Officer Not Guilty in Shooting of Unarmed Tulsa Man


It took a jury of nine white people and three black people a little over nine hours of deliberation to render its verdict.

Outside the court, some protesters had gathered to protest peacefully for the verdict.

At that rally, Crutchers family called for one concrete change: For city leadership to block Shelby from returning to her job.

"This is a tough pill to swallow". Terence's hands were up. Terence was not an imminent threat.

Terence Crutcher's father, Rev. Joey Crutcher echoed her remarks in a statement after the announcement. "Terence did not attack her, Terence did not charge her. Terence was not the aggressor, Betty Shelby was the aggressor", Tiffany Crutcher, Terence's sister, said. "I have four grandchildren that are at home now, that have lost their daddy".

Police dashboard and helicopter video show Crutcher, who was black, walking away from Shelby and her police cruiser with both arms in the air before he was shot.

Shelby, then a five-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department, said she had ordered Crutcher to lie on the ground, and fired her weapon out of fear when he didn't obey and appeared to reach inside his vehicle for what she thought was a gun. In the video, it looks as though the shots were fired as Crutcher was walking back towards his vehicle with his hands up.

Protests occurred following the news of the acquittal, with protesters reportedly blocking roads in Tulsa. Rank-and-file police officers - not just in Tulsa, but in departments across the country - remain aggrieved that prosecutors brought a case against Shelby in the first place.

Protestors unsurprisingly gathered following the decision's announcement.

Civilians, they say, aren't drilled and trained in making split-second decisions, and making them pay for misunderstandings or disobedience with their lives is a disgrace, an injustice.

Gov. Mary Fallin said that while residents have a right to express their opinions, they should do so in a peaceful manner.

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"I don't know what was in the mind of that jury, how they could come to that conclusion", he said.

Crutcher's family, who maintain that the shooting was unjustified, accused the police of using the drug possession to deflect attention from the fact that Crutcher was unarmed when police shot him, The Associated Press reported.

She said a "cover-up was exposed" during the trial. Shelby described Crutcher as being "zombie-like" during their encounter. She also criticized police because they didn't immediately provide aid to her brother after he was shot. Shelby testified Monday, saying quote "if you hesitate, if you delay, you die".

Some civil rights advocates have argued that race was a factor in the fatal shooting, while Shelby denied. She was charged with felony manslaughter. The case fueled tensions over race relations, as Shelby is white and Crutcher was black.

Betty Shelby, 43, was acquitted after a week-long trial.

"Is Terence Crutcher's death his fault?"

It was murder, said Crutcher's family, Tulsa's minority community, and millions of American.

Crutcher's supportes condemned the defense's attempts to paint him as a villain.

An autopsy showed PCP was in Crutcher's system, and police said they found a vial of it in his SUV.

The family is also calling for the Tulsa Police Department to be reformed.

After two days of jury selection and several days of testimony, the jurors heard closing arguments to Wednesday morning. "I appreciate the jurors' service to our community and respect their verdict", Bynum said.