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Tag Archives: Terrence Crutcher

Terrence Crutcher Killer Gets a Walk

Yet another odd one from the courts. This one in my view, definitely falls under “The New Jim Crow”.  I am not familiar with the statutes in the State relative to murder, so this could be an issue of “overcharging” – but I cannot understand why this murderer wasn’t held culpable. At least under a lesser charge.

Tulsa police officer found not guilty in shooting of Terence Crutcher

Officer Shelby was acquitted by a jury in the shooting of unarmed black man Terence Crutcher

Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby was acquitted of first-degree manslaughter after shooting and killing unarmed black man Terence Crutcher last year. The jury of nine white people and three were black people acquitted Shelby after nine hours of deliberation on Wednesday night, according to NPR.

The shooting took place last September and was captured on video which shows Crutcher with his hands above his head as he walks towards his vehicle that is stalled in the middle of the road. Aerial footage of the shooting was also taken by Shelby’s husband, a Tulsa police officer who was operating the department’s helicopter that evening.

Shelby said that she used lethal force because she feared for her life as she believed Crutcher attempted to reach into a car to, presumably, grab a weapon. The officer arrived at the scene where Crutcher’s car was stalled in the middle of the road, and a witness who dialed 911 claimed a man was running away from the vehicle delivering warnings that it may explode, according to CNN. Shelby testified that Crutcher was not complying with her commands to make his hands visible and that she had acted only as she was trained to. Shelby also said Crutcher was sweating and claimed that she had smelled PCP.

“We’re not trained to see what comes out of a car,” she said according to CNN. “We’re trained to stop a threat, and by all indications, he was a threat.” At the same time that Shelby shot Crutcher, another officer next to her deployed his taser.  An autopsy report found that PCP was in Crutcher’s system at the time of the shooting, according to CNN.  However, no weapon was ultimately found on his person or in the vehicle.

When asked if the outcome of the incident was Crutcher’s own fault, Shelby replied, “Yes,” in a “60 Minutes” interview. “I have sorrow that this happened, that this man lost his life. But he caused the situation to occur,” Shelby said “So in the end, he caused his own,” death.

The ruling delivered a devastating blow to the family who believed that Shelby should have faced consequences for her actions. “Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder, and I don’t know what was in the mind of that jury,” Crutcher’s father said, according to NPR.

The incident is the latest in a string of shootings of unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement across the country. Officers have seldom been convicted of crimes. Critics say that Shelby, who is white, overreacted and used unnecessary force. Protesters gathered peacefully outside the courtroom shortly after the verdict, condemning the decision, according to CNN.

“No justice, no peace, no racist police!” the crowd chanted.

Leaders in Tulsa, Oklahoma have urged for peace after the verdict. “This verdict does not alter the course on which we are adamantly set,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a news conference, according to the Associated Press.

“It does not change our recognition of the racial disparities that have afflicted Tulsa historically. It does not change our work to institute community policing measures that empower citizens to work side by side with police officers in making our community safer.”

 

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Tulsa Cop Who Shot Terrence Crutcher Charged With Manslaughter and Arrested

Wow! That was quick.

Tulsa officer who fatally shot Terence Crutcher charged with first-degree manslaughter

The white Tulsa, Okla., police officer captured on video fatally shooting an unarmed black man on a city street will face first-degree manslaughter charges, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler announced at a news conference.

The prosecutor filed the charges against officer Betty Shelby on Thursday, a full six days after multiple cameras showed her shooting 40-year-old Terence Crutcher as he stood beside his  stalled sport-utility vehicle. Moments earlier, cameras had captured Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his hands in the air.

“The tragic circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Crutcher are on the hearts and minds of many people in this community,” he said, according to NBC affiliate KJRH. “It’s important to note that despite the heightened tensions felt by all, which seemingly beg for an emotional response and reaction, our community has consistently demonstrated the willingness to respect the judicial process.”

“I do not know why things happen in this world the way they do,” Kunzweiler added. “We need to pray for wisdom and guidance.”

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin released a statement saying she hopes the charges provide “some peace to the Crutcher family and the people of Tulsa.” The statement also urges the public to remain patient and remember that officer Shelby is innocent until proven guilty.

“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,” the statement added.

