Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby fatally shot Terence Crutcher, an unarmed African-American man, after his car broke down in the middle of the street on Sept. 16.
According to reports, Shelby’s attorney said the officer thought Crutcher had been behaving erratically, and was under the influence of drugs.
However, recently-released video has shown Crutcher, 40, had been walking slowly toward his vehicle, away from the officers, with his hands in the air.
“The video shows that he was not belligerent,” Damario Solomon-Simmons, the attorney who is representing the Crutcher family, stated. “The video shows what the video shows. That’s the great thing about video … it has no biases.”
Shelby, who is white, has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation into the matter, which has currently been undertaken by the U.S. Department of Justice and Tulsa’s local district attorney’s office.
According to Scott Wood, Shelby’s attorney, the officer called for backup, after Crutcher didn’t follow orders and wouldn’t tell her whether the disabled SUV belonged to him.
Subsequently, as Crutcher walked toward his car, with his hands raised and his back turned toward the officers, one officer deployed and struck Crutcher with his taser, while Shelby simultaneously fired a single shot.
In light of the events, Crutcher’s family has called for Shelby’s prosecution, as well as for peaceful protests in the city.
“The entire family is devastated,” Crutcher’s twin sister said at a press conference on Monday.
In addition, the ACLU of Oklahoma’s executive director, Ryan Kiesel, has released the following statement, in part, regarding the matter:
“We call today on law enforcement officers, and law enforcement agencies around the state and around the nation, to condemn the murderous actions of the Tulsa Police Department. In a world where our government continues to prove how little regard it has for the lives and the dignity of black Americans, to remain silent is to be complicit. It is well past time for the good men and women who serve their communities faithfully to speak out, and condemn this murder of a defenseless black man.”
Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmIfTEZRBko to view video of the incident, or click on the image below.