In a shooting caught on video by multiple police cameras, and one that enraged many, Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby has been charged with first degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher.
Crutcher was killed by Shelby on Sept. 16 when he was believed to be having car trouble. Shelby happened upon Crutcher and in dashboard and helicopter videos, Crutcher can be seen walking calmly away from officers and with both hands raised as officers pointed weapons at the distressed motorist. In the video, one officer Tasers Crutcher and moments later Shelby shoots and kills Crutcher. Crutcher had no weapons on him or in his vehicle and appeared to be of no threat to Shelby or the other officers.
On Sept. 22 Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler announced charges against Shelby. While announcing charges the prosecuting attorney oddly went out of his way to say that Shelby should be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a judge or jury. That line seemed perplexing, as it is his job to see to it that Shelby is in fact found guilty.
Crutcher, the father of four , was driving from classes on Sept. 16 at Tulsa Community College when he reported to a passerby that he was experiencing car trouble. That individual called 911. Shelby came upon Crutcher and within a couple of minutes of their encounter Crutcher would lay in the street bleeding from a single gunshot wound to the chest. No aid was immediately administered to Crutcher and he was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.
Crutcher sang in the choir at New Height Christian Center and was studying music at Tulsa Community College. Exactly one month before Crutcher was gunned down, he celebrated his 40th birthday.