Female Tulsa cop charged with manslaughter in Terence Crutcher shooting
Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby has been charged with first degree manslaughter in the shooting death of unarmed black man Terence Crutcher.
TULSA, OKLAHOMA — The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office is filing charges against the cop who shot Terence Crutcher, saying she became too emotionally involved in the situation and overreacted.
Tulsa World reports that 40-year-old Crutcher was unarmed and had his arms raised when he was hit with a Taser and almost simultaneously took a bullet to the chest. Four police officers who were on the scene waited almost two minutes before checking on Crutcher, and he subsequently died from his injuries.
An affidavit filed at the Tulsa County District Court shows that Shelby is now facing a first degree manslaughter charge after authorities felt she escalated the situation unnecessarily. If convicted, she could get a sentence of four years to life.
The fatal shooting incident on Sept. 16 began when Crutcher’s SUV stalled in the middle of a Tulsa road. Officer Betty Shelby had spotted the car while en route to a domestic violence call and set out to investigate. She reportedly checked the vehicle before talking to Crutcher, though there is no video of their initial interaction, as she didn’t turn on the cameras on the dashboard and on her person.
In a statement to Tulsa World, Shelby’s attorney Scott Wood said his client recounted how Crutcher wasn’t responding to commands and mumbling incoherently. She suspected he had a weapon and may have been on drugs.
When authorities searched the car, they found no gun, but did find a vial of angel dust, or PCP. A toxicology report has yet to reveal whether Crutcher had drugs in his system when he died.
Crutcher’s twin sister Tiffany told media the family is happy that charges were brought against the officer. They will continue to fight until it ends with her conviction, according to CNN.
In one of the videos released by the police department, pilots aboard a helicopter patrol are heard calling Crutcher a “big bad dude.” TULSA POLICE DEPARTMENT
Shelby said she fired her gun after seeing Crutcher reach into the SUV window. Crutcher family attorney Melvin Hall thinks that’s odd, since according to the affidavit, the officer had cleared the car before talking to Crutcher. TULSA POLICE DEPARTMENT
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