Sunday, 28 May, 2017

Tulsa Officer Found Not Guilty in Death of Terence Crutcher

Tulsa Okla. for her manslaughter trial in the shooting of Terence Crutcher. Shelby said Monday that a training video of an officer being fatally shot during a traffic stop Jury deliberates in Tulsa Officer Betty Shelby's manslaughter trial
Jacquelyn Byrd | 19 May, 2017, 21:12

In September 2017, Terence Crutcher, an unarmed Black man, was shot dead by Tulsa Police Officer Betty Jo Shelby on the side of a road during a traffic stop. Their heartbreak echoed that of families across the US following a spate of killings of black people that has fueled a national debate over race and policing.

Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby said she fired her weapon in the September 16 shooting out of fear because she said Crutcher didn't obey her commands to lie on the ground and appeared to reach inside his auto for what she thought was a gun. "I have four grandchildren that are at home now that has lost their daddy", he told assembled press after the verdict.

A lawyer for Shelby said she believed Crutcher was under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs.

"Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder", Crutcher's father, the Rev. Joey Crutcher, said after the verdict was announced.

Shelby told the jury in her own defense on Monday that she was taught during law enforcement training that if a suspect reaches into an area like a vehicle, an officer does not let them pull their arm back because they might be holding a gun, according to the Tulsa World. Shelby, who is white, has insisted she did so out of fear he was reaching for a weapon inside his auto. A witness called 911 and said a man was running away from the vehicle, warning that it was going to blow up. An autopsy report later found PCP in his system. She said she was taught during training if a suspect reaches into a auto, an officer does not let them pull their arm back because they might be holding a gun.

The confrontation between Shelby and Crutcher was caught on video.

On September 16, 2016, Crutcher's SUV was found stalled in the middle of the street.

"We're not trained to see what comes out of a auto", Shelby testified. Crutcher can be seen standing and walking with his hands up. Moments later blood is seen on his white t-shirt.

The family of an unarmed black man killed by a white Oklahoma police officer has called on Tulsa city leadership to block the officer from returning to her job.

It was Jordan's decision to release video of the Crutcher shooting, and in January he cancelled the Tulsa police contract with real-time arrest show "Live PD", which critics say shows incidents of racial profiling and caters to viewers' worst fears and biases. Jordan said his officers de-escalated tensions.

During a seperate news conference the same day, an attorney for the Crutcher family, Melvin Hall said Mr. Crutcher was only having problems with his SUV before he was shot to death.

A second attorney, Benjamin Crump said, "They treated him like a criminal".

"Tomorrow, I am going to get up and continue to prosecute cases just like I did before", he told reporters. He alternated between putting his hands in his pockets and putting them in the air, Shelby said. She shot Crutcher, simultaneously as another officer deployed his Taser.

But Bynum wasnt specific enough with details of how he would heal Tulsas racial wounds, and words will ring hollow without measurable change, Crutchers family and supporters said.

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