Survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre that killed hundreds of innocent Black residents have demanded that the Department of Justice investigate the tragedy and the city's response. To further their efforts, Justice For Greenwood, a nonprofit made up of survivors, their descendants, attorneys and community leaders, issued a letter to the DOJ.
“There are innumerable reasons why the Department of Justice should intervene in this case, but a few stand out. First, the City perpetrated the massacre and then led the cover-up of the massacre for 75 years. Over the last 20 years and currently, the City’s official position is they are not responsible for the horrendous loss of life, land, or livelihood that they caused,” the letter states.
“How can the City be trusted to handle this mass grave search with integrity, with the proper respect, and most importantly, with the accountability that is necessary for healing and justice?”
Specifically, the letter argues that the DOJ should intervene in the city's search for previously unmarked gravesites. Justice For Greenwood writes that the Tulsa Race Massacre should not be “investigated by the very perpetrator(s) of the crime, let alone entities we know have failed to adequately investigate and prosecute those responsible for the crimes.”
"Now, in the year of the Massacre’s centennial anniversary, we hope to change that, which is why we are calling on the DOJ to bring the integrity of the federal government to Tulsa to help heal these century-old wounds, by conducting a meaningful and objective investigation into the Massacre and answering questions that have long gone unresolved," the letter adds.
Tulsa Communication Director Michelle Brooks has stated that she is unable to comment on the letter due to ongoing litigation. However, a DOJ spokesperson told the Washington Post that it "received the request filed by descendants of the Tulsa race massacre and we are reviewing it.”