Jury acquits Tulsa police officer in shooting of unarmed black man
- Author: Salvatore Jensen May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 13:07
They left the courthouse without commenting. Shelby said she "didn't have time to pull out her Taser".
Terrence Crutcher's sister, Tiffany Crutcher, told reporters after the verdict came in that her brother never attacked or threatened Shelby, who said she feared for her life during the roadside encounter.
Why Shelby said she had "never been so scared in [her] life".
Shelby shot Crutcher on September 16 after his SUV stalled on a north Tulsa roadway.
Police video showed him with his hands up before he was shot.
Reverend Al Sharpton raises his hands while speaking to protesters before a peaceful 2016 march for Terence Crutcher, who was shot by Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby. Shelby was the first of several officers who responded to the call about an abandoned SUV in the middle of the road.
A lawyer for Shelby said the officer was "elated" that the jury found her not guilty. In the interview and at trial, she blamed Crutcher's death on his actions.
And although Crutcher, who stood over six-feet tall and was well over 200 pounds, was not showing signs of aggression, Shelby said she knew the dangers of encountering an individual under the influence of PCP. Prosecutors asserted that Crutcher posed no threat to Shelby, nor was he behaving in an aggressive or unhinged manner.
After calling dispatch to send another officer to that initial domestic call, she approached the vehicle, and glanced in the window but saw no one, she said.
According to the instructions, the jury must consider charges based on what happened at the time of the shooting, not after. "But let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder".
"There can be no doubt that the decision rendered by this jury was only after a long and deliberative process", Kunzweiler added.
A second attorney, Benjamin Crump said, "They treated him like a criminal". He alternated between putting his hands in his pockets and putting them in the air, Shelby said.
Shelby said she fired her weapon out of fear because she said he didn't obey her commands to lie on the ground and appeared to reach inside his SUV for what she thought was a gun.
UPDATE: 6:20 p.m. - Judge denies mistrial request. She vowed she wouldn't rest until policing is reformed in Tulsa and its "corrupt" culture stamped out.
She also criticized police for not immediately providing care after Terence Crutcher was shot. The officer who made the comment was not identified.
The family of Crutcher burst into tears and reacted with outrage.
Police said they asked Crutcher if the vehicle belonged to him, but he mumbled under his breath, not giving the officers a direct response, according to an affidavit.