Tags: betty shelby | tulsa | cop | acquitted | shooting

Betty Shelby, Tulsa Cop, Acquitted in Fatal Shooting

Image: Betty Shelby, Tulsa Cop, Acquitted in Fatal Shooting

In this Sept. 16, 2016 file image made from video provided by police, Terence Crutcher, left, with his arms held up, is pursued by police officers as he walks next to his stalled SUV moments before he was shot and killed by one of the officers in Tulsa, Okla. (Tulsa Police Department via AP, File). Inset: Betty Shelby (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

By    |   Thursday, 18 May 2017 12:29 PM

Betty Shelby, the Tulsa cop who was charged with manslaughter in September 2016 for the shooting death of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, was acquitted by a jury on Wednesday, sparking immediate protests.

After more than eight hours of deliberations, the jury reached a verdict to acquit Officer Shelby of her manslaughter charge, according to NBC News.

The verdict sparked outrage from many in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, community, where Crutcher was shot and killed during a traffic stop.

For many, the verdict is a reminder of the other unarmed black men who have lost their lives at the hands of police in recent years – events that led to the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to CBS News, there were some 100 protesters outside the courthouse Wednesday night.

"No Justice, No Peace. No Racist Police," the demonstrators chanted.

"When is it going to stop – just officer-related shootings? When will the police change policy?" said Marq Lewis, the organizer of We The People Oklahoma, a local civil rights group.

Crutcher’s family was heartbroken by the verdict and said that the police department is corrupt, according to NBC News.

"Terence was not the aggressor; Betty Shelby was the aggressor," said Tiffany Crutcher, Terence’s twin sister, according to the NBC News. "Betty Shelby had the gun. Betty Shelby was following him with his hands up."

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.

A video from the incident shows an unarmed Crutcher walking to his vehicle with his hands held high before reaching for the driver’s side door.

Police said they asked Crutcher if the car belonged to him, but he mumbled under his breath, not giving the officers a direct response, according to an affidavit.

One of the officers at the scene then tased Crutcher before Shelby shot him. The bullet struck Crutcher’s lung.

Shelby told the court on Monday that she fired her weapon that day because "I feared for my life."

"I did everything I could to stop this," she added. "Crutcher’s death is his fault."

Despite Shelby’s explanation, the prosecuting attorney, Kevin Gray, told the court that Crutcher was not in any way being aggressive toward police and that he never pulled a gun. Gray added that Shelby was guessing that Crutcher was armed.

Jerad Lindsey, chairman of Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police, said the jury made the right verdict, but that it didn’t change the fact that Crutcher’s death was tragic.

"There’s no winners in this," he said, according to NBC News. "There’s still a family that has dealt with a tragedy here, the Crutchers, and we still extend our deepest sympathies to them."

"And now that we’ve reached a verdict, Tulsa’s gonna have to figure out how to get its arms around this and be able to move forward in a positive way," Lindsey added.

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Betty Shelby, the Tulsa cop who was charged with manslaughter in September 2016 for the shooting death of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, was acquitted by a jury on Wednesday, sparking protests.
betty shelby, tulsa, cop, acquitted, shooting
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2017-29-18
Thursday, 18 May 2017 12:29 PM
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