Betty Shelby Found Not Guilty In The Shooting Death Of Terence Crutcher
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 22, 2017,
May 22, 2017, 15:17
A white Tulsa police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man previous year has been found not guilty of first-degree manslaughter, outraging protesters gathered outside the courthouse to demonstrate against police brutality.
The jury was made up of eight women and four men - including three black jurors. They must decide whether Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby went too far September 16 when she killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher. While on duty last September, Shelby fatally shot an unarmed black man, Terrence Crutcher, who had experienced auto trouble.
However, prosecutors said he was not combative and police video from a dashboard camera and helicopter showed him walking away from her with his hands held above his head. Shelby testified that she had seen a training video in which a man walks to a vehicle, reaches in and pulls out a gun.
About 100 demonstrators gathered in a plaza outside the courthouse on Wednesday evening in peaceful protest at the verdict. At least five jurors started crying after the verdict was read, the Tulsa World reported.
"Those who disagree with the verdict have the right to express their opinions", she said in a statement.
"Tomorrow, I am going to get up and continue to prosecute cases just like I did before", he told reporters. Tulsa Police Department and her victim Terence Crutcher, 40.
Tiffany Crutcher, the twin sister of Terrence Crutcher, said her brother's hands were up, that he was not an imminent threat or attack her and didn't deserve to be shot. She also contended through her lawyer she was suffering from "auditory exclusion" and did not hear other officers arrive and one state that he had his Taser ready. Mr Crutcher's family said police attempted to "demonise" Mr Crutcher over the drug possession to deflect attention from the fact officers did not find a gun inside his vehicle. "What I got out of this case was that a cover up was exposed", she said. Other protesters walked through the downtown streets while chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot".
According to the Tulsa World, Tiffany Crutcher said her brother was murdered and the Tulsa Police Department tried to cover it up. "Crutcher's death is his fault". The SUV belonged to Crutcher.
Steve Kunzweiler, Tulsa County District Attorney, talks with the media following a verdict in the trial of Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby in Tulsa, Okla., Wednesday, May 17, 2017. And these are officers who are paid to serve and protect us.
Shelby spoke to 60 Minutes last month said race was not a factor in her decision to shoot, and claimed Crutcher was to blame for his death. During her testimony, Shelby said she arrived on the scene and cleared the vehicle, not seeing anyone inside.
Their father, Joseph Crutcher, said the verdict was unjust.
Bynum said racial disparity is great moral issue of our time and change can't happen until we acknowledge them.