Tulsa Officer Found Not Guilty in Death of Terence Crutcher

Angie Massey
May 19, 2017

A jury in Tulsa, Oklahoma, acquitted a police officer in the shooting of an unarmed black man.

Shelby testified Monday that she fired her weapon because "I feared for my life".

Before issuing a verdict Wednesday night, the nine white jurors and three black jurors asked the judge if they could explain their verdict in court.

What did Shelby's lawyers say in court? .

Crutcher's family also condemned the verdict and called the police department "corrupt".

Mr Crutcher's family was ushered out of the courtroom after the verdict.

Shelby also said she feared Crutcher was under the influence of PCP, a powerful hallucinogenic known as Angel Dust that makes users erratic, unpredictable and combative. Terence's hands were in the air. Terence was not an imminent threat. Terence did not attack her. Terence did not charge at her. Terence was not the aggressor.

"There's still a family that has dealt with a tragedy here, the Crutchers, and we still extend our deepest sympathies to them".

Shelby's attorneys argued that in the two minutes before cameras began recording the encounter, Shelby repeatedly ordered Crutcher to stop walking away from her and get on the ground.

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The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. Police said he is a Navy veteran and has two prior arrests, in 2008 and 2015, for driving under the influence .

"I don't know what was in the mind of the jury, how they could come to that conclusion.You did your job, but I'm wondering what you were thinking about", said Dr. Terry Crutcher, the father of the victim.

The Crutcher case was another in a string of deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of the police in the United States that has spawned periodic protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. Video released by the Tulsa Police Department showed Shelby firing a fatal shot into Crutcher's chest as he stood next to his vehicle. "What I got out of this case was that a coverup was exposed". Police found a vial of PCP in the SUV's door, but no weapons were found. "We're going to break the chains of police brutality", Tiffany Crutcher said.

The shooting was among a string of highly publicized officer-involved shooting deaths of African American across the U.S.in recent years.

The not guilty verdict led to a demonstration outside the Tulsa courthouse, as protesters chanted "Hands up, don't shoot!" and "Not justice, no peace!" Shelby, who is white, has insisted she did so out of fear he was reaching for a weapon inside his auto. He added, "We're very glad for our member that she's been vindicated". Shelby was the first of several officers who responded to the call about an abandoned SUV in the middle of the road.

Attorneys said Kunzweiler fought 911 callers' tapes in the trial because they showed others feared Crutcher that day. Crutcher was stranded on the side of the road after having auto trouble.

The confrontation between Shelby and Crutcher was caught on video. No weapon was found on Crutcher or in the vehicle.

According to the Associated Press, Shelby doubled down on blaming Crutcher for his own demise saying during the trial she maintained the training she received as an officer.

"We're not trained to see what comes out of a vehicle", Shelby testified. "We've had to stop". In the moments before Crutcher was shot, an officer in a police helicopter was overhead referring to Crutcher as a "big bad dude" - a description the family found particularly offensive.

"The facts were there, all the elements of manslaughter were there", she said.

Other reports by GizPress

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