Tulsa, Okla. (KTUL) — Downtown Tulsa is preparing for the trial of Officer Betty Shelby and for numerous events that could coincide with her manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher.
Tulsa police say they are monitoring what happens downtown, but no one is sure if they will have more officers on duty patrolling the area.
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“Typically in the past we have had that. Right now with the unknown of what’s going to be happening, it’s hard to say if those officers will be placed somewhere else,” said Jeanne McKenzie with the Tulsa Police Department.
Mayfest is preparing to welcome 120 artists from all over the country, so canceling the festival is not an option. But organizers say they will have extra security with off-duty police officers hired.
“Mayfest would be a good audience if we had protesters and they are a few blocks away if they want a bigger audience, they may come to our festival site,” said Heather Pingry, executive director for Mayfest.
The Blue Dome Arts Festival, which shares crowds with Mayfest, expects the time to be peaceful.
“We have a strong staff used to working with large crowds and, for anything that might happen. We expect that it will be peaceful and positive,” said Jo Armstrong, who runs the Blue Dome Arts Festival.
Mayfest says if necessary they have contingency plans that would shut down the festival to protect everyone and could make it happen within five minutes.
Read more stories about the Betty Shelby trial and the death of Terence Crutcher.