Tulsa Officer Who Said Man's 'Death Is His Fault' Acquitted

Jury hands down not guilty verdict for Betty Shelby in Terence Crutcher case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2017 12:11 AM CDT
Cop Acquitted in Shooting of Unarmed Black Man
Protesters block Denver Avenue after Tulsa Police Officer Betty Jo Shelby was found not guilty of manslaughter in the fatal shooting in Sept. 2016 of Terence Crutcher.   (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)

Protesters gathered on the streets of Tulsa Wednesday night after a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man whose car had stalled was acquitted of manslaughter. 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 Sept. 16, 2016, after he walked away from her with his hands up, NBC reports. Earlier this week, the 43-year-old officer testified that she feared for her life when Crutcher reached into his vehicle. "I did everything I could to stop this," she said. "Crutcher's death is his fault." Her defense attorney said the fact PCP was found in Crutcher's system backed up her decision to treat him as a threat.

Prosecutors argued that Crutcher was not aggressive toward police during the incident. Tiffany Crutcher, Crutcher's twin sister, said after the verdict that her brother was murdered and "corrupt" police tried to cover it up, the Tulsa World reports. She also criticized Shelby and other officers at the scene for failing to provide medical care in the minutes after the shooting. Around 100 protesters dispersed peacefully after marching from the courthouse to a hotel where they thought Shelby was staying, the AP reports. "When is it going to stop—just officer-related shootings?" asked Marq Lewis, organizer of civil rights group We The People Oklahoma. "When will the police change policy?" (More Terence Crutcher stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.