Tulsa Police Officer Charged with Manslaughter in Crutcher Case

Tulsa Police Officer Charged with Manslaughter in Crutcher Case

There is news from Tulsa, Oklahoma. After the fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher, the city has been in the news with video footage of the incident and statements from officials. Terence Crutcher was African American and one of the police officers on tape describes him as “a big, bad dude”. He is another name on the list of African American people fatally shot by the police. He is also another name on the “Black Lives Matter” campaign.

Officer Betty Shelby Charged

The family of Crutcher insisted that there was no reason for police to shoot Terence. They made allegations that he was the victim of racial bias. They also asked for justice and made it clear through their actions that they will not allow for this to be swept under the carpet. It looks like Tulsa is reacting to the political pressure.

Steve Kunzweiler, the District Attorney for Tulsa County spoke to the press on Thursday. He said that they have charged police officer Betty Shelby with manslaughter in the first degree. Kurnzweiler said that they reviewed the facts and the allegations. He added that they took their responsibility very seriously in determining whether there was justification for a criminal charge.

Last week Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby stopped the SUV of Terence Crutcher in a roadway. As Crutcher did not respond to repeated orders, she shot him. Terence Crutcher, forty years old, died.

The court issued an arrest warrant for Shelby. The Tulsa police officer is going to surrender. But right now it isn’t clear when she is going to turn herself in.

The criminal complaint against Betty Shelby says that fear led her to unreasonable actions which resulted in her shooting Terence Crutcher. The criminal complaint says that the orders that the Tulsa police officer gave to Crutcher were lawful. But that after he did not comply with those orders she shot him “unlawfully and unnecessarily”

Crutcher Family Expresses Gratitude

The attorneys for Terence Crutcher’s family spoke to the media on behalf of their clients. They held a news conference yesterday after the District Attorney gave the news. The attorneys said that the family is happy with the outcome. They also said that they will be asking for a “vigorous prosecution” and want to see a conviction in the case.

Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons wanted to extend his gratitude to the Police Department of Tulsa, Oklahoma. “Today, we are thankful to the Tulsa Police Department, we are thankful to Chief Jordan for providing information to the District Attorney’s office, and we are happy that charges were brought,” he said.

Terence Crutcher’s twin sister Tiffany also spoke to reporters. She has been speaking on behalf of the family since the incident, trying to give details about her brother. She has painted a different, humane portrait of Terence who was not what the video tapes show. He was a brother, a son and a student.

Tiffany Crutcher said that this was a small victory. That with this, together, they will break the chains of police brutality. Also, that they are familiar with the history, presumably of cases like this one.


Image source: here.