Officer Betty Shelby charged with manslaughter for killing unarmed Terence Crutcher who she shot and killed during an incident where he car stalled on the highway. Betty Shelby charged with manslaughter for killing unarmed Terence Crutcher who she shot and killed during an incident where he car stalled on the highway.
We have included an excerpt via The Washington Post with more details in the story below.
“Tulsa police say Crutcher did not have a gun on him or in his vehicle.
The footage does not offer a clear view of when Shelby fired the single shot that killed Crutcher. Her attorney, Scott Wood, has said Crutcher was not following police commands and that Shelby opened fire when the man began to reach into his SUV window.
Wood told the Tulsa World that Shelby opened fire and another officer used a stun gun when Crutcher’s “left hand goes through the car window.”
In a statement, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) said she hopes the decision “provides some peace” to the Crutcher family and urged people to be patient as the case unfolds.
“No matter how you feel about the prosecutors’ decision in this case, I hope Oklahomans will respect the views of your friends and neighbors because we still have to live peacefully together as we try to make sense of the circumstances that led to Mr. Crutcher’s death,” Fallin said.
Shelby thought Crutcher was behaving like someone under the possible influence of the drug Phencyclidine (PCP), Wood told the World, noting that Crutcher ignored the officer’s commands to stop reaching into his pockets. Shelby feared Crutcher might have a gun in his pocket, he said. A police official told The World that PCP was found in Crutcher’s vehicle; an attorney for Crutcher’s family has said reports linking Crutcher to drugs were attempts to “intellectually justify” his death.
“Make no mistake, it was clear from the beginning that charges were necessary in this case. The officer responsible for the death of Terence Crutcher had to be brought to justice to be held accountable for her actions,” Crutcher family attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement Thursday. “We remain optimistic that the State Attorney will now do his job, and vigorously prosecute the officer to the fullest extent of the law, bringing some form of justice to the Crutcher family.”
Shelby is a five-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department. Wood, who did not return a request for comment, told The World that Shelby is “very distraught” over the shooting and that she has received death threats.
Shelby is one of at least three female officer to be charged in a fatal shooting in the past decade.
[Police officers charged in fatal shootings while on duty: 54 cases in the past decade]
According to reports, Shelby is married to fellow officer David Shelby, who was in a helicopter that recorded the fatal shooting and was recorded talking with a fellow officer about how they believe Crutcher should be shot with a Taser. One of them said he looked “like a bad dude.”
Betty Shelby worked at the Tulsa Sheriff’s Department from June 2007 to November 2011, according to Deputy Justin Green, a department spokesman. Shelby was involved in a use of force incident at the department for “firearms presentation,” Green said. Shelby and other officers entered a home with their firearms drawn as they were trying to serve warrants.
According to her 2007 application to the sheriff’s office, Shelby said she had been married twice before and was on track to receive a biology degree from Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow, Okla. She had previously worked as a convenience store manager, teacher assistant and trainee in the Oklahoma Air National Guard. Shelby wrote that she sprained her knee during basic training and the guard did not want to “take car of my rehabilitation,” so she was discharged.
On the application, which was obtained by KJRH television, Shelby answered “yes” to questions about whether she had used drugs and whether she had a victim protection order filed against her. Shelby said she had used marijuana twice as an 18-year-old.
In an expanded answer, Shelby wrote in 1993 she and a boyfriend had an argument where they ended their relationship. She said the boyfriend hit her car with a shovel and she did the same to his vehicle. The two filed orders against one another and asked a judge to dismiss them, she wrote.
In 2000, Shelby and an ex-husband were in a custody battle that was appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. In 2002, she wrote that her ex-husband’s wife filed a protective order against Shelby, alleging she made harassing phone calls. Shelby wrote the order was denied.
In 2004, Shelby spoke at a rally attended by about 6,000 people, including members of Congress and Tulsa’s mayor that showed support for U.S. troops deployed overseas. David Shelby was stationed overseas with the Army; according to The World he was a reservist who volunteered for duty.
“I knew there was always a possibility he was going to be deployed sometime,” Betty Shelby said at the rally. “He knows this is his duty and he’s proud to serve his country.”
In a Facebook posting from Aug. 28, Shelby is pictured standing with a couple and holding a bouquet of flowers. The couple, identified as the Joneses, were robbed, and Shelby found their property and returned it to them.
“Well done, Officer Shelby and thanks to the Joneses for making her day,” the post read.” – Washington Post