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Tulsa Police Officer Is Found Not Guilty In Death Of Terence Crutcher

19 May, 2017, 11:03 | Author: Mae Harvey

A white policewoman who shot an unarmed black man in 2016 was acquitted by a jury in the U.S. state of Oklahoma on Wednesday, 17 May.

"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, Joseph, told reporters.

Shelby spoke to 60 Minutes last month said race was not a factor in her decision to shoot, and claimed Crutcher was to blame for his death. And although Crutcher, who stood over six-feet tall and was well over 200 pounds, was not showing signs of aggression, Shelby said she knew the dangers of encountering an individual under the influence of PCP.

"Those who disagree with the verdict have the right to express their opinions", Fallin said in an official statement.

It was Jordan's decision to release video of the Crutcher shooting, and in January he canceled the Tulsa police contract with real-time arrest show "Live PD", which critics say shows incidents of racial profiling and caters to viewers' worst fears and biases. The prosecutors said Crutcher didn't make any aggressive moves towards any of the four officers eventually on the scene, and that he was not a threat.

"No Justice, No Peace".

Marq Lewis, organizer of the local civil rights group We The People Oklahoma, said the verdict erased numerous inroads that had been made to fix a breach between law enforcement and black residents.

Police said Crutcher approached the vehicle but failed to listen to commands from officers.

The shooting was captured in aerial footage by helicopter and by dashboard camera, and showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby toward his SUV with his hands raised above his head.

Crutcher's family called the verdict a disappointment and the police department "corrupt".

After more than eight hours of deliberations, the jury reached a verdict to acquit Officer Shelby of her manslaughter charge, according to NBC News. "And I believe that all those officers involved, they're going to be held accountable because this family right here, we believe in a higher power, we believe in a higher judge", she said. "What I got out of this case was that a cover up was exposed", she said.

Crutcher's family said police attempted to "demonize" Crutcher over the drug possession to deflect attention from the fact officers didn't find a gun inside his SUV.

"And no one has been calling for the resources to implement community policing more actively over a longer period of time than the men and women of our Tulsa Police Department".

The family of Crutcher burst into tears and reacted with outrage.

The state focused on the "why" questions in the case for their closing arguments. They walked by my brother to go check on Betty Jo and the last few breaths of his life he laid their alone. "So we are moving forward together - Tulsans from all parts of the city, police officers and everyday citizens - with a unified goal to make this a better place for all of us".


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