Jury acquits Tulsa police officer in fatal shooting of unarmed black man


Betty Shelby, the Tulsa police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man previous year, was found not guilty of first-degree manslaughter by a jury late Wednesday.

The jury took more than eight hours to deliver a not guilty verdict for Betty Shelby, who shot 40-year-old father of four Terence Crutcher on September 16, 2016 after he walked away from her with his hands up, NBC reports.

Shelby testified for more than two hours on Monday about her training as a Tulsa police officer and how she believed Crutcher was reaching for a gun inside his SUV when she fired, according to ABC's Tulsa affiliate KTUL.

Terrence Crutcher's sister, Tiffany Crutcher, told reporters after the verdict came in that her brother never attacked or threatened Shelby, who said she feared for her life during the roadside encounter.

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.

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An autopsy showed that Crutcher had 96 nanograms per milliliter of PCP in his bloodstream at the time of his death, and police said they found a vial of it in his SUV. "Betty Shelby was following him with his hands up".

But Bynum wasnt specific enough with details of how he would heal Tulsas racial wounds, and words will ring hollow without measurable change, Crutchers family and supporters said.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said he respected the jury's decision but that the city still has racial disparities to change. She said Shelby was the aggressor, not her brother.

The fatal shooting, captured from several angles on video, was one of a number of police shootings of unarmed black men across the United States in recent years that have heightened concerns about possible police misconduct. He is then shot once in the chest by Shelby and falls to the ground. They noted Crutcher had his hands in the air and wasn't combative - part of which was confirmed by police video taken from a dashboard camera and helicopter that showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby, hands held above his head. She also said, "I did everything I could to stop this".

Tulsa police have said Crutcher was unarmed and there was no weapon in his vehicle, which was blocking a road.

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They asked Shelby why she didn't use a Taser instead of a gun.

The investigator wrote that Shelby, "reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation from a confrontation with Mr. Crutcher, who was not responding to verbal commands and was walking away from her with his hands up, becoming emotionally involved to the point that she over reacted".

Shelby had been charged with first-degree manslaughter.

They also argued that if Shelby waited to shoot, he could have theoretically killed her. "We've had to stop".

"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.

Jury acquits Tulsa officer in shooting of unarmed black man
Police said Crutcher failed to obey commands, and Shelby testified she thought Crutcher was reaching for something in his SUV. Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher Sept. 16 on a city street where his SUV had stalled.