The following video contains graphic footage of a man being fatally shot, followed by a police interview of the officer who shot him. Viewer discretion is advised.
On September 16, 2016, Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old Black American man, was killed by white police officer Betty Jo Shelby in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was unarmed during the encounter, in which he was standing near his vehicle in the middle of a street.
During her trial later to come, Shelby’s lawyer, Scott Wood, said the officer had thought that Mr. Crutcher had a weapon. Mr. Wood said Mr. Crutcher had acted erratically, refused to comply with several orders, tried to put his hand in his pocket and reached inside his car window before he was shot.
Reports say Crutcher was tasered by another officer at the same time he was shot. Shelby was armed with a taser too, but did not use it.
Following the shooting, the media pushed a false narrative that Crutcher had his hands up when he was shot — but video evidence disproved this.
The shooting led to protests in Tulsa. The police department paid $216,000 in overtime costs for 10 days after the death for services related to increased demonstrations, staffing of patrols, marches, Crutcher’s funeral and news conferences by the district attorney and Crutcher family during which the Incident Management Team also had a command post operating.
On September 22, 2016, the Tulsa County District Attorney charged Shelby with first-degree manslaughter after the shooting was labeled a homicide. On May 17, 2017, a jury found her not guilty of first-degree manslaughter.
Autopsy results released by the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner indicated that Terence Crutcher had “acute phencyclidine (PCP) intoxication” at the time of the shooting. The report also indicated that tenocyclidine (TCP), a psychostimulant and hallucinogen which is more potent than PCP, was present. PCP was also found in Crutcher’s vehicle.
Crutcher had been previously incarcerated for drug trafficking and had a lengthy criminal record and appeared to have had open warrants that were issued on August 30, 2016 including for DUI, resisting, drug trafficking and public intoxication.
Sources and credit:
Tulsa Police Department
Tulsa World TV