Haifa Jabara with a car, Tulsa World reported.
Majors was initially denied bail while awaiting trial for the attack.
Despite Majors having been convicted in 2009 of threatening a crime with intent to terrorize, Judge LaFortune allowed him to be released on $30,000 bail. Majors was released for jail and returned home to live next door to the Jabara family.
Assistant District Attorney Brett Mize filed a motion asking Judge LaFortune to reconsider allowing bond or at least raise the amount to $300,000.
Majors has "demonstrated a wanton disregard for the life of the victim and the safety of the public," the prosecution concluded. "At that bond hearing, the judge was told Majors was a dangerous man, with a prior conviction of threatening with intent to terrorize someone in California. That he was a flight risk. That hitting Haifa Jabara was an intentional act and it was likely he would be convicted," CNN reported.
Judge LaFortune disagreed. Bail was raised to $60,000 - one fifth of the minimum the state had suggested - and Majors bonded out immediately.
The district attorney's office asked the judge to reconsider, Fox 23 News reported. The judge did not.
Officials at the DA's office refused comment to Fox 23 on why Majors was not charged with a hate crime in the initial attack on the mother.
"The perpetrator was not unknown to us-he is our neighbor-someone whom we continuously brought to law enforcement's attention. He killed our brother while awaiting trial for running over our mother, resulting in a broken shoulder, collapsed lung, broken ankle, broken nose, head trauma, and fractured ribs amongst other injuries," the Jabara family said in a statement. The Jabara family had harsh words for the fact that Judge LaFortune had allowed Majors to go free."
Ironic and tragically, this same judge, William LaFortune, "sealed the documents involving the fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher by white former Tulsa Police Department officer Betty Jo Shelby, essentially making it, "as if it never happened."
Crutcher had his hands in the air and was unarmed. Officer Shelby was acquitted and now works for the neighboring Rogers County Sheriff's Office.
Yes, generational bigotry and discrimination effects Black Americans even to this day. White privilege has always been and probably will be for a long time, damaging to people of color, no matter what race, creed, or religion.
Source from: https://www.rawstory.com/2017/10/gop-judge-who-scrubbed-white-cops-record-is-responsible-for-racist-mans-deadly-rampage-family-says/
© Nov. 2017
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