Tulsa cop acquitted in fatal shooting of unarmed motorist
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 1:44
A jury acquitted a white Tulsa police officer of manslaughter charges Wednesday night in her 2016 fatal shooting of a black man.
Crutcher's family called the verdict a disappointment and the police department "corrupt".
A crowd gathered outside the courtroom after Wednesday's verdict, chanting "No justice, no peace, no racist police".
"Terence had his hands up, and she still got away with murder", she said, referring to Shelby.
According to dashcam and arial footage from a helicopter hovering above, Crutcher was seen with his hands in the air before Shelby shot Crutcher, a father of four, in the lung.
The manslaughter trial against Shelby opened May 10 with prosecutors laying out how the five-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department encountered Crutcher - what should have been a routine traffic matter that went too far, they said.
Shelby says Crutcher ignored her commands to "show me your hands" and that he was sweating profusely and smelled of PCP chemicals.
"It made my city look bad; it made my police department look bad", Jordan said during a recent interview. The case fueled tensions over race relations, as Shelby is white and Crutcher was black.
"I know that jury did what we ask them to do. that is American jurisprudence at its best", he said. An autopsy showed PCP was in his system, and police said they found a vial of it in his vehicle.
Shelby testified Monday that she feared for her life and thought Crutcher was reaching inside his stalled SUV for a gun.
Gerard Lindsey, chairman of Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police, said there were no winners following the verdict.
Betty Shelby denied race was a factor when she shot Terence Crutcher and insisted her actions were driven entirely by the behavior of the man she shot.
The confrontation between Shelby and Crutcher was caught on video.
Crutcher's family, who maintain that the shooting was unjustified, accused the police of using the drug possession to deflect attention from the fact that Crutcher was unarmed when police shot him, The Associated Press reported. The prosecutors said Crutcher didn't make any aggressive moves towards any of the four officers eventually on the scene, and that he was not a threat.
However, the Crutcher family's lawyer, rejected her reasoning, saying that video from the killing shows Crutcher was "simply going to the vehicle with his hands up, and making the turn and pivoting to put his hands on the auto when the shot is fired".
In response to a question about the Crutcher family's confidence in Jordan's leadership, Solomon-Simmons responded only, "We are confident in our civil lawsuit moving forward soon".