Video shows Crutcher walking toward his vehicle with his hands above his head while several officers follow closely behind him with weapons raised. He lingers at his vehicle’s driver’s side window, his body facing the SUV, before slumping to the ground a second later.

“Shots fired!” a female voice can be heard yelling.

Tulsa police say Crutcher did not have a gun on him or in his vehicle.

After Crutcher is hit, footage shows his limp body lying on the roadway beside his vehicle. Officers appear to wait more than 2½ minutes before approaching Crutcher while he bleeds in the street.

The footage does not offer a clear view of when Shelby fired the single shot that killed Crutcher. Her attorney has said Crutcher was not following police commands and that Shelby opened fire when the man began to reach into his SUV window.

Shelby’s attorney, Scott 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.”

Wood told told the Tulsa World earlier in the week that when his client arrived at the scene, several minutes before the camera footage begins, she found Crutcher’s vehicle in the middle of the road with the engine on and the doors open. Shelby, he said, wasn’t “really sure what [was] going on,” Wood said.

Shelby thought Crutcher was behaving like someone under the possible influence of 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, because people carrying weapons repeatedly touch their pockets to confirm the weapon is still there, Wood added.

Shelby, he said, had already checked the driver’s side of the SUV when Crutcher approached her from the east. At that point, the attorney said, a backup officer arrived and drew his stun gun. Wood said the stun gun and service weapon were fired simultaneously.

Police told the Associated Press that Shelby had a stun gun but did not use it.

A warrant has been issued for Shelby’s arrest, Kunzweiler said Thursday, and arrangements were being made with her lawyer for her surrender to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department. Shelby, who was hired in 2011, had been placed on administrative leave with pay.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Another Cop Murder of An Unarmed Black Man in Tulsa

Here we go again…Another BS situation…Another cop murder of a unarmed innocent man.

 

Oklahoma Officer Fatally Shoots Unarmed Black Man In Alarming Video

The man appears to be walking with his hands above his head.

The Tulsa, Oklahoma, police department on Monday released several videos showing last week’s fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a white female officer.

Terence Crutcher, 40, was shot and killed Friday after officers responding to an unrelated call spotted his vehicle stalled in the middle of the roadway, Tulsa World reports. The police department earlier said Crutcher refused orders to put up his hands, but the footage appears to show him walking toward his vehicle with his hands above his head.

The officer who fired the fatal shot has been identified as Betty Shelby. A second officer, Tyler Turnbough, deployed a stun gun, the Associated Press reports.

During a press conference on Monday, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan called the video footage “very disturbing — it’s very difficult to watch.” He said there was no gun found on Crutcher or in his vehicle.

“I will just make this promise to you: We will achieve justice in this case,” Jordan said. “I want to assure our community and I want to assure all of you and people across the nation who are going to be looking at this: We will achieve justice ― period.”

At a separate news conference, Damario Solomon-Simmons, an attorney for Crutcher’s family, said the department’s claim that Crutcher died at the hospital was not true.

“Terence died on that street in his own blood, without any help,” the lawyer said.

“We saw that Terence did not have any weapon,” Solomon-Simmons said. “We saw that Terence did not make any sudden movements. We saw that Terence was not being belligerent. We did not see Terence reach into the car. We did not see Terence attacking the officers.”

As seen in the video, more than two minutes go by before officers begin administering aid to Crutcher after he was shot.

The police chief said an investigation of the incident is ongoing. The U.S. Department of Justice will conduct a separate civil rights inquiry into the shooting, AP reports.

Protests are not a problem,” Jordan said on Monday, but he urged the community to stay peaceful

“Let’s not have any more death over this,” he said.

So far in 2016, 19 people have been killed by police officers in Oklahoma, giving the state the sixth highest per-capita rate of killings by police in the U.S, according to statistics compiled by The Guardian. Last year, Oklahoma ranked No. 4 per capita with 37 killings, the Guardian data showed.

In April, Robert Bates, a former volunteer reserve Tulsa County sheriff’s deputy, was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter for the 2015 shooting death of Eric Harris, another unarmed black man.

Like many other states, Oklahoma has a disproportionately high rate of black people being killed by police, according to the website Mapping Police Violence.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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