Jury acquits Tulsa police officer in fatal shooting of unarmed black man
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 19, 2017,
May 19, 2017, 15:27
"No justice, no peace, no racist police!".
Washington said she came to the courthouse to show her support for Crutcher but didn't bring her kids because she was unsure of what to expect from the crowds. Ms McMurray argued that prosecutors rushed to charge Shelby for political reasons, fearing civil unrest like the angry street protests that erupted in Charlotte, North Carolina, after the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott four days after Mr Crutcher was killed.
"I have five sons. what do we teach our kids, man?" Then the bailiff went and got more tissues for two other women and a man who were all crying, as well.
After deliberating for more than eight hours Wednesday, jurors acquitted Tulsa Police Officer Betty Jo Shelby of first-degree manslaughter, a charge connected to the shooting death of an unarmed motorist previous year that many believed to be predicated on racial bias rather than immediate danger. Jordan said his officers de-escalated tensions.
After the decision was announced, peaceful but defiant protesters briefly blocked an intersection in downtown Tulsa, prompting authorities to threaten the use of tear gas and arrest.
The trial focused on whether deadly force was warranted. "If you hesitate or delay, you die".
The family is also calling for the Tulsa Police Department to be reformed.
Jurors reached their verdict after deliberating for just over nine hours.
UPDATE: 6:20 p.m. - Judge denies mistrial request. Some were seen holding signs in support of Betty Shelby. I appreciate the jurors' service to our community and respect their verdict. I appeal to Tulsans and others to remain calm.
Tulsa police have said Crutcher was unarmed and there was no weapon in his vehicle, which was blocking a road.
Lawyers defending Shelby contended that the video offered an abridged version of what happened. "We need better training for police officers!"
The superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools has released a statement.
"We have to find ways to express outrage ..." They reiterated that Crutcher ignored repeated commands. "But I can tell you that jurors seem very reluctant to second-guess the split-second life-or-death decisions of an on-duty police officer who shot and killed someone". "Even as we struggle with the discomfort of confronting issues around race, justice, and equity, we must set the best example possible for our kids".
"I didn't know what to say to her".
"Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder, and I don't know what was in the mind of that jury", said Crutcher's father, Joseph, after the ruling. She was charged with felony manslaughter. "Terence's hands were up, Terence was not an imminent threat, Terence did not attack her, Terence did not charge at her, Terence was not the aggressor".
Shelby, who is trained as a Drug Recognition Expert, previously said her initial impression was that Crutcher was under the influence of what she suspected to be PCP. "All of the officers of the Tulsa Police Department tried to cover for her".