Officer Betty Shelby was charged with manslaughter on Friday night for the fatal shooting of unarmed Terence Crutcher. Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office believed that Shelby “reacted unreasonably” and became “emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted.”
“In the matter of the death of Terence Crutcher, I determine that the filing of the felony crime of manslaughter in the first degree against the Tulsa Police officer Betty Shelby is warranted,” Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said.
Terence Crutcher was 40-years-old when he was shot and killed while approaching his SUV with his arms in the air on September 19, 2016.
Officer Shelby was assigned to a domestic violence call when she came across Crutcher and his vehicle on the road. Shelby approached Crutcher’s vehicle asking did it belong to him and was disabled. According to sources, Crutcher was mumbling and not answering Officer Shelby’s questions.
It was at this point that Terence Crutcher walked toward his car with his hands up and refused to respond to Shelby’s comments to stop. Officer Turnbough then arrives. He fires his Taser, and Shelby fired one shot hitting Crutcher in the lung after Crutcher allegedly reached in the driver side front window of his car.
However, Crutcher’s family lawyers have argued that the 40-year-old reached inside his vehicle. They say video evidence shows that the car windows were up, and blood on the windows proves that the windows were rolled up at the time Crutcher was shot and killed.
Tulsa’s police chief stated that Crutcher was unarmed, and no weapon was found on him or in his car.
Scott Wood, Shelby’s lawyer, stated that she believed Terence Crutcher was under the influence, “possibly PCP.”
A warrant was put out for the arrest of Betty Shelby. According to court documents, Shelby was booked into a Tulsa County jail and released on a $50,000 bond.
She was put on administrative leave with pay.
It’s sad that I have to write stories on unarmed black men being killed by the police once again.
R.I.P. Terence Crutcher.