Shelby 'elated' that jury found her not guilty


A jury acquitted a white Tulsa police officer of manslaughter charges Wednesday night in her 2016 fatal shooting of a black man.

Jurors deliberated more than nine hours before they announced the acquittal of Betty Shelby, report the Tulsa World, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

"I can't look at that video anymore", Joe Crutcher said, "His little baby started noticing his daddy is not there: 'Is he coming back today? I'm going on record to say they did their job, but I'm wondering what they were thinking about".

Crutcher's twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher, said she won't rest until police reforms are enacted, and that is one of her hopes for the outcome of her family's civil case. Shelby had also claimed she believed Crutcher to be under the influence of drugs.

Shelby testified that she feared for her life, even though video shows she was clearly far enough from him to be out any real danger.

About 100 demonstrators later gathered outside the courthouse and some briefly blocked a main street.

At the time of the incident, Shelby and several other officers responded to reports about a stalled SUV that had been left in the middle of a road in Tulsa.

"Those who disagree with the verdict have the right to express their opinions; I just ask that they do so in a peaceful manner". Shelby, who is white, has insisted she did so out of fear he was reaching for a weapon inside his vehicle.

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Mr Crutcher's killing was among a spate of shootings at the hands of police in recent years in the USA, fuelling the Black Lives Matter movement and prompting calls for more police accountability.

But Jerad Lindsey, chairman of the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police, said the city would have to heal after the tragedy.

The jury was composed of eight women and four men. Juror #22, who was the foreman, was crying as the verdict was read. According to dashcam and arial footage from a helicopter hovering above, Crutcher was seen with his hands in the air before Shelby shot Crutcher, a father of four, in the lung. She said her brother was murdered by Shelby and police covered it up. "But there's still a family that's been greatly affected, and that's the Crutchers ... just because our member here has been found to be not guilty, it in no way diminishes our heartfelt sympathy to that family".

Her police training, she testified on Tuesday, taught her that "if a suspect reaches their hands inside of a vehicle, don't let them pull them out".

"But this verdict does not alter the course on which we are adamantly set", he said. “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".

However, prosecutors said he was not combative and police video from a dashboard camera and helicopter showed him walking away from her with his hands held above his head. The police chief will review an internal affairs investigation that will determine whether she again patrols Tulsa streets. "And because she didn't pause, my family, we've had to pause", Tiffany Crutcher said.

Shelby says Crutcher ignored her commands to "show me your hands" and that he was sweating profusely and smelled of PCP chemicals.