Tulsa Police: We Always Handle Investigations Involving Officers
Tulsa Police say they always handle investigations involving their own officers.
The department is currently investigating after two long-time members of the force were accused in the death of teenager. Officers Shannon Kepler was booked Wednesday on a complaint of first-degree murder. His wife and fellow officer, Gina Kepler, is jailed on a complaint of being an accessory to murder after the fact.
Deputy Chief Dennis Larsen says the department has protocols for investigations involving officers, including oversight from the District Attorney.
"It really doesn't matter on either side who the suspect is, we are going to go down the same road," he said. "We are going to all the evidence gathering required, and we are going to put together a thorough case."
Larsen says in his 35 years on the force, he has never seen Tulsa police completely turn a case over to another agency.
"There's very few crimes that require outside assistance," he said. "We are not shy about asking for it, but there are few times we require outside assistance because we are capable."
Jessica Brown with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says there is not a state code of ethics that can be applied to this situation.
Local law enforcement agencies can ask the bureau to investigate, but in most cases larger agencies like Tulsa opt to handle investigations internally.
"In a situation similar to this, where the large police department will investigate one of its own for a possible crime, the district attorney will get that investigation and will go over that investigation," Brown said. "If the district attorney believes there is any possible impropriety they then can call O.S.B.I in."