Jury Clears Tulsa Cop In Fatal Shooting, Protests Erupt

The jury, which was composed of eight women and four men, and included four black jurors, delivered the not guilty verdict after deliberating for around nine hours on Wednesday.

Betty Shelby, the Tulsa cop who was charged with manslaughter in September 2016 for the shooting death of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, was acquitted by a jury on Wednesday, sparking immediate protests.

Recent of deaths of unarmed Black men killed by the police in the United State had sparked a national debate over racial bias in law enforcement and prompted calls for more police accountability. "Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder", the Rev. Joey Crutcher said.

Oklahoma's Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has called for calm after a jury found a Tulsa police officer not guilty in the shooting of an unarmed black man previous year. John Durkee is in our newsroom.

"If a reasonable police officer in that situation would not have perceived such a threat, then the shooting was not legally justified", explained Stinson.

Crutcher's father, Joseph, accepted the vote but said he knew the officer was guilty. Crutcher's family was dismayed by the jury's decision, alleging the police department was corrupt. Tiffany Crutcher says Shelby is violent, lacks training and should not return to patrolling the streets.

Defense attorney Shannon McMurray said Shelby shot Crutcher because she thought he was reaching into his SUV for a gun.

They chanted: "No justice, no peace, no racist police". "Betty Shelby was following him with his hands up".

After the verdict, Shelby left without making a statement as Crutcher's family tearfully left the courtroom.

The ruling makes Shelby the latest white officer to escape unharmed after killing an African American over the past few years. They also questioned why Shelby used a gun rather than a Taser. "So we are moving forward together - Tulsans from all parts of the city, police officers and everyday citizens - with a unified objective to make this a better place for all of us".

No guns were found inside Crutcher's vehicle.

"This is definitely a tough pill to swallow", his sister, Tiffany Crutcher, said.

McMurray elicited groans from the gallery last week when she asked an investigator if a screwdriver found on the center console of Crutcher's auto could be considered a weapon. He added, "We're very glad for our member that she's been vindicated.

The true reality is that we all knew it was a hard case", said Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler who prosecuted the case.

Shortly before he died, Mr. Crutcher stopped his S.U.V.in the middle of a North Tulsa street and got out, behaving erratically and prompting 911 calls from other motorists.

  • Salvatore Jensen